In a game of political chess, President William Ruto has made a bold move by convincing over 30 Jubilee MPs to switch sides to the government, leaving his former boss and handshake partner, Uhuru Kenyatta (H.E Rtd), with a political crisis on his hands. A day prior, nine MPs aligned with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga made a similar move, denting Raila’s power in Parliament. This unprecedented and calculated move has left the two political heavyweights facing a political crisis as their numbers dwindle in the legislature.
Ruto Dangles a Carrot for Jubilee MPs
In a meeting with Jubilee MPs, President Ruto openly dangled the carrot of power, assuring the MPs that they were back home. However, the opposition argues that the President’s intentions are sinister and aimed at boosting his efforts to control both houses of Parliament. Ruto revealed his intentions, “We will be seeking your support on Bills and regulations on the Housing Fund, Water Purchasing Agreements, among others.”
Political Analysts Weigh In
Governance analysts were consulted to determine if President Ruto’s poaching of elected leaders from both the Jubilee Party and the Orange Democratic Movement exposed the former president. Political analyst Nafula Kisiangani said, “Uhuru should not be worried as long as he plans to do the right thing. If it is paying tax, he should do so like any other Kenyan without politicizing the matter.” Professor Herman Manyora added that Uhuru had nothing to worry about even after losing members of his Jubilee Party.
Revenge or Smart Politics?
The Orange Democratic Movement alleged that MPs allied to Raila were bribed to switch sides, with claims of Ksh50 million offered. However, Sirisia MP, John Waluke, who was part of the Jubilee delegation, was previously quoted pleading with Ruto to intervene in his Ksh297 million corruption case. Raila accused Ruto of being on a revenge mission against Uhuru, who is said to have cut Ruto’s power while they were in power between 2017 and 2022.
Retired President’s Global Influence
Renowned lawyer, Dunstan Omari, argued that the former president still wields international power. Omari warned, “The retired president has a lot of force globally. Raila combined with Uhuru globally controls 80 percent of the networks. Ruto is a local president.”
In conclusion, the President’s bold move to poach politicians from both Jubilee and ODM has left many questions unanswered. Is this a case of revenge or smart politics? Only time will tell, but for now, the political landscape in Kenya has shifted, and President Ruto is seemingly outshining his political masters.