What you need to know:
- Deputy President William Ruto not keen to openly go against his boss, allies say.
- DP's allies have also advised him to save his money for the 2022 presidential campaign.
Allies of Deputy President William Ruto have revealed why he will not lead a ‘No’ campaign in the referendum.
They also plan to change the Constitution and reverse some of the proposals if he becomes president in 2022.
Though the DP has poked holes in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), he has refused to oppose it outright even as some of his allies push him to do it.
Though he may not hold rallies against the referendum, he is planning to snub all the BBI popularisation campaigns.
Nation has learnt that the second-in-command will remain silent because he does not want a messy confrontation with his boss.
His allies have also advised him to save his money for the 2022 presidential campaign and to back candidates who can give him leverage in both National Assembly and the Senate.
Taking the President head-on would mean he drops all pretext that he is not defying his boss, a narrative he has so far sustained despite apparent contradictions, and brave the consequences of the Head of State going after him in a backlash, according to Keiyo South MP Daniel Rono.
The legislator told Nation that they had instructed ward reps allied to the DP to conduct public participation for the sake of their constituents.
It’s a view shared by Bomet Senator Christopher Lang’at.
“It’s unwise to come out openly to face your boss; in fact, it’s us who told him to avoid at all costs, any action, which might be interpreted as confronting his boss.”
Nation has established that the DP and his troops want to paint themselves as the saviour of Kenyans and will not be party to any amendments, which, they say, will burden the taxpayer.
The DP’s allies who spoke to Nation yesterday said that even though they have issues with the BBI, they will not openly oppose it, but neither will they support its campaigns.
Aldai MP Cornelius Serem, an ardent Ruto ally, told those championing the BBI to proceed with their plans instead of waiting for a contest with the DP, which is not forthcoming.
“We raised our reservations, but the ‘deep state’ has refused to listen to us. The DP is not going to join any BBI campaigns, but we are optimistic that it will be shot down by citizens,” Mr Serem said.
These sentiments were echoed by Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, who said that they don’t want to be drawn into a competition that will result into divisions ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa said: “Ruto will never lead any campaign... his foot soldiers’ body language will indicate his stand.”
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and Woman Representative Gladys Shollei said that if Ruto’s ‘Hustler Nation’ forms the next government, they will initiate another constitutional amendments process.
“There is no need to worry about this BBI because when it passes, within the 100 days of Ruto’s administration, we shall launch an amendment process to weed out the contentious clauses,” Ms Shollei said.
The camp does not want to be found in an awkward situation when it comes to the referendum with most of the DP allies hoping that it will be rejected.
Former Majority Whip and Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali said they are not going to lead a No campaign because they want Kenyans to benefit from its good parts.
The DP, while in Kapsisiywa, Nandi County, recently asked residents of his Rift Valley political bastion not to bother with the BBI. He told them that he was well-prepared, whether or not it passes.
“This BBI issue should not worry you. There’s no loss, if it’s passed or not. I’m well prepared for the bigger fight,” Mr Ruto said in the local dialect.