Deputy President William Ruto has set his eyes on the highest office in the nation and nothing seems to deter him from his path.
The DP is alleged to have come up with strategies that will see him outdo his competitors before and during the 2022 presidential election.
First, he has been wooing his political opponents and raiding regions which never voted for his Jubilee Party in the last two elections. DP Ruto conquered the coast where he has had a governor and MPs allied to ODM openly endorse him.
Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, who was a fierce Jubilee critic in the Coast, changed tune and started singing praises for the DP.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, one of Ruto’s latest converts, explained his alliance with the DP as being part of the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga.
This is alleged to be the DPs strategy of winning over key regional leaders to his side and where it’s difficult, he plans to plant his allies in a key position to elbow out traditional kingpins.
DP Ruto is also said to have invested heavily in the media industry, after acquiring a controlling stake in one which publishes a daily newspaper. Notably, he has also acquired vernacular radio stations and a television station.
This will help in the messaging ahead of the 2022 election. The DP is also alleged to have acquired another TV station to be managed by a popular news anchor.
In addition, he is claimed to be planting his loyalists all around the country which has irked some politicians from the Mt Kenya region.
In Nairobi, Governor Mike Sonko is Ruto’s key point man and is on record accusing a clique of Central Kenya powermen of plotting to frustrate the DP from succeeding President Kenyatta.
The DP is also using their development record to popularise his 2022 agenda, a notable one being the Last Mile Initiative under the Energy Ministry.
Next weekend, he is expected to launch a water project in Keroka, Kisii county. Kisii and the neighbouring Nyamira counties have over successive elections resisted the Jubilee Party and the DP is keen to get through the locals with such projects.
DP Ruto’s wife, Rachel is also helping him consolidate his support by leading women drawn from villages across the country through her table banking initiative.
In order to eliminate the competition in KANU, the DP has wooed some close allies to Gideon Moi in the recent past.
Last week, Ruto ensured that KANU’s main candidate for the Baringo South parliamentary seat during the last General Election, Charles Kamuren, defected to Jubilee, leaving the party without a candidate ahead of the forthcoming by-election.
Running a successful presidential campaign requires a lot of money and those in the know indicated that DP Ruto has, for a while, been working on a plan he will unleash when the time is right.
Ruto’s point man in Western Kenya, Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa, during a recent function in the region, wondered how ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi would mount a presidential campaign “without Ksh200 billion”.
The DP is alleged to have acquired a state-of-the-art chopper worth Ksh1 billion. The aircraft, with night vision capability and radar guided avionics, will come in handy in terms of the number of public events he can attend in a day.