Disclaimer – This is a long read. I believe it is worth it.
Very few of us are bold enough to take on the mighty and powerful but there comes a time we must push back before we are completely overrun, it will be too late to do anything at that point. In the past several weeks we have been enthralled with spirited infighting within the Jubilee government between two camps about the fight to end corruption. On the one hand President Uhuru Kenyatta, backed by overwhelming public support, appears to be putting a spirited public face to his commitment to end the scourge while on the other his deputy, William Ruto and his brigade of sycophants such as Sudi, Ngujiri, Murkomen, etc. are lashing back and spitting venom at Kenyatta by not only open defiance of Kenyatta’s fight but are also injecting ethnicity while baiting and inciting ethnic violence between Kalenjins and Kikuyus to avoid being held responsible. They throwing all kinds of mud at Kenyatta hoping some will stick but it is all a distraction designed to run the clock on Kenyatta while wearing down the public, and it appears Kenyatta is taking the bait. They are even going after the constitutionally mandated Agencies for conducting their investigative work and as audacious as it may be, even attempting to instruct them how to do and NOT do their work. Any scapegoat they can find to avoid being held responsible they have tried and continue to. This has led to a stalemate as President Kenyatta seems overwhelmed and unable to properly govern in the face of such onslaught from his own deputy, there seems to be paralysis ion the way forward, which has not only hamstrung the president’s second term agenda as he teeters toward lame duck status but also squarely put Kenyatta’s own legacy squarely in the hands and mercy of his deputy, William Ruto. Whether he likes it or not, Kenyatta better quickly figure out how to extricate himself from Ruto’s grip while he still has the power and the public goodwill to do so or risk the worst legacy of any Kenyan president in history. Ending corruption is the perfect for the president to redefine himself and secure his place in history. To do that Kenyatta MUST come to terms that the real thorn on his flesh and indeed the entire country in his Deputy William Ruto and MUST know when to walk away and be willing to cut his ties with the man to help the country cut its losses and starting healing. No more punting, deflecting, empty rhetoric, meaningless warnings, to Kenyatta I say, put up or shut up.
Stop the charades-Arrest and charge Ruto Now –. Until and unless William Samoei Ruto is in handcuffs and behind bars, the so-called war on Ruto is a mirage, an exercise in futility simply designed to hoodwink the public. Kenyans are sick and tired of empty rhetoric. End the cheap talk about impeaching Ruto, impeachment is not even applicable here. Again, in plain language, if the folks who run the government believe Ruto is corrupt (of which there’s overwhelming evidence of), then ARREST RUTO and CHARGE RUTO or simply SHUT UP and let Ruto and his sycophants continue running the show and circles on Kenyans. PUT UP OR SHUT UP, bottom line. Kenyatta must NOT let this window of opportunity to act pass by, the deterrent value of ending corruption by holding Ruto accountable far surpasses any fallout that would follow. It will go a long way in not only straightening out the mess in the country but also cement his legacy as the President who finally put an end to corruption in the country President Uhuru Kenyatta has put a brave fight against corruption and appeared, at least in public, to confront the vice head-on. Whether sincere or not is not in doubt because Kenyans are by and large a trusting people, they like President Kenyatta and have no reason to doubt his sincerity but truth be told, the road to hell is paved with good intentions and as good intentioned President Kenyatta is, he risks squandering the goodwill Kenyans have extended to him if he fails to decisively tame the impunity and defiance in full display by Ruto. The status quo is no-longer sustainable, and Kenyatta simply can’t have it both ways, either he singularly focuses on fulfilling his promises he made to Kenyans as outlined in the BIG 4 Agenda before the opportunity ebbs as it is already or continue with these publicity cat and mouse stunts with Mr. Ruto. Kenyans know that Kenyatta is an amiable guy by nature and has an aversion to confrontation; they also are alive to the fact that the men’s bromance is superficial brought about by the need to survive the ICC of which threat is not an immediate concern to either.
Corruption is to Kenya what Terrorism is to America. It creates poverty, ruins lives and is an existential threat to Kenya – The Americans have spared no effort or resources in defeating terrorism, which is a common enemy to all Americans, whether within or without her borders, and has deployed her full might with brute force to do so. And they make no apologies for it, rightly so. Contrast that with Kenya where kingpins of corruption roam freely in plain sight. They are actively and purposely presiding over the demise of the country shielded by their powerful positions in government of which they flaunt with an aura of invincibility. Impunity reigns supreme but time is running out on Kenya in the so called “war on corruption”. There is no war on corruption in Kenya but a choreographed public relations exercise of which, frankly, Kenyans have caught on to and are sick and tired of. Something MUST be done and soon otherwise Kenyans would simply have to come to terms that corruption will remain the norm and resign to their fate that the country is indeed a failed state.
