Central has faith in Uhuru, Rift Valley doesn’t in Ruto
The elaborate plans for merging the various independent political parties to create the semimonolithic Jubilee Party presented an unavoidable decisionpoint for many politicians – but specifically for those from Central Kenya.
On the one hand is the wellestablished pattern in our politics that no matter how earnest party leaders and presidential candidates are when they promise fair and credible party nominations, this is not what we usually get.
Time after time in years past, we have seen candidates lose when they seek the nomination of the party which is most popular in their specific vote bloc – and then go on to win the parliamentary seat in the general election, leaving no doubt that the nomination exercise was anything but free and fair.
We have also seen previously prominent elected leaders lose to someone completely unknown, solely on the basis of the winner having the ticket of the political party that was “the wave” in that region.
And this “wave” is never stronger, in any of our various regional vote blocs, than when “one of our own” is a presidential candidate.
So what was a leader from Central Kenya to do, who had not previously been an insider in the TNA political party back in 2013, and now wonders if his conversion to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party be acceptable to JP’s new power elite?
Would it not be political suicide to stand aside and not participate in the grand launch of the all-inclusive Jubilee Party? How to explain to his voters why he or she had failed to show up at this historic event?
On the other hand, can such a leader be absolutely certain that he will have a fair shot at the seat he covets and will not be shunted aside by the famously opaque methods employed by all political party elites to select their candidates? And that this may happen without the presidential candidate’s blessing?
These are some of the disturbing thoughts which must have swirled through many minds as the men and women who have enjoyed the fruits of elective office sat through the process of dissolution of their existing parties all of yesterday.
One thing is sure: All of Central Kenya’s elected leaders (and their rivals) may be willing to put their faith in Uhuru’s promise of fair party nominations. But in the Rift Valley, there is no corresponding absolute faith in Deputy President William Ruto.