Also, to his credit and pleasant surprise and delight of the Kenyans in the Diaspora, Ruto announced that he will elevate the Diaspora’s standing in his government by creating a new cabinet level Diaspora Affairs Ministry dedicated to the Diaspora;

First, I start with CONGRATULATIONS to Kenya’s new President William Samoei Ruto for his ascendancy to the top seat as the country’s 5th President. His is nothing short of miraculous, mystical. A huge accomplishment for a man who defied all odds and very strong headwinds to, in one swell swoop as a first-time contender, win the presidency. Not saying his win was without controverse, not in the least, but to acknowledge that he inexplicably powered through insurmountable odds to emerge at the top. Half the country voted for his opponent Raila Odinga or simply against him, many including myself mercilessly lampooned Ruto as unfit for president, called all sorts of caricatures, a clown, an empty suit, a cartoon, TAKATAKA (Tangatanga), and so many epithets but he prevailed. He powered through the strong headwinds in his first stab at the presidency and PREVAILED. Simply put, we FAILED to stop Ruto. In this installment, I am addressing Ruto’s win and the attendant politics as a prelude to a transition to the Ruto era and what it portends to Kenyans from my vantage point. Ruto was vilified by many as a diabolical menace who would put Kenyans lives in jeopardy but from what we see so far, he could turn out to be a great president, a Saul who turns into Paul and spreads the gospel of peace and prosperity.


Electoral Fraud – From the outset it appeared that IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati’s announcement of Ruto win was a predetermined choreography. Weeks before the elections there were multiple mishaps by IEBC that caused genuine public apprehension that undermined IEBC’s credibility in conducting fair, free, and impartial elections as occasioned by the scandalous arrival and arrest of three Venezuelans (Jose Camargo) at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) holding election material contraband; Chebukati’s seemingly unilateral declaration of Ruto as the winner under protest by majority of the commissioners, 4 out of the 7, citing fraud, cemented the perception that IEBC bungled the elections twice consecutively.

Supreme Court – Truth is Odinga’s side made very strong and compelling arguments before Kenya’s Supreme Court as to why the election should be nullified. The Supreme Court, made of 7 Justices, has original and final jurisdiction on Presidential election petitions and as an 8th juror,  I thought there was enough evidence of nullify the election outright, THE 8TH JUROR: WHY KENYA’S SUPREME COURT IS LIKELY TO OVERTURN CHEBUKATI’S UNILATERAL ‘RUTO WIN” DECLARATION – Kenya Diaspora Movement, but the Supremos saw it differently. Their ruling came across very scathingly, intemperate, and blistering, almost personal against Odinga. Some have characterized the ruling as partisan and laden with insults, Ruto himself could have written a better opinion. The justices ruling included phrases and adjectives such as “red herring”, “hot air”, “wild goose chase”, “fools’ errand”, “lost cause”, “vain attempt”, “worthless pursuit”, “nonsense”, I mean coming from the country’s apex court that was just needlessly brutal and unwarranted, it reversed the gains and respectability the Court gained in 2017 and far back. Ultimately the petition flopped as the Court affirmed Ruto’s win.


Odinga and Kenyatta are not exactly blameless. Odinga’s margin should have been a million plus. Elections are won at the ballot box, not in courts. President Ruto worked his tail off for the job, Odinga did not, he relied on state machinery to win. He ran a shoddy campaign full of hubris and underhandedness by staff. Odinga himself credibility when “shook hands” with Kenyatta and both turned against Ruto. The handshake sidetracked Kenyatta’s Big -4 Agenda, a major shift in focus from Kenyatta’s campaign pledges. The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) all but destroyed the two men’s public standing, for lack of better descriptors, it was a FRAUD perpetrated upon the public that significantly eroded Odinga’s bona fides as a reformer, he and Kenyatta were accused of advancing their personal agendas at the expense of public welfare especially with respect to COVID19 where they advanced and repurposed COVID relief funds to campaign for BBI including paying (bribing) legislators with Billions of shillings in car grants to induce them to pass the fraud. Kenyatta’s government was particularly brutal to Kenyans, turning the country into a police state who brutally cracked on suffering citizens for profit, in other instances the Kenyatta government evicted the homeless from their shelters at night and exposed the government’s underbelly of brutality, Odinga did not lift a finger or bat an eyelid as these atrocities were taking place, further alienating himself from the voters. Ruto capitalized on Kenyatta’s missteps, he smartly went after the Mt. Kenya region that had an axe to grind with their own, Kenyatta, it worked, garnering 70% plus from the region. and it worked. Odinga even failed to debate Ruto on public TV where he could have closed the deal with voters, he dismissed the debate as being beneath him, Ruto showed up and addressed the country and it swayed many voters. Bottomline is the presidency was Odinga’s to lose, arguably his last shot, and sure enough, he managed to lose, and he has himself to blame, period.


No Retribution – Ruto is in a particularly unique position to show maturity and prove his critics and detractors wrong. There is well founded apprehension in the public that he will avenge against opponents and critics, his surrogates are on record castigating opponents and critics, Nandi county Senator Cherargei said this, “don’t think the Deputy (Ruto) has no supporters, we are here, keep insulting him, we are marking and profiling you, when time comes, we shall deal with you.” Let’s hope all that is behind us now and that whatever was threatened was in the throes of heated campaigns. No reprisals. Do not avenge against political detractors or personal critics. Prove critics and opponents wrong.

Good Start Thus Far – It is one thing to campaign and win a presidential election but quite another to govern. Candidate Ruto made a plethora of promises and basically backed himself into a corner, unlike his promises in the last two elections many of which remain undelivered, he must deliver on the most recent ones, chiefly the economy. As President, Ruto has started on the right foot from the look of it. The stock market reacted very positively with the largest single day gain in market value in a decade led by Safaricom. The gain was really a reaction to the peaceful transition of power, not so much his policies because there are none yet but a positive reaction, nonetheless. In swift succession Ruto also appointed six judges previously inexplicably rejected by Kenyatta, that was good. He ordered restoration of port operations at Mombasa port previously diverted to Naivasha by Kenyatta, a welcome relief to the Coast economy. Also, to his credit and pleasant surprise and delight of the Kenyans in the Diaspora, Ruto announced that he will elevate the Diaspora’s standing in his government by creating a new cabinet level Diaspora Affairs Ministry dedicated to the Diaspora, shortly thereafter he restored the birthright citizenship of “General” Miguna Miguna who the Kenyatta government exiled for, ironically, swearing in Kenyatta’s bosom buddy Odinga as President in 2017.  These acts by President Ruto point to a man grounded to doing good and if he maintains this trajectory, he will please many, friend and foe alike. That said, if I were to advise Ruto on four major initiatives to focus on they will be a) the Economy, b) Diaspora, c) Police reform, and d) Corruption… to be continued in the next installment.