By Geofrey Mbui
It is no secret that DP William Ruto is eyeing for the top seat in 2020 elections. With campaign fever already in thanks to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), DP has embarked on a charm offensive to counter the anti-Ruto message from the establishment. the main approach is the utilization of the populism strategies that are tested and proven to be effective in winning elections or even propelling authoritarians to power. Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Fidel Castro are some of the charlatans who utilised the strategy to get power and proceeded to instil tyranny in their countries.
Andre Murno, an editor at Encyclopaedia Britannica defines populism as a movement or a political tool that champions the interests and needs of the commoners and contrasts them with the needs of the elite (establishment). In 2016, U.S President Donald Trump won masses with the message of Make America Great Again (MAGA). The message was directed at poor citizens who saw their jobs shipped to China, Canada, and Mexico as well as the middle class which was shrinking. He promised more manufacturing jobs, strong border laws and control, lower taxes, and better healthcare system. The populism message was effective and resulted to massive wins in all battleground States making him the 45th President of the United States of America.
Deputy President, facing isolation from his own Jubilee party and sensing betrayal State house has resulted to populism antics directed at the common man. From meetings with comedians to support to the Kenyan informal industrial sector (Jua Kali), he has sought to connect with the struggles of the common man. Having been labelled as an incompetent and corrupt leader, Ruto has sought to stay out of the Covid-19 response teams and instead quarantined himself at his residence where he meets with political strategists and common people from all walks of life. The result has been overwhelming support across the country.
Recently, the DP talked about the dynasties and the Deep State and their efforts to frustrate his State House bid. Rather than focusing to impress the Deep State, he embarked on charm offensive to grow his support among the commoners. The populism tactics are paying off as the President seems to be facing a rebellion from his base. Many Kenyans are realizing that the dynasties have taken them for a ride and hence the ‘Hustler’ message appeals to majority of the people.
DP William Ruto Presidency dreams are valid and realistic. In 2002, Kenyans voters voted out the Kanu regime and former President Moi puppets due to the frustrations with the economy and tyranny. History repeats itself and 2022 seems to be a replica of 2002 end of Kanu domination. Currently, the Deep State are looking for a suitable candidate to impose on the Kenyan voters. In the current political class, only Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga can compete with the DP and any other Surrogate candidate will lose miserably. For now, DP William Ruto populist tactics are paying off and the only way to defeat him is to rig the election.
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