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February 24, 2020 - 01:50
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Why Ruto should learn rules of the game being played in Jubilee

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GITAU WARIGI

By GITAU WARIGI
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I want to believe that the strange proposals we have been hearing about President Uhuru Kenyatta mutating into a Prime Minister post-2022 are not serious.

They could be trial balloons. Or somebody could be playing at something else.

My hunch is that the obvious target who is high up in the Jubilee hierarchy is being sized up on how he will react.

It is all a tactic, I think.

When you want to throw an opponent off-balance, you draw him into chasing shadows such as these.

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It could even be a warning shot. A whiff of grapeshot, Napoleon Bonaparte famously called it.

There are enough reasons to make me suspect that the proponents of this idea are playing games.

(In my estimation, only Cotu’s Francis Atwoli speaks with complete sincerity about Uhuru extending his term in office).

Would Uhuru be so brazen as to do ‘a Vladimir Putin’? (This is in reference to the Russian leader who metamorphoses in power by shifting from the presidency to the premiership and back again as circumstances require).

Unlike the Russian leader who carries his full power into whichever office he is occupying, Uhuru would actually be stepping down the ladder to a lower office if he wants to become PM after leaving State House.

Is he inclined to do that? Come on, that’s like a demotion, even if the proposed PM’s office may carry some executive heft.

I am trying to imagine Uhuru going back to Gatundu to campaign for his old parliamentary seat, while subjecting himself to the sarcastic insults from the likes of Moses Kuria, the current MP.

Even after he re-wins the seat – and presumably his party manages to get the national majority necessary to secure him the premiership – just picture the ex-President sitting in the National Assembly taking in the usual rudeness during debates from MPs such as Babu Owino or Oscar Sudi. It is comical.

In the days of yore, a man wishing to bring home a second wife would send subtle signals to his household.

Almost nonchalantly, he would remark over dinner that a neighbour or a friend had taken in a new lass. He would then carefully gauge, over a period, the reaction of his missus to this news. Happily the wives of those days were submissive, not like the modern vixens who will throw tantrums and even pack their bags and leave.

In Jubilee, the party household is in total meltdown.

The first wife, so to speak, is in the process of being divorced as a prominent replacement is eagerly waiting in the wings.

The status of this incoming spouse is all but assured, the sooner the divorcee vacates the premises.

The bewildered children (meaning Uhuru’s core constituency) have no clue what is going on.

There have been insistent demands from Uhuru’s Mt Kenya power base that he should openly tell them what went wrong in their Jubilee home.

Like everybody else, they know the marriage has broken down beyond repair. All they want to be told are the reasons.

Uhuru must oblige and give full disclosure. Contrary to perceptions, his base will understand.

Depending on whether the reasons are deemed sound – and one assumes they are – he will retain their solid loyalty as before. Undiluted.

If I was Tangatanga, what would seriously worry me more than the prime ministerial chatter is the situation in the Jubilee Party.

Secretary-General Raphael Tuju’s recent declaration that corrupt people would be kept at arm’s length may have been delivered in vague and general terms, yet it was a very loaded pointer to a larger design.

Anti-corruption schemes could be merely a justification, but therein is a threat Tangatanga should take very, very seriously.

They should have no illusions about the underlying message: Uhuru has no intention of relinquishing control of the party.

The leadership of Jubilee will be Uhuru’s post-presidency perch through which he intends to continue to play a high-profile political role in the country.

The party elections due in March will definitely be choreographed for the desired effect – to leave Uhuru in charge.

William Ruto could lose incalculably if he chooses to stage an all-out war.

He risks losing everything in the party and being forced to decamp to another one or create a new party from scratch.

With just about two years to 2022, time is woefully short for that.

Once it dawns on Tangatanga that Jubilee has shareholders they can’t call to account, they will be left with no option but to “tangatanga” their way to another outfit.

Charles Rubia played a larger-than-life role in helping free Kenya from an odious dictatorship.

He paid dearly for it. But thanks to his efforts, and those of known others, we can now breathe the fresh air of liberty.

The debt we owe him and his colleagues will remain etched in our collective memory forever.

Fare thee well, hero of the Second Liberation.

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