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Will Ruto’s survival instincts win him top seat in 2022?

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Of all the Youth for Kanu ‘92 operatives, William Ruto is the only one who has survived the labyrinth of Kenyan politics to rise and become the Deputy President.

From nowhere, he is perched near the top — the second-in-command.

Of all the political rookies who got fame running a well-oiled campaign to keep President Daniel arap Moi and Kanu in power in 1992, and where the culture of sleaze, and cash-inspired defections was perfected, Dr Ruto has managed to run his own race and is the most successful, both politically and financially.

Now, he is eyeing the presidency in 2022, which will also be the 30th anniversary of the YK’92, which introduced him to national politics.

His comrades — Mr Cyrus Jirongo (national chairman), Mr Sam Nyamweya (treasurer) and Mr Moses Kurgat (secretary-general) — have faded into oblivion. But it is Dr Ruto — then a 25-year-old University of Nairobi Zoology graduate tasked to run the secretariat as Mr Joe Kimkung’s deputy — who has perfected the art of survival.

Ever since, Dr Ruto has played his political cards well and has, for the last 28 years, managed to build formidable networks in the country. The one-time minion of YK’92 is now the man to beat in 2022 and he has kept the country on its toes with his brand of politics: Popular mass mobilisation.

It is not lost to observers that the DP has become a veteran of local politics having mastered the language, mannerisms and organisational skills he learnt in his early years within YK’92. His bold criticism of the so-called “dynasties” and “system” — and showcasing himself as a member of the proletariat — is an indicator of where he targets to harvest his votes from.

YK’92 hardened Dr Ruto. Soft-speaking and combative at the same time, he faced the first political fallout shortly after President Moi disbanded the lobby in June 1993.

READ ALSO:   Why Ruto is no longer in Uhuru succession plan

Dr Ruto, who was the executive officer, was arrested on June 15, 1993 and interrogated. That was a result of the power-play at State House where they thought that power was now getting into the heads of YK’92 honchos. It was time to clip their image and ego. While most vanished into thin air, a few remained.

Dr Ruto’s rise in wealth and politics was meteoric and the innocence of a man whose Christian demeanour was known in the University of Nairobi’s Christian Union, was easily shattered. Gone was the yellow Honda Civic that he used to drive to the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) as a member of YK’92.

In business, after they all left KICC, Dr Ruto was supported by Mr Jirongo, the moneyed chairman of the lobby, to start a tour company that was housed on the third floor of Rehema House.

Occasionally, he would be seen in the company of former Lonhro boss, Mr Mark Too, as he plotted the ouster of the then Eldoret North MP William arap Saina.

Various interests had converged to make sure that former MP Reuben Chesire never returned to Nandi politics. During the 1997 campaigns, Mr Chesire claimed that Dr Ruto had punched him during a heated debate at State House. Dr Ruto denied it, but admitted that he cautioned the elderly politician against undermining him.

Friday March 13 2020

Until March 9, 2018, Deputy President William Ruto was all set to ascend to the presidency. Then the Handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga happened. It scuttled all the plans. What occurred subsequently changed the game plan.

And now Dr Ruto has to fight not just to keep his presidential hopes alive but also to stay on as the DP. He has increasingly become belligerent and thrown caution to the wind. His statements and body language show a man with urgency. He brooks no nonsense and ready to payback in kind — brickbats and broadsides in equal measure.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Now DP's wife Rachael Ruto apologises to Kenyans

Last weekend, he launched a blistering attack on top officials in government and what he called “the system”, accusing them of plotting to kill him to block his quest for the presidency. Over time, he has assembled and fashioned a team of loyalists with equally blithering tongues.

All indications are that things are not well for him. On Wednesday, a group of MPs from across the political divide tore into him at a press conference and categorically demanded his resignation for disobeying President Kenyatta.

At the time, President Moi was trying to cultivate some Young Turks to take some positions in Kanu and he trusted Dr Ruto for exhibiting Christian morals. In most meetings, where Dr Ruto was present, he would be asked to lead prayers, earning Mzee Moi’s respect.

But for Mr Too, he was trying to build his own political base and eclipse the likes of Mr Henry Kosgey and Mr Ezekiel Barng’etuny. In the Kanu politics, he was one man who would make the President burst into unending laughter and was the Mr Fix It or ”Bwana Dawa” of the regime. With Mr Too’s blessings, Dr Ruto was in good hands and he easily won the Eldoret North seat in 1997 on a Kanu ticket.

