Uhuru has realized that betraying Ruto will be a taller order than initially thought
On the morning Tuesday, December 4, 2012, then Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi received unexpected visitors at his Riverside Drive home.
One of the leading Presidential candidate at the time, Uhuru Kenyatta drove into Mudavadi’s home, and in his car was his running mate William Ruto, and close allies Najib Balala and Chirau Ali Mwakwere.
The guests had come bearing a big gift – Kenyatta announced that he had thought long and hard and decided to forfeit the Presidency in favour of his brother – Mudavadi.
There were no cameras or reporters and it is unlikely that the details of the meeting would have ever been made public if not for the betrayal that followed.
In a matter of days, Kenyatta disowned the deal with his “brother” – blaming dark forces for forcing his hand on the signature.
Nearly seven years later, Mudavadi is still lamenting of the incident which has in the past termed as one of the “lowest moment of his life” as it came when his wife Tessie was battling breast cancer.
On Thursday when I listened to President Uhuru Kenyatta make his speech during the State of the Nation Address – it felt like déjà vu – only that Mudavadi had been replaced by Raila Odinga in this second plot of betrayal in the city.
On march 9, Kenyans were treated to a surprise meeting between Odinga and Kenyatta that resulted in the famous handshake deal.
Little has been reported on the circumstances that led to the meeting or the nitty gritties of the agreement made between the two “brothers”.
Of course there was a public document explaining nine abstract resolutions made from the handshake including national unity, fighting corruption, among others.
The Ruto camp appeared to have been caught off-guard by the handshake deal and they have not shied away from bastardizing the handshake at every rally they have addressed – some going as far as throwing epithets at the head of state.
Odinga’s base has reacted to the seeming Kenyatta-Ruto rivalry with excitement – many predicting that the untold deal in the handshake was an agreement that Raila would be made President in 2022, of course in a coalition featuring Uhuru.
Like Mudavadi, Odinga and his team have gotten ecstatic to the level that they have not given a thought to the possibility that Kenyatta has either been toying with their “political feelings” or he renege on their agreement before 2022.
Economist David Ndii recently reported that Ruto and Treasury CS Henry Rotich had confronted and threatened undisclosed repercussions if the President continued with his war against corruption.
The story would have appeared random save for the fact that Ndii has friends in the President’s circle (David Murathe is his brother in law and Njee Muturi his nephew).
Either way, I wouldn’t have believed the story If I hadn’t noticed the slow pace with which corruption investigations have taken in the past two weeks. The DCI is no longer giving tips to journalists on which CSs to arrest, and the number of officials being called in to record statement has reduced.
The expectation had been that the reduced pace of action was aimed at giving President Kenyatta the chance to fire the implicated officials ahead of the State of the Nation Address on Thursday.
Despite the public demanding for blood on the ceiling, Uhuru did not announce any action against the suspected corrupt officials – only giving a tired line about the need to fight graft by following the law.
Keen observers were quick to notice that Uhuru appeared to use the same exact words that Ruto had used while attacking the DCI during a conference in Garissa.
Noteworthy, the DP has not taken the possible betrayal by Uhuru lying down – he has managed to win over most Mt Kenya elected leaders and even used them to take on Kenyatta in his own stronghold.
The President team, relying on the perceived political reject that is nominated MP Maina Kamanda, has managed to do little to control the tanga tanga wave.
My take on these recent developments is that Uhuru has realized that betraying Ruto will be a taller order than he had initially contemplated.
I will not be surprised if the betrayal that befell Mudavadi follows Raila and only then will we know the naked truth of the March 9 handshake.