Why Ruto is spending sleepless nights alone thinking about TangaTanga

Deputy President William Ruto is a man battling a unified side that to some extent seems invincible. Dr Ruto, known for strategy, is spending sleepless nights, however, about what he should tell his Rift Valley supporters.

The doctor is walking a tightrope as he seeks to convince a highly sceptical bloc of followers in his Rift Valley backyard that he has not been sidelined in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration.

Though Dr Ruto has repeatedly assured Rift Valley residents that all is well between him and President Kenyatta, the masses remain sceptical.

Matiang’i factor

Last Sunday in Bomet County, Dr Ruto was again confronted with the question whether he had been sidelined in the running of government, especially with the elevation of Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i as the supervisor of fellow ministers through a Presidential executive order.

And today, the issue is expected to crop up again as he heads to the neighbouring Kericho County for a fundraiser and thanksgiving ceremony for Woman Representative Florence Bore in Bureti Sub-County.

“Everything is okay in government; ignore the fake news; do not rely on social media and newspaper stories because we have no time for rumours and riddles that will not help us take the country forward in socio-economic development,” Dr Ruto said at Silibwet playgrounds in Bomet last Sunday.


He was responding to repeated appeals by leaders that he goes public on whether there was a scheme to elbow him out of government.

Eviction of families from Mau Forest, sacking of senior professionals in government from the region, alleged lopsided allocation of development projects to the detriment of those in the South Rift region, and unfulfilled pre-election promises are some of the issues that residents have raised.

Murathe over here

In private, senior politicians from the region say their stay in Jubilee Party is just a matter of convenience ahead of the next General Election.

“The salvo thrown by former Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe had a permanent damage on the party and it would be difficult to recover from it. That is why the people are raising serious questions directed at the Deputy President,” an MP from the region said.


Cherangany Member of Parliament Joshua Kutuny says the issues raised are a clear indication that the political base is shifting, with the people starting to question the perceived powers that Dr Ruto wields in government.

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri says there is legitimate fear and concern among Rift Valley residents that despite backing President Kenyatta almost to a man in the past two elections, “our brothers and sisters from Mount Kenya region might abandon the DP at his hour of need”.

Body language

“The questions are coming from the people, not just the leadership. The reality on the ground is that the careless public utterances and body language exhibited by a section of leaders from Mount Kenya region have made residents of Rift Valley agitated,” he said.

“It should be remembered that the number two slot in the Presidency has been jinxed, with only former President Daniel Moi having succeeded founding President Jomo Kenyatta, but in totally different circumstances,” said Mr Ngunjiri, adding that even then Mr Moi was fought by Mount Kenya leaders to the end of his 24-year term.

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