Will the ‘Wheelbarrow’ party enhance Ruto’s presidential bid?

4 min read

The latest reports indicate that the Registrar of Political Parties has approved the changes sought by the close allies of Deputy President William Ruto to rename the Party for Reform and Development to United Democratic Alliance [UDA] and change its symbol of ‘bull’ to ‘Wheelbarrow’. This is the biggest hint that DP will not use the Jubilee ticket to contest the presidency in 2022. The move comes at a time when it is widely believed that the relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy has worsened and cannot be redeemed. 

The top leadership of the Jubilee party has also repeatedly stated. The DP will not be an automatic candidate. The party will conduct primaries to pick the suitable nominee. For this reason, the DP is not allowed to use the secretariat as the base of his presidential campaigns. 

Lately, Ruto has been openly opposing the handshake, the BBI process, and politicizing the war on corruption. Again, he has not come out strongly to support Uhuru’s Big Four agenda.  

As we know, the President holds the four initiatives so dearly. He knows that, if implemented, they will shape up the legacy of his presidency. He has less than two years to go. The provisions of the constitution are very clear: The President will serve for two consecutive terms of five-year each. 

However, the constitution does not bar the outgoing President from serving Kenyans in another capacity. 

Sometimes back, we heard Uhuru making the following observations. In some parts of the world and more so in Africa, we have had cases of leaders refusing to quit power when their terms come to an end but I am not in that league. I am a democrat and I will go home if this will be the wish of Kenyans. But if they decide to give me a chance to serve them in another capacity, I will consider that. 

Notably, Cotu boss Francis Atwoli and Jubilee Vice-Chairman David Murathe are on record pushing this agenda. Uhuru is a young man and we know his track record speaks for itself. Where do you want him to go? If you push him to the opposition, he will give us trouble, Atwoli once stated. 

Notably, the DP and his allies have been reading a different script. They want the President to leave office after his term comes to an end. They have lately been casting the president as a leader who has failed to keep his word on the implementation of the Jubilee manifesto. 

This informs the thinking that culminated in the unveiling of the so-called ‘hustler nation’. Here, they would take Kenyans for fools. This is what I want to tell them. The majority of Kenyans are now enlightened. They know how to separate facts, lies, and propaganda. 

The concept of ‘Wheelbarrownomic’ is a political card being dangled to lure them to support the candidature of DP. The question we should ask is. Where did the rain start beating us? Are those selling the narrative of ‘Wheelbarrow’ capitalizing on the economic mess they have created? 

You have been the deputy president for more than eight years? In the first term, your relationship with the President was very cordial. In fact, you were being referred to as ‘conjoined twins’.  Did you do anything to improve our lives? If not, do you expect us to trust you now? 

High-level corruption scandals, mismanagement of the public resources, divisive and ethnicized politics would be cited as the root cause of all these problems. A huge number of the allies would be associated with vices. A number of them would be arraigned and their cases are still pending in various courts. 

Given this background, I would not expect the renaming of the PDR party and changing the symbol to ‘Wheelbarrow’ to enhance Ruto’s bid. The problems of unemployment and poverty cannot be sorted out by dishing out goodies to a few selected individuals. We need a long term solution and this can only be achieved if our economy is revived.

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