(Mwongela Mbiti is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a Human Rights Activist).
Deputy President William Ruto is being persecuted, and his persecution arises from his abrasive and sometimes aggressive brand of politics that is not auguring well with the king makers from the president’s backyard.
His perceived sense of entitlement and legitimate expectations for unqualified support from the president based on the Jubilee pre-election agreements make him the ultimate front runner for the 2022 elections. There is therefore need to stop him or make him work for it.
The focus on Ruto and his close allies in strategic government parastatals in the fight against corruption is intended to clip his wings moving forward and paint a picture of a corrupt and ruthless politician who cannot be trusted with the top seat.
It is a classic case of giving a dog a bad and hanging it.
The smear campaign against Ruto seeks to expose his soft underbelly and create a public perception of an insatiable glutton and a thief in pursuit of primitive accumulation of wealth.
The questionable hand of generosity and unending weekend harambees where DP Ruto spends tens of millions have also exposed him to public scrutiny and sharp focus in the wake of lifestyle audit and the need to explain his source of weekly harambee contribution could easily be linked to graft.
Ruto is not the first politician to fall victim of targeted negative publicity and ethnic profiling by the Mt. Kenya cartel.
Raila Odinga is a living example of what the cartel and the infamous Cambridge Analytica is capable of doing. Up until the March 9th handshake, Raila was the lord of poverty, master of anarchy and synonymous to violence.
This narrative has been propagated by Mt. Kenya politicians and allied media since the grand coalition government days and which camp DP Ruto joined after leaving ODM.
The perception created against Odinga created what has come to be known as ‘Raila-Phobia’ in the Jubilee dominated zones which arguably was the determinant of the both 2013 and 2017 elections.
DP Ruto’s goose is cooked, by the time they are done with him, campaigning for him in Mt. Kenya will be like selling pork in Arabia.