That Deputy President William Ruto is the poster boy of corruption, impunity and arguably the single most threat to the nation is common knowledge, and so is the realization that for Kenya to turn around and start healing, a good place to start is holding William Ruto accountable for his transgressions against Kenya and yes, that transports the probability of prosecution and imprisonment well within the realm of possibilities. Kenya is known for her historical firsts and the opportunity to decisively put a major dent on corruption is now at hand but fading fast. Kenyans are alive that the country is rotting from inside out in no small part because of Ruto and are desperate for someone powerful enough to take bold steps to start reversing the harm done to the country by Ruto. That person is President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta. Ruto’s malfeasances are well documented and legendary both in scope. Ruto’s audacity in committing the crimes would undoubtedly make deposed and imprisoned South Korean presidents Park Geun-hye,(25 years), Lee Myung-bak (15 Years), Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (12 years), just to mention a few, marvel with envy at William Ruto’s ability to run roughshod on the entire nation and get away unscathed. While Ruto’s ability to avoid responsibility for his corruption, that is in plain sight, may indeed be genius (or is it that the people are hopelessly powerless to do anything about it?), truth is that the nation as a whole has suffered and continues to suffer untold and irreparable harm as a result of this man exploiting systemic vulnerabilities to enrich himself. The nation has reached a tipping point, we either surrender to Ruto as his subjects or take back control of the country.
Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda in jeopardy – Ruto’s insubordination of President Kenyatta is legendary, a class of its own. No one person, in modern day Kenya, has had such a combined catastrophic impact on the country as William Samoei Ruto, and you have to give him credit for getting away with it…whether it is economic losses to the nation or in human lives whose loss is directly or indirectly attributed to him of which evidence is in display in plain sight. In this instance, he’s about to score yet another victory. It doesn’t take special skills to realize that President Kenyatta’s Legacy Big 4 Agenda is the biggest causality of Ruto’s continued stay in government. By this time, almost two years into his second term, Kenyatta should be launching and breaking ground on his signature agenda, to date he hasn’t broken ground on any meaningful or substantive BIG 4 Agenda project, NONE. Instead he’s consumed with Ruto who has effectively distracted the entire government apparatus and hijacked Kenyatta’s Big 4 Agenda, which, clearly is diametrically in conflict with his own of becoming president in 2022. Kenyatta’s Big 4 and Ruto simply cannot coexist, bottom-line. Ruto has hijacked the Big 4 Agenda on multiple fronts not the least of which are his continued premature campaigns for president in 2022 in open defiance of the President’s orders against the same. Additionally by being the de facto face of corruption and impunity in Kenya and actively fighting the fight against corruption, it simply erodes would be investors and other multilateral partners’ confidence in Kenyatta’s effectiveness as a leader who can be entrusted with investment capital for the Big 4. If he is unable to tame the single biggest purveyor of corruption who has been directly implicated siphoning multi-Billion shillings earmarked for government projects for his own benefit, what safeguards or assurances do we have that BIG 4 Agenda cash won’t meet the same fate? Kenyatta has a very simple choice to make as to who or what between Ruto and the Big 4 Agenda defines his legacy between, not both, in other words either Kenyatta himself write his own legacy or William Samoei Ruto does, as of today – Ruto is in charge of Kenyatta’s legacy.
