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The “Deep State” discovered William Ruto when he was a student at the University of Nairobi. In those days President Daniel arap Moi often invited students from various regions to his residences in Nairobi or Kabarak. - @dailynation
During one of those visits, young Ruto was asked to lead in prayer and make a short speech. The President was impressed.
Subsequently, young Ruto would be among the few students invited to accompany the President on foreign trips.
The young man would use allowances and privileges from such trips to shop abroad and sell the merchandise back home.
I guess that is where the “hustler” spirit began. His own account is that the “hustler” phenomenon came when he sold kienyeji chicken in his home township of Turbo in Eldoret.
One of Ruto’s best friends those days was Caleb Kositany, who is today Soy MP and de facto spokesman for the DP.
Caleb is the younger brother of Stephen Kositany, who was married to President Moi’s eldest child, Jennifer. He died in a road accident in 1994.
Those who knew Steve say he was an amiable person whom President Moi loved. Today, when asked why he is politically aligned to DP Ruto and not to his brother-in-law, Gideon Moi, Kositany will probably quip: “Nothing personal; just business”.
If there ever was a “Deep State” in Kenya, it exhibited itself in the amorphous, but deadly Youth for Kanu 1992 (YK’92), where young Ruto was recruited and appointed organising secretary.
YK’92 was formed after President Moi was cornered into allowing a multiparty system. His friend President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia had accepted multipartyism and was voted out in the election. Moi panicked and was determined to stay in power.
Since he couldn’t trust the official Kanu hierarchy to deliver “victory” in the ensuing elections, he formed the shadowy and rogue YK ’92 with instructions to ensure his re-election by all means.
During the day, YK’92 “boys” were walking cash dispensers, dishing out bundles of money. But at night, they would be plotting and unleashing terror in “anti-Kanu” areas.
Ruto probably acquired from YK’92 the habit of carrying around huge amounts of hard cash.
It is also from YK ’92 that he met useful friends like the group’s leader Cyrus Jirongo and Patrick Osero, who is today his front in various enterprises and land matters.
In his last term in power, President Moi had decided his deputy George Saitoti wouldn’t be his successor. But he opted to “finish” him slowly.
When naming his Cabinet upon re-election in 1997, Moi declined to name a vice-president. After more than a year, he reappointed Saitoti with open contempt, in a roadside announcement on his way to Nakuru.
Dismissing those who were insisting he must name a deputy, he said in Kiswahili: “Basi, huyo Saitoti arundi kwa kazi yake tuone itaongeza sufuria ngapi ya ugali!"
Two and half years to his retirement, President Moi instructed Ruto, then an assistant minister and hardly known outside Uasin Gishu, to organise a public rally at Molo township.
Then, the President would make an unexpected appearance accompanied by a young man he had just appointed chairman of the Kenya Tourism Board. His name was Uhuru Kenyatta.
The “Deep State” had mobilised — and generously facilitated — more than 50 MPs from the Rift Valley and the Mount Kenya regions to attend the rally.
Ruto was first to let the cat out of the bag. He said: “The honourable President seated here with us has told us he is retiring. We would have wished he stayed longer with us as our President, but he is a gentleman who respects the Constitution.
Now, this is what we say as young politicians, when President Moi retires, all other old politicians must also retire. And here we are not talking about the opposition, we are also talking elderly leaders in Kanu. - WSR.
When Uhuru took to the podium, the message was the same, asking older politicians to “go home”. The “endangered species” included Vice-President Saitoti, powerful Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott, and Kanu secretary-general Joseph Kamotho.
Present at the meeting, but not allowed to speak, was politician Jackson Kibor, the Uasin Gishu Kanu branch chairman.
The next day Kibor called a press conference to condemn the “Young Turks” and insisted that when Moi retired, he should be replaced by an experienced “elder like Saitoti, Mwai Kibaki, or Simeon Nyachae.”
In just a day, the “Deep State” enabled Ruto to stage a coup in the Eldoret Kanu branch and install himself as the new chairman.
Next, Moi dissolved several Kanu branches where Saitoti’s men held sway and ordered fresh elections. The Ruto “gang” enabled by the “Deep State” ensured the anti-Saitoti line-up was defeated.
When secretary-general Kamotho loudly complained about the hostile takeover, the “Deep State” had 38 MPs — including five Cabinet ministers and 11 assistants — issue a hard-hitting statement to denounce Kamotho.
Meanwhile, President Moi had convinced Raila Odinga to dissolve his party, National Development Party (NDP), and merge with Kanu, where he was crowned the new secretary general, and the Saitoti-Kamotho line-up sent packing.
But Moi and the “Deep State” had other ideas. The “Deep State” person at Kanu headquarters would be Ruto, who was installed the party director of elections.
Indeed, straight from Kasarani Sports Complex, where the Kanu/NDP merger took place, Ruto drove to Kanu’s headquarters, where he reportedly told secretariat staff to treat Raila and his team as “strangers”, and cross-check any instructions they gave.
Raila read the writing on the wall and bolted. The rest is history.
Meanwhile, Ruto was appointed Home Affairs minister and the “Deep State” put at his disposal to ensure “Project Uhuru” prevailed in 2002. Nothing doing, it tumbled.
Word is some hotheads in the Uhuru campaign and a section of the “Deep State” wanted Moi not to hand over to the opposition, but the deeper “Deep State” and international community wanted a smooth transition.
There is no doubt that Ruto was part of the “Deep State” in the first term of the Jubilee administration. It will be interesting when the gloves are taken off ahead of 2022.
DP Ruto is a child of the Deep State, he shouldn't bite the hand that birthed him bit.ly/3j770bn explains Kamau Ngotho.
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