They say in politics there are no permanent enemies and no permanent friends — only permanent interests.
Plans for an alliance between Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga ahead of the 2022 General Election are not on the cards, Ruto’s allies have said.
Ruto’s troops said that the DP and Raila have different ideologies and cannot unite, saying the 2013 unity between Mt Kenya and Rift Valley still stands.
President Uhuru Kenyatta has publicly said he will not pick his successor from Mt Kenya or Rift Valley, suggesting it’s the turn of other communities.
He made the succession remarks on January 9 during the burial of ANC boss Musalia Mudavadi’s mother in Vihiga county. His remarks triggered speculation he could be paving the way for his handshake partner Raila
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria during an online TV interview hosted by Gerald Bitok predicted there are very good chances that Ruto and friend-turned-foe Raila would join forces.
On Wednesday, United Democratic Alliance chairman Johnson Muthama declared the party’s ideology and programmes are different from those of ODM. UDA is linked to DP Ruto
The former Machakos senator said, “Raila believes in empowering tycoons and the top of the pyramid while Ruto is for the empowerment and uplifting of the hustlers.
“UDA is pursuing a pro-people agenda while Raila is after power. For months now, we have been building a party that has a different ideology altogether. Different from what some of our competitors believe in,” he said during a phone interview with a local newspaper.
“We want a new Kenya where the wealth of our nation is distributed equally and not the current situation where a few individuals have captured the economy for their own benefit,” he said.
Muthama also said passage of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2020 in a majority of the counties — including those where Ruto enjoys huge support — should not be misconstrued to mean the DP has lost his support base.
“If MCAs were to vote on the BBI Bill without coercion and intimidation, they would not have passed it. They voted for it because they were paid. We are now waiting to see if they will also pay Kenyans to pass it in a referendum,” he said.
Governance expert and political analyst Kinoti Kaburu, “Ruto commands massive support in the larger Mt Kenya region and he would not want to sacrifice it for Raila.
“Ruto would rather fail in 2022, having had Mt Kenya and Rift Valley vote for him. There is no other politician in the history of Kenya who has had support like the backing Ruto is enjoying currently in Mt Kenya,” Kaburu said.
“Raila is baggage. Uhuru adopted him after the 2017 polls in the name of the handshake. Look at how the President is now unpopular. Ruto has the majority of elected leaders from Mt Kenya on his side and that is why even those pushing for BBI and those on the Kieleweke side do not want to be associated with Raila,” he said.
Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah said some political brokers would like a Raila-Ruto alliance after they realise that they are unable to persuade the people of Mt Kenya to abandon the DP.
He said, “The people of Mt Kenya have seen the good deeds of the DP and the plans he has that resonate well with them.
“The hustler movement is unstoppable,” he said.
Ichung’wah said the DP is focused on selling his vision and agenda to the people and has publicly said he is not seeking an endorsement, except the people’s
“Talk of him working with Raila is the fertile imagination of political conspiracy theorists,” he said.
He added, “The DP is pushing a national unity agenda devoid of ethnic and regional mobilisation and has refused the invitation to engage in this retrogressive politics around ethnicity and kingpinship.”
“We do not foresee that [a Ruto-Raila team]. There is a journey we started in 2013 and the DP is focused on that. Now, with the support of friends who have boarded the hustler ship, he is reaching out to other hustlers,” Kipkelion West MP Hilary Koskei said.
The staunch DP ally said they regard the former Prime Minister as a worthy competitor in 2022, a contest billed as do-or-die for the ODM chief.
“Raila is our main and serious competitor. We are also aware he is part of line-up projects being considered by the President’s side to succeed Uhuru. The DP is the project of Kenyans, the baton has been passed from the older generation to a younger one and it will not go back,” he said.