By Wafula Buke
If you listened to elders and opinion leaders interrogate William Ruto’s politics on Radio KASS FM, you may have concluded that: the greatest punishment for a liar is that he has to sustain the invention of selling lies or risk an even bigger punishment of never being believed when he changes his mind to speak the truth. The meeting heavily borrowed from Ruto’s political inconsistencies and falsehoods.
1. “Don’t be vague go to Hague.”
Pursuant to recommendations that suspects of the 2007/8 post-election violence suspects be prosecuted, a debate ensued on whether that could be done locally or internationally through the International Criminal Court (ICC) proceedings. Ruto opted for Hague and urged people to shun vagueness on the matter. In his thinking proceedings would have started in 2090. He has since changed his mind over the matter.
2. “I have never seen an athlete competing for a 2nd position. A serious person goes for number one. Why are Franklin Bett and Henry Kosgey fighting to be number two?”
When Franklin Bett and Henry Kosgey jostled for the presidential running-mate position under Raila, Ruto was quick to mock the two senior leaders. Ruto’s response to the changing political alliance dynamics in the recent past package present yet another contradiction: being running mate may be for serious people too, now that he has taken it up with Uhuru.
3. “Raila betrayed Kalenjins by evicting Kalenjins from Mau.”
Mau evictions originated from a Cabinet policy decision to raise the national forest cover from 1.7% to 10% in 2003. This position was endorsed by the Cabinet in 2009. Ruto who was a member of that Cabinet did not protest and extended his endorsement through silence to Parliament. The last few years have seen Ruto delegate the Cabinet responsibility to one Raila as he basks in a convenient lethal silence about the CEO, President Mwai Kibaki.
4. “President Mwai Kibaki has given me Ksh 1b to resettle Mau evictees.”
The statement was made in the days when Ruto had Kibaki’s ear. We recall the famous joint meeting Kibaki had with Ruto in his backyard. He later fundraised for an additional Ksh 6 million for the resettlement project.
5. “I support the appointment of judicial officials by the president.”
While the judiciary was identified as the cause of the contested elections of the 2007, Ruto decided to support the status quo by endorsing President Mwai Kibaki’s unilateral controversial appointment of senior judicial officers. Appointments that were overturned by Parliament amounted to doing the groundwork for yet another contested election in 2012 perhaps with his candidate, Uhuru being the complainant and his constituents the bearers of the ugly cross.
6. “President Moi and KANU are gifts from God.”
William Ruto refused to reinforce Bishop Alexander Muge, Tirop arap Kitur among others and instead spent his youth serving a false cause that would have landed him in jail if he had attempted to form URP then. One of the defining features of the G7 is that none of its members has any pride in their youth. They all did nothing or opposed the struggle for political change in Kenya. In fact they took swam along the currents of the day and amassed the wealth that propelled them to their current status as politicians.
7. “Don’t blame me for crimes committed by my father.”
By this statement, Uhuru Kenyatta got closest to disowning his father and simultaneously acknowledged historical injustices meted to Kenyans by his father. Ruto has more or less said the same thing about his mentor former President Moi. While the two share discomfort with their mentors, it is not without doubt that they are products of former benevolent dictators Kenyatta and Moi respectively. In short their lives have been a contradiction amounting to yet another lie.
8. “I have never seen a river Kipchoria (Nyando) and Chemosit (Sondu) flow towards the Mountain.”
In the 2007 presidential elections, William Ruto favored Kalonzo Musyoka over Raila. Kalenjin elders, however, stood their ground and twisted him back to Raila’s side. In the ensuing campaigns after the nominations, he made the above statement meant to be a pointer to the irrationality of backing a candidate from Mount Kenya region. Dr. Sally Kosgey began her address by telling the gathering that she went to the two rivers to check whether they have changed direction.
In the fullness of time and with the elections dust fully settled, Rift Valley may have nothing but shame that William Ruto won their allegiance. Dr Richard Martim Cheruyot of Kabianga University pointed at this when he lamentated at the meeting: “I thought we are supposed to learn from history, why are we ignoring history?”
The song that closed the meeting seemed to be a message to Ruto on his new direction for their electoral arrows: KOILEGEN OH! KOILEGEN TULUONON BO KOILEGEN MAMI CHIK, NE LONYEI TULUETAB KOILEGEN, MOLONYEI NEBO, IMANLONYEI NEBO LEMBECHEK, MAMI CHIK NE LONYEI, TULUETAB KOILEGEN (We shall not climb the mountain of koilegen again).