Uhuru must impeach, charge or make way for President Ruto

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and his deputy William Ruto attend the installation of Abraham Mulwa as presiding bishop of Africa Inland Church (AIC) Milimani, Nairobi, on January 26, 2020. PHOTO | JONAH MWANGI | DPPS

What you need to know:

  • Either Mr Ruto should resign because he’s now a “jobless” deputy president, or he should declare open war on his boss instead of being falsely servile.
  • We need our freedom from the Kenyatta-Ruto war of supremacy. They should fish, or cut bait. We are tired.

For Deputy President William Ruto, there will be no in-betweens come 2022.

The man from Sugoi is either staring at an abyss, or ascending a mountain – maybe THE mountain. Two men – and only they – will determine Mr Ruto’s destiny. That’s Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM’s Raila Odinga.

Perhaps Mr Ruto didn’t get the memo, but I am afraid his fate is in the hands of others. This isn’t a matter of sentiment, but fact.

So whether you like it, or not, is completely irrelevant. Those are the facts, ma’am, as they say in English. So, calm down and read on – you may learn a thing, or two. Power is only taken at a revolution, but given at the ballot box.

It’s clear to all and sundry, including the proverbial chickens in the village, that Mr Kenyatta has absolutely no use for Mr Ruto. None.

I get the impression Mr Kenyatta wants to spit in disgust every time he sees Mr Ruto, or hears his name. In Things Fall Apart, the iconic anti-colonial novel, Chinua Achebe quotes the "The Second Coming", the poem by Irish Poet William Butler Yates.

In it, the “falcon cannot hear the falconer” because “things fall apart”, and the “centre cannot hold” for “mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”.

If the poem is an ode to Jubilee and the relationship between Mr Ruto and Mr Kenyatta, then so be it. Mr Ruto’s geese are cooked.


I once wrote that Jubilee was “nonsense on stilts” that couldn’t take two steps without collapsing into a heap. Some diehard hirelings flogged me for the statement.

Well, Jubilee took a step and a half and then collapsed. Today, there’s no conceivable universe in which Mr Kenyatta will hand power over to Mr Ruto.

I know, I know. You want to remind me of democracy and the people’s vote at the ballot box – yada, yada. Knock yourself out. But if you live in Kenya, you are much wiser.

The person who succeeds Mr Kenyatta will be “made” president – he, or she, will not make themselves president. This is where, like calculus, the math gets difficult for Mr Ruto.

The gladiators in the Colosseum in Ancient Rome weren’t cowards. They wouldn’t endlessly circle each other. Once, or twice, was enough and then the battle would be joined. Often, they fought to the death.

I don’t know about you, but I am bored by the spectacle of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto circling each other times without number. Enough! Let the battle be joined.

Either Mr Ruto should resign because he’s now a “jobless” deputy president, or he should declare open war on his boss instead of being falsely servile and obsequiously fearful.


The better course is for Mr Ruto to quit and form a monster opposition. He’s foolish to think he can replicate the late Daniel Moi’s script.

Mr Moi’s unlikely rise to power doesn’t offer Mr Ruto any useful lessons. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta may have despised Mr Moi, but he didn’t loathe him.

Importantly, Mr Moi succeeded Mzee Kenyatta because of the latter’s unexpected death, not at the ballot box. Those facts don’t obtain here.

If Mr Ruto doesn’t throw in the towel, then Mr Kenyatta should move decisively against him. Mr Kenyatta needs to either impeach Mr Ruto, or charge him for his many scandals.

If not, Mr Kenyatta risks leaving the door open for a Ruto presidency. Mr Kenyatta would then be condemned to live with the consequences – good or bad – of Mr Ruto as his overlord. That’s playing Russian roulette with Mr Ruto.

The sooner both Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto stop pussyfooting and bear their full fangs the better for Kenya.

The country can’t live with two centres of power until 2022. Something must give. Either both, or one, of them must demonstrate they understand they’ve reached the Door of No Return, their Waterloo.


A house divided can’t stand. In tandem, Mr Kenyatta needs to move with dispatch to strip Mr Ruto’s hirelings – like Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen – of their positions and trappings of power.

Mr Murkomen can’t have his cake and eat it too. My guess is Majority Leader Aden Duale will be left in place because he’s nuanced himself. He’s assumed “formlessness”, one of the48 Laws of Power.

Kenya is greater than any one person. Can I get an “Amen” for that? Thank you. If you agree, then let’s insist that Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto stop subjecting us to a daily charade of palace intrigues.

One of them needs to go for broke. Power concedes nothing without a demand. Not even the coronavirus pandemic has forced them to sheath their swords.

The to-ing and fro-ing continues without a knockout. One of them needs to strike a fatal blow. We shouldn’t be putty in their hands.

We need our freedom from the Kenyatta-Ruto war of supremacy. They should fish, or cut bait. We are tired – tumechoka.

Makau Mutua is SUNY Distinguished Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law School and Chair of KHRC. @makaumutua.


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