Renowned economist and former National Super Alliance (NASA) strategist David Ndii’s advice to Deputy President William Ruto sparked a storm on Wednesday, May 13.
The advice came in light of the recent events that have seen allies of Ruto such as Senators Kipchumba Murkomen and Susan Kihika removed from leadership positions in the Senate by Uhuru’s wing of the Jubilee Party.
With the rift between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto an open secret, a Twitter user asked Ndii, “What do you [think] is the best thing Ruto should do to fight back and stay afloat?”.
The economist’s response? “Murder his boss.” Coming from a long-time critic of the Jubilee administration, the statement immediately caused a furore as a section of Kenyans warned Ndii that he could get in trouble with law enforcement agencies.
Some of those who responded even tagged the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) as they called for Ndii’s arrest over the tweet.
Others seemed to agree with Ndii’s chilling sentiments. A section of those who backed Ndii, however, argued that it could have been figurative.
Since their election as President and Deputy in 2013, Ndii has been consistent in his stinging attacks on the government over issues including crony capitalism, corruption and disregard for the law.
He claimed that the recent trend of Jubilee politics dominating the headlines was by design, to distract the masses from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Predicting a severe economic crisis, Ndii further claimed that the government was putting in place militarisation measures to cushion the government should the crisis become a political threat.
“Idleness, anxiety, attention deficit, fear of irrelevance, lack of imagination, diverting attention from inability to respond to unfolding Covid-19 economic crisis and prelude to full securitisation/militarisation of the state if Covid-19 economic crisis becomes political threat,” he noted in response to a question on why politics had taken center-stage during a pandemic.
The drama in the Jubilee Party has made for countless headlines, a trend that seems set to continue as Uhuru’s purge on Ruto allies in leadership positions is expected to move on to the National Assembly and the Cabinet.
Those who question the dominance of politics in national discourse in this period rightly observe that a majority of Kenyans are more concerned about other issues including job losses, education, floods and aspects of the government’s Covid-19 response.
Those who support the changes, such as Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala who spoke to tmz.co.ke on Tuesday, May 12, however, insist that such changes are necessary for the government to be able to deliver its promises to the people.
“I think the government has its priorities very much in order. Because, for the govt to address the real issues such as Covid-19 and floods, they must have the right leadership in place.
“In the house, these individuals play a very key role in executing the government’s agenda, so without the right leadership in Parliament, it will even be difficult to implement some of these things.
“What the government needs is to bring in leaders who indeed have the interests of the people and the country at heart,” he argued.