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How 'helpless' DP Ruto is confusing his supporters

Curtis Otieno
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Deputy President William Ruto speaking at the Chatham House Conference in London on Friday. He stressed on the need to change bits of the Constitution. [Source/ William Ruto]

Deputy President William Ruto is undoubtedly a confused fellow with regards to the heating referendum debate.

When it first emerged after the March 9 truce between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, the DP immediately threw the bid out of the window.

He termed it a scheme to salvage election losers by allocating them offices, insisting that he will not be party to such attempts.

He, however, has gone ahead to give different accounts on his stand on the proposed constitutional changes, supporting it and disapproving it on different occasions.

Initially, he said that those campaigning for the changes should go on but he will not take part as he is busy with service delivery.  He insisted that elections are over and its time to work.

Speaking during the Chatham House conference in London Friday, the DP softened his stance on the push, this time supporting it and proposing the inclusion of the opposition in government.

“I further propose that with the leader of opposition taking leadership of the opposition in parliament, the DP should be the Leader of Government Business in Parliament. This should be replicated with Deputy Governor at the counties," he said as quoted by the Standard.

This is likely to confuse his supporters, especially in Rift Valley, most of whom remain stuck to his initial declaration that there will be no referendum at all.

Let it be remembered that a good number of Kenyans, Rift Valley residents included, are not conversant with the bits he wants to be changed or are illiterate and are just asking one question; "Will there be a referendum or not?".

Telling such people to change this and that and not the other is only confusing them and making them more helpless and vulnerable.

He is worsening the case by engaging in the referendum debate in the first place, after initially maintaining that the issue is neither here nor there.

His supporters are now confused about where to stand, what to expect and are trying to understand what exactly is going on.

The region is his main stronghold and all his moves have a direct effect on the people and his allies from the area.

However, it's worth noting that the DP is himself helpless and has to move with the current for fear of registering a terrible loss if the referendum is fronted.

His initial opposition of the changes has been rendered useless by the large team that has declared support for the referendum.

The team is led by President Uhuru Kenyatta who has repeatedly stressed the need for the removal of the winner takes it all system. Uhuru's proposal enjoys the support of all opposition figures.

Alone and surrounded, Ruto remains helpless and has to move with the wind.

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-Curtis Otieno

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