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HomePOLITICSRuto in Dilemma Over Raila, Kalonzo's New Tactics

Ruto in Dilemma Over Raila, Kalonzo’s New Tactics

Ruto in Dilemma Over Raila, Kalonzo’s New Tactics

The upcoming year, 2024, seems pivotal for President William Ruto, presenting a crucial juncture that could determine his political future. He faces the challenge of either managing opposition figures Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka or regaining the confidence of Kenyans, who feel burdened by increased taxes and numerous unkept pledges.

As Ruto’s standing diminishes among the people of Kenya, he finds himself at a crucial point, particularly following indications from the opposition about their intention to initiate countrywide demonstrations in the upcoming year. This action comes as Azimio criticized the government’s apparent disregard for the challenges faced by Kenyans.

Azimio has been secretive about its favored presidential candidate for 2027. However, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka hinted on Sunday, December 31, that he intends to run for the presidency regardless of the specific political support he receives.

In a special conversation with PoliticalPulseChat, Dr. Brian Mutie, an Advocate of the High Court and a specialist in governance, stated that Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka from the opposition were positioned well to gain support from Kenyans. He also noted that Ruto, on the contrary, had the advantage of time to regain his popularity among the public.

Kalonzo proposed that an approach to secure victory in the 2027 competition would involve commencing an early campaign, initiating it four years before the actual general election.

Essentially, Kalonzo acknowledged that he intended to employ a tactic similar to Ruto’s approach, emulating the President’s strategy of early campaigning after the well-known March 2018 reconciliation, following his disagreement with his predecessor, Uhuru Kenyatta.

“I am going to move all over the country in the year 2024. The next contest, if it will be in 2027, must be won in 2024,” Kalonzo had vowed. 

In response to the matter, Mutie questioned whether Kalonzo possessed the necessary political influence and financial resources to emulate Ruto’s successful strategy.

“This is a situation that requires lots of funding and as most analysts would agree, Kalonzo Musyoka is not so much resource-wise endowed. He might have challenges towards mounting a serious campaign,” Mutie remarked, noting that Kalonzo needed to create a framework on how he would attract funders as well as work on how to package himself as the best alternative.  

A couple of hours following Kalonzo’s announcement of his countrywide tour, Ruto expressed in his New Year’s speech to the nation his concerns that the opposition aimed to hinder his efforts in fulfilling the campaign pledges laid out in the Bottom-Up agenda.

His expressions of sorrow resemble Uhuru’s grievances, blaming Ruto for traveling extensively across the country, ultimately giving rise to the Tanga Tanga movement that supported Ruto’s ascent to authority.

“You will agree with me that there is something fundamentally wrong with the opposition without any viable alternative whose only purpose is division, conflict, and anarchy,” Ruto disparaged the planned rallies by Kalonzo and other members of the opposition.

Dr. Mutie expressed the view that although Ruto cautioned Kalonzo and the opposition, the Wiper Leader had a significant advantage in offering optimism to Kenyans grappling with challenges such as the high cost of living, stringent taxation, and limited employment prospects.

President William Ruto speaking from State House, Nakuru on December 31, 2023.

The experienced governance specialist cautioned that Ruto might leverage Kalonzo’s role as co-chair of the National Dialogue Committee to undermine his disapproval of the Kenya Kwanza government.

Mutie stated that by collaborating with the governing group to offer suggestions regarding the country’s path, Kalonzo essentially showed support for the Kenya Kwanza administration.

Although Ruto attempted to undermine Kalonzo’s strategy before its introduction, analysts in the political sphere foresee the former Vice President as a strong adversary whom the President should be cautious of, particularly as there is a push for Raila’s retirement.

Moreover, Kalonzo will gain strength from the backing he’s been receiving from Raila Odinga, the leader of the Azimio movement. Although Raila hasn’t explicitly stated that he’ll endorse Kalonzo, he has indirectly suggested, using subtle language, that the Wiper Party Leader, his steadfast ally, is among the favored candidates for the 2027 election, without making a direct proclamation.

“This man has a heart, he is determined, he is also a Christian. He is a decent human being who loves others.”

“Ruto speaks of Kalonzo as if they are equal. Kalonzo is ten times better than Ruto,” Raila, in November 2023, indicated why Kalonzo would make a better President than Ruto.

According to Dr. Mutie’s analysis, it wasn’t guaranteed that the Azimio Leader would readily extend their support to Kalonzo Musyoka.


“I am worried that Raila is not going to let it go that easily because he still feels physically strong and his backers are telling him to go for it,” Mutie explained his reservations. 

The attorney further mentioned that if Raila were to support Kalonzo, he would promptly receive significant backing from Nyanza and Coast areas, along with portions of Nairobi.

President William Ruto and Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka during a past event

Specialists anticipate that Kalonzo might endeavor to gain support in the Mt Kenya region, an area where Raila has historically underperformed during his five unsuccessful presidential bids.

Kalonzo, who previously collaborated with former Presidents Mwai Kibaki and Uhuru Kenyatta, might also seek support from divisive figures in the Mt Kenya area, like Maina Njenga, to gain access to a region that has historically been challenging for the former prime minister to navigate.

Njenga, encouraging the media to refer to him as a representative of Azimio instead of highlighting his past as a former Mungiki leader, has been provoking leaders of Kenya Kwanza, headed by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, through his extensive tours across the region.

To secure the support of the Mt Kenya voting bloc, which has historically posed challenges for Raila, Dr. Brian Mutie suggested to Kalonzo that collaborating with leaders from that area, specifically highlighting outgoing Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru and former President Uhuru Kenyatta, would be advisable.

“Mt Kenya is up for grabs since it is one of the biggest voting blocks. He needs to identify key leaders he can work with and give them a promissory note he will work with a running mate from the region,” Mutie advised Kalonzo. 

Azimio is reportedly relying on recent polls conducted by Tifa and Infotrak. These surveys indicated a decline in President Ruto’s popularity, showing that a majority of Kenyans are unhappy with his performance.

According to the December 2023 End of Year Poll by Infotrak, Ruto received an average grade of D (47%) while his deputy, Rigathi Gachagua, obtained an average grade of E based on their performance.

Jubilee, under the guidance of ex-President Uhuru Kenyatta, revealed intentions to travel across Mt Kenya for discussions with residents regarding the soaring expenses, intensifying the pressure on Ruto. Ruto’s supporters retaliated by alleging that Uhuru is backing the campaign targeting his replacement.

During his discussion on PoliticalPulseChat, Dr. Brian Mutie highlighted that although the opposition can readily take advantage of the country’s current challenges, Ruto has the chance to change his luck for the better.

“Kenya Kwanza is performing well at the meta-governance level – at the global level. The country’s rating is performing well at that level and has been touted as one of the most progressive economies.” 

“The citizens are not feeling the same at the domestic level. It is a matter of Kenya Kwanza adjusting the few challenges in the country,” Mutie signed off, pointing out Ruto had four years to implement his agenda. 

A photo of Dr Brian Mutie, Advocate of the High Court and Governance, Law and Democracy expert.

Ruto in Dilemma Over Raila, Kalonzo’s New Tactics