President Kenyatta’s rhetoric is ineffective – Kenyatta should borrow a leaf from US President Donald Trump in managing his administration. Trump is an effect administrator because he set the tone as a NO-NONSENSE president not afraid to dismiss even the closest of allies the moment they are caught up in malfeasances he dislikes, Trump dismisses his staff regardless of rank almost instantaneously. That has made him extraordinarily effective because it sends a clear message to everyone in his administration that he means business and ensures that they toe the line. Not Kenya where President Kenyatta tiptoes around corruption with kids gloves rhetoric. As the old adage goes, talk is cheap. Kenyans are tired of President Uhuru Kenyatta constant “dire warnings” of consequences to corrupt officials, tired of empty rhetoric – they want the president to walk the talk and time to act is now. Perception matters, Kenyatta talks tough in public but courts and cavorts with Ruto in private and in public, he is sending mixed messages – hi simply can’t have it both ways. Warnings do not work and will never work, Ruto himself doesn’t appear concerned at all about Kenyatta’s so-called warnings, he is brazenly defiant and figuratively giving the president the middle finger. He definitely knows something the rest of the nation doesn’t that emboldens him to so brazenly fight his own boss so openly over an issue he should otherwise be partnering with the president about. It is now fair to conclude that most Kenyans do not take Kenyatta seriously with his warnings, maybe Kenyatta is just too beholden to Ruto o take any meaningful action.
Lifestyle Audits – Who even remembers this much touted relic that Kenyatta vaunted to Kenyans not too long ago that gave many hope that he’s finally serious about fighting corruption. Of course that was yet another PR stunt now in the archives somewhere in the clouds. Of course it never came to pass, what an irony that as Kenyatta was talking tough on corruption, Billions of shillings were being stolen and paid for phantom projects e.g. dams, maize cartels and so on and on. All that Kenyans keep getting are endless headlines of corruption investigations whose creativity keeps evolving constantly with nothing tangible being done to stop it, (it is now about fake currencies), stage managed PR driven low-level “arrests” that amount to nothing; Kenyatta’s government is in effect a hapless barking dog that never bites. Ruto’s arrogant confrontation and dismissive stance against Kenyatta’s posturing only serves to severely erode public confidence in Kenyatta. He simply is NOT going to deliver on this issue and by extension his key initiatives under the Big 4 Agenda, it is all smoke and mirrors folks unless we see otherwise.
Kenyatta – Odinga Handshake Godsend – At first, many of us castigated Raila Odinga for entering into a truce with Kenyatta in the now famous “handshake” because it left a big vacuum in a desperately needed strong opposition to check excesses of government, at the time it came out, it was collusion between the two men and nothing good would come out of it except a self-serving arrangement to preserve the men’s interests, and maybe it was. However, in retrospect it has turned out to actually be a good thing because it has disrupted and put into disarray William Ruto’s ambitions to ascend to the presidency, which is a BEAUTIFUL thing and a win-win for all Kenyans. So as much as Ruto’s sycophants keep smarting and licking wounds from the blow the handshake has dealt their plans, Kenyans owe Kenyatta and Odinga a debt of gratitude for, if nothing else, scuttling Ruto because the country cannot survive a Ruto presidency. It is tough enough as it is with the damage this man has almost single-handedly visited on the country. So kudos to Odinga. Ruto keeps reminding Kikuyus of the political debt Kikuyus owe him for Kalenjins voting for Kenyatta but truth be told, if there is any legitimate claimant to such a debt, it would be Raila Odinga first, Ruto needs to take a number and get in line.
Kenyatta shares the blame and owes the nation remedial action – Many moons ago, I opined that Uhuru Kenyatta will one day rue the day he partnered with Ruto and the day of reckoning isn’t that far away. There are those who argue that Kenyatta precipitated the mess the country finds itself in on account of his choice of Ruto as his deputy and they would be correct in my view. As any baker would tell you, ingredients matter, if you use rotten eggs to bake a cake, you will undoubtedly end up with a rotten cake. It is no different here. So in fairness to Ruto it is important to acknowledge that he didn’t just happen or suddenly fall from the skies, no! He has been in Kenya’s political scene for almost three decades. Kenyatta has known him for the entire time and so he (Kenyatta) can’t really say he didn’t know what he was getting himself and the country into. I know at the time it was a fight for survival but these are the consequences the rest of us now have to bare. As an illustration, the best analogy to describe the Kenyatta’s predicament is the Snake Poem entitled “the Snake,” the Al Wilson best recited by US President Donald Trump, it is a cautionary tale about the dangers of associating with unsavory characters like Ruto. Here is the Text:
On her way to work one morning
Down the path alongside the lake
A tender-hearted woman (Kenyatta) saw a poor half-frozen snake (Ruto facing charges at ICC)
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted with the dew
“Oh well,” she cried, “I’ll take you in and I’ll take care of you”
“Take me in oh tender woman
Take me in, for heaven’s sake
Take me in oh tender woman,” sighed the snake
She wrapped him up all cozy in a curvature of silk
And then laid him by the fireside with some honey and some milk
Now she hurried home from work that night as soon as she arrived
She found that pretty snake she’d taken in had been revived
Now she clutched him to her bosom, “You’re so beautiful,” she cried
