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Five political giants floored by Ruto

President-elect William Ruto was made for gigantic political battles.

And he has a way of winning them all.

The son of a humble farmer has in his three-decade political career taken on and humbled the mightiest of them all, including two presidents.

Here’s a breakdown.

1. Reuben Chesire – In 1997, fresh from his exploits at the Youth for Kanu 92 lobby grouy, a youthful Ruto faced Chesire, who was not only a powerful politician at the time but also a reported close relative of then president Moi’s brother in law, in the battle for the Eldoret North parliamentary seat .

Ruto ignored Moi’s advice to step down for Chesire and floored the veteran politician in the polls to make his debut in Parliament.

Not done, there have been reports that the relationship between Ruto and Chesire detororiated thereafter, to a point it got physical at State House.

2. President Moi – Next up for the former chicken seller was the retired president.

The initial battle was for the control of the Rift Valley and to an extent Kalenjin community.

Moi reportedly preferred his favourite son Gideon to succeed him in those ranks but Ruto, closely known in political circles as ‘Uliam’, had other ideas.

He commenced the plans with a painful coup in which he took over the Rift Valley during the 2007 polls.

By the time the President-elect was done with the coup, Gideon Moi had lost his Baringo Senator seat in the 2022 polls.

3. Raila Odinga – Not even the self proclaimed enigma of Kenyan politics has been spared.

Believe it or not the President-elect and Odinga were once bossom friends and political allies. Ruto worked over time and handed the entire Rift Valley vote to Odinga in 2007. The two would fall out immediately after with suggestions they failed to share the spoils after Odinga settled for a nusu mkate government. Ruto then walked out of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party with a sizeable chunk of MPs including Aden Duale. The rest is history.

4. International Criminal Court – The President-elect was accused of participating in the 2007/2008 post-election violence and hauled before the International Criminal Court (ICC|) at the Hague soon after. It was a battle that had to be won. He managed it, by first getting elected as Deputy President and then defending himself with all his might politically and legally using experienced lawyers like Katwa Kigen and Kithure Kindiki.

5. Uhuru Kenyatta – He is the main and latest casualty of the President-elect’s rise to the top. As always, the two leaders started off as friends. Ruto supported Uhuru in his presidential quest in 2002 and stood beside him as he conceded defeat. He also supported Uhuru in 2013, and twice in 2017. Then they fell out and Ruto forcefully took over Uhuru’s Mount Kenya support base, complete with the members of Parliament. He would then trounce Raila Odinga, Uhuru’s preferred candidate, in the August 2022 elections to be named president elect.