Could this be why Uhuru is yet to congratulate Ruto?
Since on August 15, when the Chair of the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC), Wafula Chebukati, declared Dr William Ruto the president-elect, the outgoing Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta is yet to acknowledge his deputy’s victory.
Even as Dr Ruto continues receiving congratulatory messages from world leaders after the Supreme Court of Kenya delivered a unanimous verdict upholding his election victory, President Kenyatta has remained tight-lipped.
Although the president reacted to the Supreme Court’s verdict on Monday with an assurance to Kenyans of a smooth transfer of power, he avoided mentioning his deputy by name.
“I want to wish well all who have won as they guide our country into the future and I thank you all for the opportunity to serve you. I want to wish well all who have won as they guide our country into the future and I thank you all for the opportunity to serve you,” he said.
Dr Ruto, on the other hand, said he would reach out to President Kenyatta with whom he had not spoken to in months.
“I will shortly be placing a call to my good friend President Uhuru Kenyatta. I haven’t talked to him in months. I’ll be calling him so that we have a conversation on the process of transition. I know he worked hard but the people of Kenya have made a decision,” Dr Ruto said in his off-the-cuff remarks while reacting to the court judgment.
Since election day, President Kenyatta remained out of the public eye until some time last week when he appeared in public with political leaders from Mombasa who are aligned to Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition after ODM clinched the delayed Mombasa gubernatorial election.
President Kenyatta’s silence has raised eyebrows in the country with speculations rife that he is not pleased with Ruto’s victory. This is understandable considering their bitter fallout before the election and President Kenyatta’s subsequent decision to back Dr Ruto’s main opponent Raila Odinga.
The outgoing head of state is also the chairman of a top decision-making organ of Azimio la Umoja, on whose ticket Mr Odinga ran for president. Before the coalition makes any critical decision, President Kenyatta ‘must’ be involved and consulted.
This in effect implies that by congratulating his deputy, President Kenyatta could as well be conceding defeat on behalf of Mr Odinga.
Being the chairperson of a top decision-making organ of the Coalition, President Kenyatta’s utterances carry power.
Azimio la Umoja, which brought together 26 political parties, is governed by two organs – the Coalition Council and National Coalition Executive Council (NCEC). The NCEC comprises 19 people, with former Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya as the chair.
Other key decision makers in the coalition include Mr Odinga, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu’s Gideon Moi, former Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, former Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege and former Taveta MP Naomi Shaban.
The others are Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) leader and Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi, Abdi Noor Omar Farah and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed who is the NCEC secretary general.