As a gifted speaker, teetotaller and a good listener, Dr Ruto quickly earned his place in Parliament as a fervent debater. He was in a group that comprised Mr Kipruto arap Kirwa, Mr John Sambu and Mr Jirongo — a team that championed the revitalisation of Kanu from within and who challenged the old guard.

President Moi had, at first, appointed Mr Kirwa an assistant minister for Agriculture and in 1998, he appointed Dr Ruto an assistant minister in the Office of the President — perhaps to silence them. But the appointment gave him a chance to have a taste of life on the fast lane.

With Mzee Moi’s succession taking twists and turns, Dr Ruto watched as his mentor, Too, gave away his nominated seat to a newcomer, Uhuru Kenyatta, who had failed to clinch the Gatundu South seat on a Kanu ticket in the 1997 General Election after garnering 10,000 votes against Mr Moses Mwihia’s 20,000.

READ ALSO:   Raila: This is my problem with William Ruto

A disappointed Mr Kenyatta had retreated to oblivion until 1999 when President Moi appointed him the chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board, then nominated him to Parliament in 2001.

As President Moi tried to sell Mr Kenyatta’s candidacy in 2002, he counted on the Young Turks like Dr Ruto to lend support — after all, it was time for the old guard to leave. But it was a political goof for Mzee Moi managed to damage the ruling party beyond repair, having underestimated Mr Raila Odinga’s political acumen.

While most of the Kanu veterans left with Mr Odinga and found space within the Kibaki-Ngilu-Wamalwa axis to form the National Rainbow Coalition, only Dr Ruto, and to an extent Mr Musalia Mudavadi — who had been lured back with the position of vice-president — remained to campaign for Mr Kenyatta.

Mr Ruto faced a bruising battle in Eldoret North against Mr Chesire but recaptured his seat by garnering 31,146 votes against Mr Chesire’s 24,258.

At the Serena Hotel, Dr Ruto stood behind Mr Kenyatta as he congratulated Mr Mwai Kibaki for winning the 2002 race. Most Kanu insiders shied away.

However, it was political fate, rather than friendship, that brought the two together as they found themselves thrown to the International Criminal Court after the 2007 post-election violence.

They used the case to galvanise their support and won the 2013 race. They would be re-elected in 2017, albeit controversially. But whether or not he survives the storms towards the presidency, Dr Ruto will go down in history as the man who rose from nowhere and ended somewhere.

By Nation.co.ke


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Courts

Four children fight claims they were disowned by late MP

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Four children of former Keiyo North MP William Murgor yesterday fought allegations that they had been disowned by their father before his death.

While testifying before the High Court in Eldoret, Ambrose Kiplagat Murgor, one of the four children said to have been born out of wedlock, told the court their father never disowned him or any of his three siblings.

While being cross-examined before Justice Hellen Omondi, Mr Kiplagat said he was a biological child of the late MP, adding that the contrary claims were only made to lock him and his siblings out of the MP’s vast estate.

“My late father never disowned me or my siblings,” Kiplagat told the court.

He said he was born in 1970 at Murgor’s Kaptagat farm before they moved in 1976 to Chesigot farm in Elgeyo Marakwet County.

The four – Kiplagat, Oscar Murgor, Sharon Murgor and Faith Murgor – who are children of the former MP’s fourth wife Anna Kimoi, have told the court they were brought up with the other children.

“We were raised together with the other siblings from the different houses. I was in school with my two brothers, Collins and Kenneth, in the same primary school, all along living as brothers,” he added.

READ ALSO:   Why Ruto is no longer in Uhuru succession plan

He told the court that he did not know the reasons as to why he and his brother Oscar did not get a share of their father’s farms like rest of his siblings.

Kiplagat added that his elder sister Enid Cheptanui filed the case against her step-brother Francis Murgor, Chemutai Murgor and Keiyo North MP Dr James Murgor for excluding them in the distribution of the Sh1.4 billion family estate.

While testifying in the succession dispute, James denied knowing Kiplagat and his three siblings Oscar, Sheila and Faith Murgor.

While James claimed to have only been familiar with them for a few years, Kiplagat on the other hand told the court the MP was well known to him and that he had even campaigned for him.

“I campaigned for him in three elections, and he always introduced me as his brother. When my mother was sick, I was in contact with the MP, who even helped in paying the hospital bill,”

by Stanardmedia.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Mukhisa Kituyi: Why I think I can be a good President

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He is considered one of Kenya’s finest brains and has held several high positions both locally and internationally.

