Is the deputy president Ruto losing faith in the Kikuyu community’s promise to rally behind him in 2022?
Ruto, During a fund-raiser at Giakanja Secondary School in Nyeri on Friday, only four legislators from Central Kenya accompanied him to the function, with the rest of his well known vocal foot soldiers from the region giving the event a wide berth.
This was in stark contrast to the past when a battery of politicians from all walks of life would swarm him anytime he showed up in the region. Could this be a clear indication that his political base has tapered off considerably?
On Saturday, during a church function he attended in Kericho, Ruto was flanked by the current Luhya political kingpin, Musalia Mudavadi, another hint he might have now shifted his campaigns to Western Kenya. Even there, things have not been smooth for him though.
A rally organized last month by his supporters in the region aborted after law enforcers lobbed teargas canister at a crowd that had turned up at Nabongo Stadium in Mumias to deliberate on the plight of sugarcane farmers.
The move to court Mudavadi is a clear indication that the DP’s trust in the Kikuyu community to deliver him a bloc vote has waned to rock bottom. Uhuru Kenyatta has lately been regaining the confidence of his tribesmen after losing them temporarily to the DP.
Only a few leaders in Central Kenya are still vocal about their support for the DP. Most have grown cold feet in fear of potential reprisals, especially after the impeachment of former Kiambu County governor Ferdinand Waititu.
Things are falling apart for the one time chicken dealer from Sugoi whose political and financial fortunes have transformed overnight. He has been casting his net far and wide with little success. His recent frantic attempts to woo the Kamba votes through Kalonzo Musyoka hit a dead end. Ruto had camped in Ukambani, but his net failed to capture the big fish he had his eyes set on.
Instead of falling prey to his trap, the Kamba political doyen turned down the overtures, telling the DP blankly to his face that he owed his loyalty to President Uhuru Kenyatta, a man who had given him a job to do when he had none in his laps.
That notwithstanding, the DP is proving to be a hard nut to crack. Several pleas from State House to have him stop his camouflaged campaigns have landed on deaf ears. His persistence has stunned both friends and foes alike. Obviously, he has his eyes firmly focused on the ultimate prize.
Will Ruto succeed in mining gold in Western Kenya after landing on a rocky mountain in Central Kenya and barren field in Ukambani? Can the Luhya community withdraw their support for Raila Odinga to rally behind him in 2022?