Opinion

Ruto still has a fighting chance against Uhuru

Ruto still has a fighting chance against Uhuru
  • The other thing the Deputy President will be hoping will fail is the so-called super alliance reportedly being crafted by Mr Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

What a messy battle we witnessed in the Kenyan Senate this past week!

Bullets flew everywhere so fast that it became very difficult to keep count of the casualties.

One moment Kipchumba Murkomen felt he was holding so strong in his position as Majority Leader that he even crossed the battle lines to try to save Ledama Olekina from molestation in the enemy camp.

The next we heard, Mr Murkomen had himself been taken down, bullets fired by some of his own charges having hit him in the back.

A limp effort by loyal soldiers was easily put down with a single warning shot fired in the air.

Five of them, too scared for their lives, put their hands up, declaring their allegiance to the conquering army. The rest remain in hiding under their chairs in the Senate.

After the bloodbath in the Senate, which also saw Susan Kihika stripped of her role as Majority Chief Whip, there is no doubt President Uhuru Kenyatta has the upper hand in his quest to seize control of the ruling Jubilee Party and its parliamentary leadership from Deputy President William Ruto.

POLLING

Raphael Tuju, the President’s enforcer at the party secretariat, has warned that the National Assembly is in their cross-hairs as well.

The rate at which some MPs, until recently loyal to Dr Ruto, are already updating their social media profile pictures to show their newfound love for his boss-cum-rival lately, suggests the President could next stroll to the National Assembly and take it without firing a single shot.

But make no mistake, Dr Ruto retains a fighting chance in the ultimate 2022 succession battle. And luckily for him, he won’t even have to deploy his own weapons to some key battlefronts.

In the next six months or so, many opposition campaigns across the world will enjoy a considerable boost from the coronavirus as governments struggle to rebuild their countries’ economies and keep their populations happy.

In the US, President Donald Trump is already sore from the fact that Joe Biden, his opponent in the November election, is soaring in the opinion polls by just ‘sitting in his basement’.

IMPLOSION

Dr Ruto, elbowed from power and unwittingly absolved of any blame for the administration’s failings, can also afford to just sit back, pray and watch things unravel.

The other thing the Deputy President will be hoping will fail is the so-called super alliance reportedly being crafted by Mr Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

While the prospects of going into any election with a team of heavyweights look exciting, recent history shows that in Kenya, the bigger the pre-election coalition, the bigger the implosion.

The last time such a machine was assembled in the country – with the usual suspects on board – it crashed before its destination with Mr Kenyatta’s presidential ambitions in 2002.

The latest one could yet suffer the same fate.

@otienootieno