Deputy President William Ruto is quickly cutting the image of a man under siege from different quarters with his allies quickly turning into his enemies.
From the executive to within Jubilee party and in his own inner circles, the list of allies-turned critics keeps growing with Rachel Shebesh, Anne Waiguru being the latest to join the list of those who have rubbed him the wrong way.
Surprisingly, they were all his friends just the other day, accompanying him to political events and posing for photos.
However, things changed rapidly as soon as they voiced their opinions, going against DP Ruto’s known agenda of succeeding Presidet Uhuru Kenyatta in 2022.
Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru who was at one point fronted as DP Rut’s likely running mate in 2022 remains the best example of what happens when friendship lines are crossed and individual agenda have to be protected at all costs.
Her crime was distancing herself from the pro-Ruto Inua mama outfit and openly voicing her opinion that Kenya is not ready for another President from the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities that have led Kenya since independence.
The response DP Ruto gave left no doubt that he was not impressed with Waiguru who appeared to be opposed to his 2022 agenda.
For Shebesh, the crime was openly stating that DP Ruto and his team had accessed State House through the backdoor and pressured President Uhuru Kenyatta into endorsing McDonald Mariga for the Kibra Parliamentary seat.
She seemed to have tough Ruto where it hurts most by appearing to oppose Mariga’s candidature-A candidate who the DP vowed to campaign for aggressively and secure victory.
His response was a hard-hitting tackle posted on Twitter: "All Jubilee party supporters should ignore and treat with utter contempt rebels and those rejected by the electorate who now deceptively purport to speak for the party leadership. Let's give Mariga our flag bearer moral, material and prayerful support. Victory is surely beckoning."
DP Ruto's response
The straight-talking self-styled hustler is never shy of giving his opinion, often taking to the social media to give his verdict (as was the case with Waiguru and Shebesh) or in his speeches delivered across the country.
If not taking a swipe at an ally-turned political enemy at his numerous ‘development rallies’, he is attacking Raila Odinga, the man whose name hardly a day goes without being mentioned by the DP.
Within Jubilee party itself, DP Ruto is on record taking a swipe at party secretary general Raphael Tuju who he accused of working for the opposition.
If media reports are anything to go by, Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho falls in the category of those who have fallen out of favour with the DP.
Multiple media reports point to a silent war between the two with DP Ruto’s camp alleging that Kibicho is among those sabotaging his 2022 bid.
The above cases point to a worrying trend: Allies are without blemish as long as they are in line with the 2022 agenda. As soon as things change, they are quickly dropped as a hot potato with hard-hitting criticism.
As succession politics heat up, more political enemies and friends will emerge as individual interests and political agenda converge in a complex mix that only a few can discern.