Cen­tral has faith in Uhuru, Rift Val­ley doesn’t in Ruto

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - WY­CLIFFE MUGA

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.

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