By Salim Lone
WHERE DOES RUTO STAND?
I am used to pro-Jubilee bloggers launching instant attacks and personal abuse whenever I post a political comment on Kenya. My views are guaranteed to be an anathema to them! So when I saw scores of DP Ruto supporters backing what I had posted on Facebook two days ago, I knew I had been definitely misunderstood.
In re-reading my brief post, I realized that it was possible to misunderstand it by those who do not know me. But those who know me and responded, understood what I meant. I am pasting my original post at the end of this comment for those who missed it.
The point I was making in that post was that mega corruption lies at the core of our entire political system and is responsible for the DP’s success in winning over many politicians with the billions he has accumulated. Our utterly venal system in which the “loyalties” of too many politicians are for sale is what has made it possible for the DP to look like he will succeed in taking the Jubilee nomination for the 2022 presidential election. He is also highly organized and had taken over significant portions of the machinery of state. He was also the Jubilee point man for IEBC.
That is how he managed to determine many Jubilee nominees in last year’s election, despite other contestants being more popular in the constituency and who in some cases were preferred by President Uhuru Kenyatta. He is known to be a ruthless politician who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal of becoming president and we must persevere in supporting the most progressive candidate for 2022.
Luckily, he has since the Handshake suffered a significant number of setbacks and this can be seen in his frenetic activity to somehow hold on to what he had. But we should not make the mistake of being lulled into believing he is finished.
Another dimension of the struggles now underway is the mass disillusionment over the possibility of Kenya’s conducting free, fair and democratic elections. Raila won all the ones since 2007 but was not declared President. So while the Handshake has resulted in a dramatic easing of tensions, we must keep up popular political mobilizations which help to highlight who are the genuinely popular leaders.
The larger solution that I see, as I indicated in my original post, is that Kenyans must keep organizing to fix our mega corrupt and totally broken system. That is the great goal of the Handshake of course, which will only be met if the powerful, well-entrenched Kenya elite which supports President Kenyatta is prepared to give up a big chunk of the massive wealth and political power it controls. In any event the Handshake will have a much greater chance of succeeding if people power stays on full display.
MY ORIGINAL POST:
The Handshake lulled many into believing Ruto 2022 was now finished. Ruto is just about cleverest, most organized leader in Kenya. Look at this line up and the one at the Coast with 22 MPs in September. Mega corruption is not a handicap but an essential strength for winning votes and politicians in our TOTALLY broken system. KEEP ORGANIZING, INCLUDING TO CHANGE SYSTEM!