Currently serving as the Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Dr Mukhisa Kituyi’s decorated CV is impeccable.

In an interview with a local TV station on Wednesday, Kituyi spoke of his desire to occupy Kenya’s top seat, saying rising from adversity during his childhood days is a huge motivation.

“As I have gone to 119 countries around the world, I am constantly asking myself what they are doing better than us that makes them shine.

“I feel my body still has the energy…my head still has the intellectual capacity to make that contribution in a practical way…” he said.

Adding: “I have a sense of shared empathy with the vulnerable, not only a desire to give hope to the hopeless but a burning ambition that through enterprise Kenya, I can be part of the solutions to build Kenya for the next generation.”

Kituyi said once he leaves his position at the UN he will share his ideas with Kenyans and he strongly believes he will be the right person for the job.

READ ALSO:   Why Ruto is no longer in Uhuru succession plan

“In the increasingly likely case that I will be offering candidature for President of this country after I leave my position with the UN, I think I will give the Kenyan population reason why I think I will be the right person for that job.

“I cannot do it while I am still winding down my international obligations but I think I am the face of a set of Kenyans who believe in purposeful Kenya,” he said.

Responding to those who claim he is not in touch with the realities on the ground due to extensive travel, Kituyi said he believes in constant learning and does not have all the answers but wants to be part of a team that will engage in structured positive conversations.

Mukhisa has also had stints in the political arena having been elected to the Kenyan Parliament for the first time in 1992 on a Ford-Kenya ticket and was re-elected in 1997 and 2002 as Kimilili MP.

He was also Kenya’s Minister of Trade and Industry from 2002 to 2007. During this period, Kituyi chaired the Council of Ministers of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the African Trade Ministers’ Council for two years.

He also served as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, and was the lead negotiator for Eastern and Southern African ministers during the European Union-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations.

READ ALSO:   Raila: This is my problem with William Ruto

He was convenor of the agriculture negotiations carried out at the World Trade Organization’s Sixth Ministerial Conference held in Hong Kong, China in 2005.

From 2008 to 2012, Kituyi was a member of a team of experts advising the presidents of the nations of the East African Community on how to establish more effective regional economic links.

From 2011 to 2012, he was a consultant for the African Union Commission, where he helped to develop the structure for a pan-African free trade area.

Immediately before becoming UNCTAD Secretary-General, Kituyi was Chief Executive of the Kenya Institute of Governance based in Nairobi.

by Standardmedia.co.ke


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Lifestyle

Man’s burial inside his house baffles Kirinyaga residents

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Residents of Mucagara Village in Kirinyaga County were on Wednesday evening treated to a rare funeral after a man was buried inside his house.

They watched in astonishment as the coffin containing the remains of the 65-year-old retired coffee factory manager, Simon Muriithi Mwaniki, was lowered into the grave that had been dug in the living room.

Some whispered to each other during the dramatic send-off which left many in awe.

According to the man’s relative, prior to his death, he had expressed his wish to be buried in the house.

Emotions ran high as the funeral ceremony went on in the village in Gichugu Constituency.

“We had to act according to his wishes to avoid a curse and being haunted by his spirits,” said Mr James Njuki, the man’s eldest son.

Mwaniki was hurriedly buried in a brief ceremony conducted by an African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa priest, Jackson Muchiri.

Committed suicide

When Mwaniki committed suicide, no one mourned his death as he had asked family members not to do so when he was alive.

“Before he took his life he had told us that there should be no mourning when he dies. Therefore, we ensured that we never gathered at any time within the homestead to mourn him,” added Mr Njuki.

READ ALSO:   VIDEO: Now DP's wife Rachael Ruto apologises to Kenyans

Mr Njuki recalled how on November 18 they found their father dangling from the roof of his house with a rope around his neck.

It was then that the matter was reported to the local police officers who drove to the scene and took the body to Kibugi Funeral Home.

His children suspected that their father took his life due to the depression he suffered after his wife, Juliana Muthoni, died.

“My father started drinking heavily after his wife died. He loved my mother so much and we think he was so much affected by her death and became depressed,” said Mr Njuki.

Rev Muchiri described the funeral as unique.

“For the 38 years that I have been conducting funerals, this is the first time to bury someone inside a house,” he said.

The residents said they were taken aback when they arrived at the homestead and saw the grave inside Mwaniki’s house.

“We were baffled. We have never witnessed such a funeral in this village. This is a funeral of its own kind which shocked all of us,” Mr Eliud Muriithi said.

by nation.africa


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