After being outwitted both in government and in the Jubilee party, Deputy President William Ruto has began charting a new path by assembling an efficient team, backed by financial muscle to win the 2022 presidential elections.
In Mombasa, Ruto has roped in former Senator Hassan Omar who has teamed up with Mohammed Ali and Aisha Jumwa to make inroads in a region that was traditionally perceived to be Raila Odinga’s turf.
He has also tapped in to the expertise of former Senator Johnstone Muthama who was at the center of the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) as well as the National Super Alliance (NASA).
Muthama is tasked with tackling Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s influence in the Ukambani region and for marshaling the region to vote for DP Ruto.
Taming the Raila influence in Western Kenya
Western Kenya is perhaps one of the areas where DP Ruto has made significant gains with several lawmakers joining his bandwagon and the Tanga Tanga outfit.
The man tasked with ensuring victory for the DP is former Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale who is backed by several MPs from the region.
To secure the much-needed votes for the DP, he will have to battle with Odinga’s influence in a region that has in the past shunned their own sons (Mudavadi and Wetangula) in favour of the ODM party leader.
Davis Chirchir who was Jubilee chief agent in the last general elections has also been brought on board by the DP to aid his teams.
Media reports indicate that the DP has cast his nets wider and has been linked to clashes in the Amani National Congress (ANC) where several senior party officials resigned in a huff.
Among those who resigned are Barrack Muluka and Eliud Owalo with DP Ruto’s name surfacing amid allegations that the duo had been pushing party leader Musalia Mudavadi to join the DP Ruto bandwagon and shelve his own bid.
“Mr Owalo was a mole who came to the party to drive Ruto’s agenda,” said Lugari MP Ayub Savula.
Rebellion in Mount Kenya
Recent developments have left no doubt that DP Ruto if not President Uhuru Kenyatta's automatic successor in the Mount Kenya region as initially thought by many.
With increasing resistance to his 2022 bid and with more leaders warming up to the idea of a Raila Odinga presidency, Ruto has had to rethink his strategy and assembly a new team.
His mount Kenya brigade is led by a team of youthful lawmakers including Kimani Ichungwah (Kikuyu) and Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) who are expected to face off with experienced names such as David Murathe and Peter Kenneth to bring in the votes.
With almost two years to go and with political realignments yet to peak, political moves and alliances formed over the next 24 months determine who carries the day in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.