William Kipchirchir Samoei Arap Ruto, E.G.H, M.P.
United Republican Party (URP)
Re: Returning To, Or At Least Working With Raila and ODM
Dear Hon. Ruto:
I am fairly certain you do not recall this but at the tail end of the 2007 campaign period, a friend of mine and I were at the Fairview hotel having lunch when you and other Pentagon members minus Raila and Nyagah were also seated at the nearby gazebo having your own lunch meeting.
My colleague and I walked over to your table as you had just been seated and engaged you all with some small talk generally about the state of the then election campaign and shortly thereafter excused ourselves to allow you to go on with your lunch as we proceeded to our own.
More accurately, my colleague and I engaged the other members of the Pentagon except for you as you were mum and basically treated us as a nuisance—not sure exactly why I joked with my Kale friend it must have been you and he had had some run on before but he assured me that not to be the case.
Be that as it may have been, as my friend and I returned to our seats, I told him looking at that table, and given your discomfort with our presence, it was my conclusion that you could not possibly be on that team for much long after the ensuing elections.
My assessment was simply based on this: knowing you were the youngest of the four Pentagon members sitting there and the two absent but clearly in your mind, you must have surely been thinking if each ruled as president at a minimum one term, that would translate to more than 25 years before your turn arrived, going by the politics of the oldest first; if each ruled for a maximum two terms, you were then looking at more than 50 years before your turn. If you factor in the opposition taking one or two of those terms, add at least five more years, which led to my summation you couldn’t possibly want to wait that long and thus my prediction then to my friend you may not last long with the Pentagon.
For this reason, I told my friend you would soon have to find a way to cut the line and this could not possibly happen in ODM.
The only way you could not have been thinking about this, namely, seeking a short-cut to the presidency, I told my friend, was if you were given a pacifier in the form of a premiership which you have since claimed Raila promised but did not deliver—never mind Raila could not have offered you this as he himself became one.
It was therefore no surprise to many of us when soon after the coalition government was formed, you started making noise and later bolted ODM becoming a thorn in the flesh of Raila.
I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that the sole objective in doing what you did was simply to try and dethrone Raila from the pinnacle of power he enjoys as the leader of ODM and therefore position yourself as the new kid on the block with sufficient coattails from such a dethroning to ride all the way to State House as President.
Neither is there any doubt in anyone’s mind that was an overly ambitious objective albeit one no one can really blame or condemn you for pursuing as it is what any savvy politician would have done, if they had the chutzpah to do so.
Looking back, however—and you would have to agree, falling the Mugumo tree turned out to be an insurmountable and daunting task for there is simply not enough muscle or tool to bring it down as others before you did ultimately equally find out as you did.
Meanwhile, you had a visitor by the name of Luis Moreno Ocampo, who invited you to join him and his colleagues at the Hague in connection with PEV.
That case remains pending but after conducting a thorough legal analysis of the case, I long ago concluded you cannot be convicted as charged.
Which brings me to the purpose of this letter and that is, to ask you the question, what is that you want at this stage in your political career?
This is a rhetorical question for I have my own thoughts as to what you would want which I now share and hope you’ll agree.
First, as any politician, you’ll want to maximize and preserve power.
There is no question you have amassed a considerable amount of political power since the Moi days when even you would admit until you plowed your way into the corridors of power as a Moi youth organizer, you couldn’t have imagined that you were yourself presidential material—at least not this early in your life-span.
I can’t say that for sure but logic and common sense dictates that to have been the case and I am sure you’ll agree were you to be intellectually honest.
However, be that as it may be, what power you have is strictly regional and more specifically, it’s power of influence over a portion of the Kalenjin community primarily in North RV.
It is power nonetheless you can leverage to your political advantage albeit not enough to propel you to State House as president for reasons that are obvious and I need not get into.
One obvious way you could leverage that power to your political advantage, and the second thing I would postulate as top of the list of things you’ll want at this stage in your political career, is to play king-maker.
Soon after the Kibaki succession game (KSG) was whistled on, you and several other politicians formed the so-called G7 alliance which has either since fizzled to death or is comatose in some form.
You have, however, for quite some time also made it known your co-accused ICC comrade Uhuru Kenyatta is the preferred man you want to work with in seeking the presidency but one need not be a political genius to tell you no combination of this partnership could possibly see either of you to State House in 2013.