“But if I hadn’t brought you in by now you might have died”
Now she stroked his pretty skin and then she kissed and held him tight
But instead of saying thanks, that snake gave her a vicious bite
“I saved you,” cried that woman
“And you’ve bit me even, why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die”
“Oh shut up, silly woman,” said the reptile with a grin
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in
To be clear, Kenyatta is NOT responsible for Ruto’s actions and yet by condoning Ruto’s actions he is not only aiding and abbeting him and harboring a criminal but is also complicit, “the buck still stops with him” and as such the onus is on him to clean up the mess he helped create. Lucky for him, Kenyans are on his side and his saving grace is that he seems to have finally come to terms with the fact that the snake he has been nurturing all this time is exactly that, a snake. And he is doing what he can to mitigate the damage, for that we must give him credit and support. However, said support is not open ended and it appears its time is fast running out, Kenyatta must not squander the goodwill Kenyans have extended to him. If he removes the menace in the person of Ruto and hold him accountable, and sets the country on the path to recovery, I am sure Kenyans will give him a pass and let bygones be bygones. if he genuinely acts to remove Ruto and repair the damage he has caused the country. Let me be clear in saying Kenyatta is NOT responsible for Ruto’s conduct or that of anyone else for that matter but he’s certainly responsible for fixing it. It is not enough to just say “the buck stops with the president”, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that we are in the mess we are in as a country because this president made a deal with the devil for political expediency and the country is now paying for it. There is plenty of blame to go around and Kenyatta bears a bit of responsibility for it and yet we must help him as he attempts to mitigate the damage he helped create, one caveat, his must be genuine and results driven. Let’s call a spade a spade. Many moons ago, I opined that Uhuru Kenyatta will one day rue the day he and only
Ruto is a hardened unconvicted outlaw – “Ruto was charged in the Hague. Do you think anything else scares him?”, Dennis Itumbi – Ruto’s social media liaison and spokesman, when confronted with the possibility of his boss being criminally charged for corruption. But it is pretty telling of the Ruto camp’s overall mindset on this. Ruto is running the clock on Kenyatta and Kenyans and if his past is anything to go by, he believes he will get away with the crimes. To him the fight against corruption is “noise” – just part of the routine of the trade, nothing new or to be concerned about. If arrested and charged, it won’t be the first time Ruto is arrested for corruption and thievery but it should be the last. Whether out of foolishness or arrogance or both, Ruto’s demonstrated aura of invincibility betrays him time and time and time again, very few men in history come to mind that match or surpass Ruto’s audacity, German’s Adolf Hitler, Italy’s Benito Mussolini, America’s mob bosses Al Capone and John Gotti. These men were audacious just as they were brutal and left a trail of human suffering before they were finally stopped. Ruto embodies characteristics of each of these men and as a modern-day Houdini, he sure has a lot of destruction left in him if not tamed. But truth be told, Ruto’s perceived invincibility pales in comparison to the State’s police powers to apprehend him and charge him for the crimes he has perpetrated on Kenya. As far as I am concerned, he should be treated like any other common criminal picked in the street. By not acting sooner to arrest and charge Ruto, the State is just as complicit in the crimes he has committed, the state has effectively made Ruto above the law.
Reconcile Ruto’s Tax filings with his possessions – The State has multiple legitimate grounds upon which to hold Ruto accountable if law enforcement including theft, official corruption, abuse of office, tax evasion, fraud murder, just to mention a few. Competent investigators will have a heyday proving Ruto’s corruption on multiple counts if they really wanted to. The most obvious one that ties Ruto to corruption would be tax evasion, investigators should look at Ruto’s tax returns over the last 10 or 15 years, let’s see if he filed truthful returns that match his known income as a government employee (which is all he has done in his entire career, being a ward of taxpayers as a government employee) and his known business. A tax examination should reveal discrepancies between what he filed and paid in taxes relative to the wealth he flaunts all over the place including the hundreds of Millions of Shillings he donates in charities. It sounds speculative but I just believe there’s a treasure-trove of tax evasion and non-compliance information that will lead to even more charges against him. While at it, please revisit some of his other misdeeds as chronicled below
Ruto’s chronicles of corruption & impunity –
There an old saying that say, “a leopard never change its spots” Ruto fits the bill perfectly, he can’t change to save himself and there is a plethora of history to corroborate this as illustrated with the following few examples rapsheet, each one of which in and by itself is sufficient grounds to prosecute him and render him unfit to hold public office anywhere in Kenya:
- Weston Hotel Land Grab – Ruto illegally acquired the land that his heavily leveraged Weston Hotel sits on courtesy of his crony and then Commissioner of Lands Sammy Mwaita. He basically stole it, this is not me saying it, it was the equally compromised outgoing National Lands Commission that concluded so as recent as two months ago but punted on the remedy, NLC – Ruto Illegally Acquired Weston Hotel Land ; it simply let him keep the land, like most Kenyans I don’t know how to reconcile that decision.
