During the round table meeting with journalists towards the end of last year, President Kenyatta categorically stated that persistent questioning about 2022 succession would anger him. Prior to that, he had said that he would shock us by his choice of successor.
President Kenyatta focuses, he says, on leaving a legacy when his term ends. Well, as he focuses on the four agendas, politics is brewing, mostly alluding to the ‘annulment of a memorandum of understanding’ between President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
The decision by the president to keep mum on the issue of succession is worrying many supporters of DP Ruto. Even though he stated before that he will do his ten and then his deputy ten, it is far from reassuring now that he does not want openly admit it at the moment.
Kenyan politics has been full of betrayals, the later being Kibaki and Kalonzo. Raila Odinga was also among those who had their pre-election agreements ignored by the immediate former president Kibaki.
The mother of all betrayals was in 2002 when the then outgoing president Moi endorsed a relatively unknown political novice in Jomo’s son, Uhuru Kenyatta. I think that decision by former president Moi will be the guiding principle that Uhuru Kenyatta will use when choosing his successor.
That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if President Kenyatta chooses Gideon Moi as his successor, to return the hand. Morally, that political decision is greater because Moi chose him despite odds being stacked against him at the time.
Immediately before the 2017 elections, Gideon Moi’s party KANU was in the opposition. In fact, its secretary general Nick Salat categorically stated that ‘tuko ndaani ndaaani kabisa.’ It took Mama Ngina’s visit to Kabarak for the sons of the first two presidents of Kenya to agree to work together, making a mockery of Nick Salat’s now famous declaration.
As a result, 2022 politics will eventually be decided by Uhuru, as he keeps his cards close to his chest. Even then he owes a debt to the Mois more than he owes William Ruto.
Basically, DP Ruto should expect betrayal from his boss.