Pic/Courtesy: Deputy President William Ruto

With Kenyans are yet to recover from 2017 general elections, 2022 succession politics is already taking shape. Deputy President William Ruto has been at the centre stage of the 2022 succession talk. While being Jubilee’s 2022 point man could place Ruto on an advantageous position to succeed President Kenyatta, his early campaigns can potentially work against him.
Ruto’s tours across the country has gotten the attention of several political players including the president himself who recently called on the DP to stop kutangatanga (walk aimlessly). The opposition head Raila Odinga has also weighed in on the issue saying time for politicking is yet to come. In a bid to save face, DP handlers have termed the tours as “development tours” where the premier gets to interact with the citizens. Word also has it that Central Kenya politicians are not happy with Ruto’s tours, most of them terming the campaigns unnecessary since Kenyatta’s second term is still fresh. With such dissenting voices within Jubilee Party, division is eminent and that could jeopardize Ruto’s chances winning the top seat.
Although ODM hold that they will have a presidential candidate come 2022, Raila who leads the party is yet to announce whether he will contest or not. The wait-and-see is a political strategy that politicians use to determine how they will engage their opponent. With Ruto’s cards on the table, his stand is compromised compared to candidates such as Raila who are yet to announce their candidature. Also, the risk that comes with early campaigns is the danger of losing momentum. Ruto has been gaining huge support especially from coastal politicians who previously supported ODM. This support may not last to see 2022 general elections especially if a stronger wave is to come. This may leave Ruto a lone man come 2022.
Political pundits argue that Ruto’s chances are heavily dependent on Kenyatta’s 2nd term performance. With the administration already dealing with numerous corruption scandals, experts say DP Ruto will have a steeper hill to climb and his early campaigns will have a little impact.

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