President Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto. 

| File | Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Uhuru to turn tide on Ruto in Mt Kenya backyard

When it comes to political metamorphosis, few can match the progression President Uhuru Kenyatta has had over the past decade.

Known for his calm demeanor and occasional public display of rage, the President appears to have rolled up his sleeves for the big battle ahead. In recent weeks, he has been taking on critics of his government.

Mr Kenyatta’s allies say it’s right for him to come out swinging and assert his political authority after months of attacks from allies of Deputy President William Ruto.

Nyeri Town MP Ngunjiri Wambugu said judging by the way political events are fast unfolding, his opponents may well have played into the President’s trap.

“He had asked us to stop political campaigns, focus on development and wait for the right time,” said Mr Wambugu.

The MP said it was wrong for the DP and his allies to begin campaigns early at a time the government’s focus was on delivering services.

“Jubilee Party will replace every person we have lost. The President will take responsibility of delivering those positions because he is still our party leader now that his second term is coming to an end,” Mr Wambugu said.

Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni said those who thought the President was politically helpless were wrong. 

“He rarely removes his eye from the ball. He has delivered more than any other President. He did not just wake up to politics the other day, he’s a schemer. He usually plays his cards close to his chest and once he identifies a cause of action he will always follow it,” Mr Kioni said.

“He has had political partners not on the same wavelength as his, politicians keen on consolidating power and less concerned about the people. We will follow Kenyatta’s path.”

Mt Kenya MCAs’ caucus chairperson Charles Ng’ang’a said the political astuteness of the Head of State had been underestimated.

“His opponents did the mistake of taking his silence for weakness. His party has said it will have no presidential candidate and therefore he has the social and political right to support whoever he wants,” he said.

North Imenti MP Rahim Dawood added: “His assertions could have political repercussions in Mt Kenya. In some places, it won’t.”

Kieni MP Kanini Kega said Dr Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) wave in the region would eventually fade away.

“The wave is dying whereas the Azimio la Umoja movement is gaining momentum. It’s a question of strategy and we have a proper road map,” he said.

In 2020, Jubilee vice-chairman David Murathe had indicated the President was going to be “ruthlessly efficient” in his second term of office. His sentiments were interpreted as a continuation of the hardline stance against the Dr Ruto.

Speaking in Mombasa on Monday, President Kenyatta said he won’t be held hostage by the politics of succession.

“I will vote for whoever my conscience believes in as I only have one vote. But if there is one or even two people who listen to me I will not hesitate to explain my choice of a successor,” he said.

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