Why Ruto and Uhuru could part ways

Written By Michael Maunda on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 | 9:28 PM

Eldoret North MP William Ruto could dump Uhuru Kenyatta, according to the latest Wikileaks cable quoting Sally Kosgei.The cable on June 2, 2009 says that ambassador Michael Ranneberger dined on May 12 at his Muthaiga residence with the then Higher Education minister, US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson and National Security Council director for Africa Michelle Gavin. "She expects that Ruto will abandon Uhuru if he stumbles or is no longer useful," said Ranneberger in the cable.

She confirmed that Ruto, Uhuru and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka were working on an alliance primarily as a reaction to the Waki Commission. "Ruto, in Kosgei's view, is working with Uhuru to block key reforms and scuttle the Waki Commission's  call for a local tribunal to investigate post-election violence," said the cable which noted that "Both Ruto and Kenyatta are believed to be on the Waki Commission's sealed list of 10 architects of post-election violence". "Kosgei (an ethnic Kalenjin) expressed doubt that Kikuyu voter in Central and Kalenjin voters in Rift Valley will be willing to set aside the violence suffered at each others hands to form a coalition in 2012," the cable states.
In 2009, Kosgei had not yet switched to join the rebel ODM group around William Ruto but she was still privately critical of party leader Prime Minister Raila Odinga. "Kosgei believes that Odinga truly wants to achieve the reform agenda but does not have the organisational discipline to do so. Raila had not office structure and no discipline in his life or schedule," the cable states.
She "quote former Salim Lone as observing that Odinga has made it this far in politics by the force of his personality without having to demonstrate managerial acumen". "Odinga is unwilling to sack corrupt deputies and is overly focused on protocol issues and ODM inclusion in appointment decisions such that it distracts his attention from the broader reform agenda," the cable states. "Though Kosgei and her ministers have access to Odinga, he often agrees to meet late at night when he is tired and unfocused".

However Kosgei concluded that "Odinga, despite his flaws, remains the strongest candidate in a crowded field thanks to strong opposition credentials and an accessible personality".
She was dismissive of other candidates. "Uhuru is hindered by laziness and a very hands off approach to running the Ministry of Finance" and had also been damaged by the fiasco of financial inaccuracies in the 2009 budget. "Minister of Internal Security George Saitoti has been appointed to every position he has held and lacks the skills to fight effectively for the Presidency." "Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi lacks the energy and money to seriously challenge Ruto," she said. "On the PNU side Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka is a diminishing asset who frets that he will be overshadowed by Mutula Kilonzo," the cable states.

Kosgei told the Americans that Kibaki and Raila "have no difficulty reaching agreement on issues but for different reasons are each incapable of advancing reforms. She noted from her own experience in Cabinet meetings that two principals are in a mutual admiration club (in Cabinet they always agree)." "Kosgei noted that Kibaki agrees to reforms in principle but is beholden to the corrupt interests of his inner circle."

She agreed with the Americans that Civil Service boss "Francis Muthaura has accumulated inordinate control over government functions".She defended Martha Karua who had just resigned as Justice minister. "Karua is a good woman, and an ally for reform, but she fell into the trap of believing that Kibaki actually seeks to reform the judicial sector," the cable states. "Karua's replacement as Justice Minister, Mutula Kilonzo, used to to be the lawyer to former President Moi. Kilonzo is a windbag and not strong enough to take on the vested interests of the current regime, Kosgei observed, but she expressed the hope that he would undertake at least minimal reforms of the judiciary."
In response to a question from Carson about extra-judicial killings, "Kosgei responded by noting that all security organs remain under the control of Kibaki's PNU party. Because PNU leaders believe that Police Commissioner Ali did them a favour during the past election by cordoning ODM strongholds, Kosgei expects that PNU will block any substantial police reforms and will retain close control of the police, GSU (paramilitary), and military in advance of the 2012 elections". "In this context, Ali is permitted to utilize extrajudicial killings to control organised gangs such as the Mungiki, which threaten to disrupt Kikuyu politics by operating in the heart of Central Province", the cable quotes her as saying. "The police freelance in extorting money from the gangs and execute legitimate critics such as the Oscar Foundation principals", the cable states.

She was also critical of NSIS director Gen Michael Gichangi as "a man who has no energy" and "is more interested in collecting information on ODM leaders than issues of national importance".
The conclusion of the dinner was that "sustained broad public pressure will be required to move leaders beyond their marrow political interests to serving the interests of the country".
Courtesy The STAR