View pictures in App save up to 80% data. President Uhuru Kenyatta ( Photo Courtesy)
The handover of the final Building Bridges Initiative report to President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga has set a stage for a major political showdown between them and Deputy President William Ruto.
With the President and former Prime Minister embracing the document as cure to Kenya's perennial problems, the DP has expressed his reservations, saying that the BBI is meant to benefit the country's political elite.
Further, the DP's allies have alleged that BBI is Uhuru and Raila's power play game aimed at denying Ruto a shot at the presidency. But is it true?
During the handover of the BBI report, Dr Ruto was conspicuously missing. His absence is perhaps a tale tell sign that the DP will marshall his troops to shoot down the Uhuru-Raila initiative.
But Ruto should play it safe. If he carelessly rejects the BBI report, it may backfire in the long run. Whereas the President and Raila insist that BBI is meant to fix Kenya's problems, they can use it to label the DP as an enemy of progress.
So what should Ruto do? How should he go about the situation? View pictures in App save up to 80% data. Deputy President William Ruto ( Photo Courtesy)
If I were Ruto, I'll support BBI, at least for the time being. By so doing, the President and Raila will lack any ground to attack him directly over his stance on the initiative.
With the country most likely going to conduct a referendum before 2022, the DP should align himself with the real BBI partners. This will help him avoid muddying the waters in his presidential bid come the next poll.
Further, supporting the BBI will make Raila and Uhuru complacent ahead of the next poll. But with Ruto doing serious behind-the-scenes mobilization of resources for his 2022 bid, before his rivals realize, he is way ahead in the State House race.
Opposing the BBI blindly will be politically suicidal for Ruto. With his relationship and the President hitting an all-time low, perhaps he should now go slow.
Ruto's for lies in his own hands. If he plays it well, his march to State House will be smooth. But if he further antagonizes the President and further distance himself from power by opposing the referendum, then things will be tough.
But as a shrewd politician he has always been, Ruto knows how to play his cards well. Though he has indicated that he will oppose the BBI, he can as well make a u-turn and take Raila and Uhuru by surprise. And if the duo were planning to use BBI politics to finish the DP, then they may be forced to go back to the drawing board.
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