- The Lang’ata Primary School Land Grab – Ruto’s insatiable appetite for land knows no boundaries nor shame, it didn’t stop at Weston, in 2015 he tried to expand his grip on the neighborhood Weston sits on by forcefully evicting school children at Lang’ata. So brazen was Ruto’s attempt to displace school children that he deployed state police to effect the grabbing, children were beaten, teargassed and injured in the process, this embarrassing incident that further cemented Kenya’s international image as a haven of official corruption, even Holy Pope Francis commented on the saga. In his quintessential self, he denied that he owned Weston Hotel. It wasn’t until much later that he admitted that indeed he owned the hotel. And tried to pin it on his friend Patrick Osero, Ruto Tries to Grab Lang’ata School LAND and frames his friend as owner of Western.
- Ruto dispossessed a Post-Election Violence victim of land – This one ranks among the most sad, egregious and inhumane acts credited to Kenya’s Deputy President Ruto, as a man who Preys on the weak, old and most vulnerable in society. You can’t make this up even you wanted to and speaks to the evil manifested in the man. After the 2007/2008 Post-Election Violence (PEV) that Ruto was charged for masterminding, it wasn’t enough that thousands were killed and hundreds of thousands more displaced. Lurking in the wings to exploit their misery was William Samoei Ruto who simply grabbed 100 acres of land belonging to Mr. Adrian Gilbert Muteshi, an old man, a PEV victim forced to flee his home for safety. Ruto was driven by greed that even after being called out multiple times he fought hard in court to hang on to the land. Of course he lost, kicked out and fined 5 Million Shillings Ruto fined Ksh 5 Million and kicked out of PEV Victim Land he grabbed fraudulently
- KPC Ngong Forest Land Fraud – It is alleged that Ruto colluded with others including Joshua Kule and Sammy Mwaita to fraudulently convey ungazzetted government land at Ngong forest to Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) yet another government entity for value, a staggering 272 Million Shillings. They did not own the land but only used it as a conduit to rob the government by leveraging their positions as government officials. Ruto and his co-conspirators were indicted but a mistrial declared after a key witness was intimidated and refused to testify. Mistrial in Ruto Fraud case over Ngong – KPC Land after witness fails to testify.
- Murders – William Ruto has been directly and indirectly implicated in murders of innocent people in a way that only rivals mob bosses like Gotti and the most totalitarian leaders in the world. Teflon Ruto just manages to slither through and get away with murder. Ruto’s dalliance with violence goes way back since 1992 as KANU YK92 Youth leader who instigated ethnic violence around election time. After years of practice runs every election cycle without an consequences Ruto graduated to mastermind the most prominent murderous episode in Kenya’s history following the 2007 presidential elections. The PEV ultimately cost thousands of innocent lives including the infamous KIAMBAA Church burnings where Kikuyu women, men and children who had sought refuge were burned alive in church. Ruto was charged at the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and was out on bond, needless to say key witnesses were either killed, disappeared and or intimidated resulting in a mistrial. Ruto has also been directly implicated of murder by witnesses who say in one case they watched him strangle a man to death with his bare hands, Jirongo Narrates How Ruto Killed a Young Man with bare hands. Ruto was also directly implicated for killing of a very active political activist, Jacob Juma. Juma antagonized Ruto and they had a long enduring feud and evidence points to Ruto as the guy responsible for Juma’s assassination, DP Ruto a key suspect in the murder of businessman Jacob Juma. And there are many more where that came from, only Kenya would a man be accused and flagrant atrocities against humanity and still roam free as he campaigns to become president. STUNNING!