President Uhuru Kenyatta has been giving mixed signals about his commitment to support Ruto, amid claims that some Mount Kenya elites have been secretly gravitating towards ODM leader Raila Odinga and ANC boss Musalia Mudavadi.
In November last year, Uhuru gave the clearest hint that he may not support Ruto and declared that his choice for a successor will be a shocker.
“They think because Uhuru is going home in 2022, he will not have a word on what will happen. I am telling them when the right time comes, I will have something to say,” the President told a rally in Nyeri on November 1.
According to a poll by Radio Africa Group, an overwhelming majority of 77 per cent say Uhuru will have a major influence on who becomes president in 2022.
This means that whomever the President throws his weight behind would have a big advantage.
Twenty-one per cent said, however, that a retiring Uhuru will have no influence whatsoever on who becomes the next occupant of State House.
Two per cent said they do not know whether Uhuru would have any influence.
The poll has also revealed that Ruto did not make a political blunder by abandoning the defunct URP party to form Jubilee. Sixty-two per cent of those surveyed said Ruto’s move to fold his own political machine was not a mistake.
This week, many of Ruto’s allies have been crying foul, saying their counterparts in Uhuru’s former TNA party appear keen on shortchanging them.
The sentiments have been expressed by, among others, National Assembly Majority Whip Benjamin Washiali and Meru Senator Mithika Linturi.
“We sacrificed our parties and formed Jubilee. We dissolved our parties on the slogan Tuko Pamoja. But it appears we are not together. We want to get answers,” Washiali protested as the onslaught against Ruto intensified.
Only 36 per cent of respondents said Ruto made a political blunder by accepting the Jubilee merger.
The Radio Africa Group poll was conducted in the 17 Nairobi Constituencies.