And that is assuming you both are allowed to vie, as you should.
That being the case, you’ll have to be more pragmatic and smart in how you play the king-maker game such that whoever you pick, actually is elected and becomes our next president.
There is nothing more humiliating and more a political death knell than picking someone to king make only to have them lose.
Looking at the political landscape and to keep this simple than going into the weeds with it, there are only two candidates you can throw your weight behind and actually have a good chance at either winning and these are Raila and Uhuru.
Your picking anyone else to back for 2013 will be as useful and successful as filling a gas tank of a car with water and attempting to drive somewhere, let alone to State House: You’ll be going nowhere in that car; not any time soon, anyway.
While you’re stuck with an immobilized vehicle, the Jogindah Singhs would have been popping Champaign at the finish line, leaving you wondering what a foolish idea it was filling that gas tank with water.
That’s the bad news but the good news is, you have actually not filled the gas tank with water yet; you have plenty of time to fill the car with the necessary or required amount of gas and, even more importantly, filling gas for the right car destined to cross the finish line, first.
That car in most people’s minds is one that belongs to Raila and ODM.
But why should you do so; why would you want to fill gas for a car belonging to Raila/ODM and nobody else?
The answer is simple: This is the car you actually have an equity interest from the day it was custom ordered.
When you saw the writing on the wall and reluctantly joined ODM in late 2007, you saw and bought into what Rail and ODM represented in terms of vision for our country, which you energetically campaigned and made the case as did everyone else in the team for RailA and ODM to be given the opportunity to prove what the party could deliver—and Kenyans responded positively only to be thwarted in the end as known to all.
Nothing has changed in terms of that vision from 2007 and now.
As noted above, you did leave ODM and attempted to do what you did but let’s call a spade a spade that effort failed and it now behooves you to do the right thing and return to the fold where your political career can continue with more certainty than any other option you may choose to pursue.
Which brings me to the third thing I believe you would wish to do at this stage in your political career and that is, laying a more solid foundation and, more importantly, jumping on the shortest possible track to becoming our country’s future president.
Raila has said he wants to serve one term as president.
Were you to work with him, you can be assured of a good and likely successful run for the presidency in 2017—a mere five years away.
No other candidate you can work with gives you that much fast track to the presidency.
The least you can expect from any of the other serious contenders you could work with (read Uhuru) is at least 10 years and that’s if you are extremely lucky and are not elbowed out at the end of his two terms—were he to be elected in the first place which is highly unlikely—in favor of someone he (Uhuru) and those pulling strings for him would prefer to you.
Given your aforementioned ambition to cut through the line and get to State House in a hurry, and given you can’t get there on your own in 2013—even working with someone like Uhuru—your best bet would therefore seem to be working with Raila this time around and set yourself to succeed him, if Kenyans once again give him the nod as they are likely to but this time have him sworn as our fourth president.
Finally, but not least, I would have to think one thing you would want to do or more precisely you would not want to do, is not to let down your community and, indeed, the country at large.
As noted above, you have done good in amassing power within your region and there are many across the country who view you favorably as potential future presidential material.
You have obviously made mistakes in the past as all of us have that may cast some doubt in others minds but many of us do believe you will be exonerated at the Hague, which looms large in that consideration.
That notwithstanding, your community expects you to rise to the occasion at the moment and provide leadership that is not merely self-centered for your own personal aggrandizement and gain but for their collective benefit, especially in addressing many of the same issues they voted almost to the man for Raila and ODM in 2007.
That journey which started in late November 2007 in Kaleland with Raila and ODM resumes this time the destination being State House so that finally those dreams and hopes of the people of RV and across the country can be realized as Raila and ODM finally get the opportunity to prove what they can do.
No amount of differences you may have had with Raila and ODM cannot be reconciled to make it possible for you to rejoin the Rala team or at least work with him and ODM as this journey resumes.
Doing so certainly will not let your community down as would likely be the case were you to pursue other options.
On the other hand, working with Raila and ODM would certainly make them proud of you as it would affirm your taking as whole the interests of all of the community and not just a part of it and set the stage for you to have a more direct and faster route to the presidency in your own right after Awambo as compared to any other route you may wish to take.
I hope you agree and wish you the best regardless.
Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.