Opinion

The hawks are hovering in the sky, circling for the ultimate kill

The hawks are hovering in the sky, circling for the ultimate kill
  • It’s not unusual for an embattled lot to be in denial when their small universe is being so horribly turned upside down, and so unexpectedly.
  • Ruto’s naked defiance and open contempt for Uhuru’s repeated public pleas against non-stop campaigning is not news.

Very few people noticed something very telling during former President Daniel arap Moi’s funeral at Kabarak in February.

When his son, Senator Gideon Moi, was giving his vote of thanks, he acknowledged, in the normal manner done at such a function, all the top politicians present – from President Uhuru Kenyatta to Raila Odinga to Musalia Mudavadi to Kalonzo Musyoka.

When it came to the turn of Deputy President William Ruto, the senator looked at him and said something quite curious in Kiswahili: “Wewe nitakupatia maombi.” (Please go back and replay the TV clips of the event).

The assembled government cream broke up in what was obviously knowing laughter. The crowds of commoners present didn’t seem to read anything of significance in this reaction from the big shots, nor to Moi Junior’s odd remark. It sounded casual, even unremarkable. If only they knew.

Monday’s brisk dispatch of Senator Kipchumba Murkomen of Elgeyo-Marakwet and Senator Susan Kihika of Nakuru from their Senate leadership positions wasn’t a surprise.

Neither was Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka’s equally speedy endorsement of the changes and his countermanding of a Political Parties Disputes Tribunal ruling that questioned their validity.

These were just the latest in an escalating tempo of moves to push Ruto, to whom Murkomen and Kihika owe allegiance, into submission.

ALLIES IN DENIAL

Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi’s direct entry into play via a coalition agreement with Jubilee, which was dusted up only a week ago, is a signal that the war has entered another level.

The next battleground, reportedly, will be the National Assembly. The screws will get painfully tighter after it emerged a wider Jubilee-Kanu-ODM-Wiper-CCM parliamentary coalition is in the works.

The endgame looks like it’s just a matter of time. The DP is being squeezed, slowly, methodically, python-style, yet his followers desperately cling to the belief he is still on top of things.

They have been saying the same thing ever since the 2018 “Handshake” blew up their world.

Meanwhile, Jubilee headquarters and secretariat remain firmly under Secretary-General Raphael Tuju, who reminds everyone who cares to listen that he speaks for and on behalf of the party leader – Uhuru himself.

Recently, new members were installed in the National Management Committee through Tuju and bypassing Ruto, who made spirited but futile protests.

Reacting to the fiat, Ruto’s allies led by Soy MP Caleb Kositany threatened to storm the headquarters and take it over. Nothing came of their threat.

It’s not unusual for an embattled lot to be in denial when their small universe is being so horribly turned upside down, and so unexpectedly.

POLITICAL CONTEST

It’s daft, though, to fail to read the chess game correctly, or to understand when you are being trapped into checkmate.

Yet ultimately, this is not merely a game. It’s a deadly political contest being fought for the control of the ruling party and the future of national politics, and whose design is to lock Ruto out completely from taking leadership in 2022.

Again, or so I am hearing, the talk of an impending Cabinet shake-up that will deliver another punishing blow to the DP’s apparatus is not a rumour. Indeed, reggae is going to get higher in volume.

There’s nothing more painful than the realisation that you have been played. Especially when you recall you had been warned long ago by old associates that you were falling into a trap when you dissolved your URP party.

It’s particularly galling when it hits you that you’ve been fixed by somebody you all along underrated.

The question every Kenyan would die to know the answer to is why the Uhuru-Ruto relationship went so badly south.

OPEN CONTEMPT

The DP team’s assumption they controlled an alternative centre of power, and all their chest-thumping and pouring of cold water on the President’s initiatives - such as the crackdown on graft - was bound to backfire spectacularly.

Ruto’s naked defiance and open contempt for Uhuru’s repeated public pleas against non-stop campaigning is not news. Any of these gripes can cause a political alliance to snap.

Still, I am left to wonder. Their bond looked so tight, beyond the usual definitions of a political marriage of convenience. It looked like a match made in heaven.

Nobody knows what went wrong between the once bosom buddies. Not even their close political operatives quite know. But something surely did happen.

Something which made Uhuru change his attitude towards his friend in a total and irrevocable way. Ruto’s supporters grumble bitterly about betrayal.

I hesitate to conclude so when so much about the falling-out remains unknown. Betrayal can be both ways. Whatever it is that happened, one day the truth will come out.

Let me end in Tangatanga-esque fashion with reference to the Bible: Galatians 6:7-8. Wise words.