Socio-Economics is the study of relationship between economic activities and social life. It is a multidisciplinary components involving theories and modules from sociology and economics for human dignity among others. However, socioeconomists focuses on social impacts and political activities that affects economic changes, or causes that impact a society. The Goal to Socio/economic study is to bring about improvement on socioeconomic development environment…Give Opinion or Discuss
Saturday, August 3, 2013
Why the two Rutos are on a collision course
Why the two Rutos are on a collision
By MAKAU MUTUA Posted Saturday, August 3 2013 at
Close to the
heart: Devolution has been near and dear to the Kalenjin for decades
Let me whisper a secret in your ear – there’s trouble in the Rift Valley.
Kill that thought – it’s not what you think.
The world is “upside down” because brother has turned against brother. Bomet
County Governor Isaac Ruto has unsheathed his sword against Deputy President
But I could be wrong – perhaps it’s William Ruto who struck the first blow.
This much is undeniable – the two Kalenjin titans are separated by a “growing
We know the “Great Rift” hasn’t been “Happy Valley” for decades. But the
protagonists have never been so fraternal.
Which begs the question – does Governor Ruto see a soft underbelly in
Jubilee? Why is he rattling the snake?
Let’s peel this political onion. That Governor Ruto is a political maverick
is without doubt. Though less famous than his namesake – DP Ruto – the Bomet
Governor is an intriguing personality.
He dabbled in Marxism at the University of Nairobi. A former Kanu hawk under
the Moi regime, Mr Ruto has often displayed a defiant independent
The former Chepalungu ODM MP is one of the few politicians who read actual
books. This explains why he speaks in highly intelligent complete sentences.
He’s witty and fun loving.
But there’s a paradox – he’s been a long-time Kalenjin parochialist – until
now. He’s morphing into a Kenyan – a nationalist – as Chairman of the National
Council of Governors. He’s emerged as the key and unapologetic advocate of
Let me tell you why the two Rutos are on a collision course. Devolution –
once known as majimboism – has been near and dear to the Kalenjin for decades.
It was part of the raison d’être of Kadu, the settler-supported party led by
former President Daniel arap Moi.
Majimboism – or federalism – was supported by the Kalenjin, Luhya, and the
Coastal peoples to counter Kanu, then dominated by Kikuyu, Luo, and
But majimbo held a special place in the Kalenjin Rift Valley. The Kalenjin
saw it as a defence against “internal colonialism” by “outsider” groups –
especially the Kikuyu – who had “settled” in vast chunks of the Rift
There’s deep historical resentment against so-called “foreigners” in the Rift
Valley. Although most Kalenjin voted against the new Constitution, they have
fully embraced devolution – one of its central tenets. This is one of the key
points of divergence between the two Rutos.
It’s an open secret that the Jubilee regime is perceived as opposed to
devolution. Some argue that President Uhuru Kenyatta is hostile to devolution.
That’s why – the argument goes – he has retained the provincial administration,
the innocuous and duplicative county commissioners, and even the despised
vestige of local colonial chiefs. There’s no doubt these structures undermine –
and sabotage – county governments.
Even worse, the central government seems bent on curbing and constricting
revenues to the counties. DP Ruto is seen as marching step lock with Mr Kenyatta
in opposing devolution.
Mr Kenyatta is caught between a rock and a hard place. The Kikuyu – from
which he comes – have never been enamoured of devolution. They believe it will
“marginalise” them as “settlers” in the Rift Valley and the Coast.
Yet President Kenyatta is under the fiat of the Constitution to fully
implement devolution. What is DP Ruto to do? Will he support Mr Kenyatta’s tepid
view of devolution, or break ranks with Jubilee’s TNA and throw his weight
behind Governor Ruto’s crusade for complete devolution?
Like Mr Kenyatta, DP Ruto is caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
He’ll be damned if he doesn’t back Mr Kenyatta, but he’ll also be damned if he
supports Governor Ruto.
This is how Governor Ruto may put DP Ruto in a chokehold. Governor Ruto is
likely to emerge as the champion of devolution among the Kalenjin. DP Ruto, on
the other hand, could easily be painted into a corner – as a “sellout” to the
Kikuyu position on devolution. This is a quandary DP Ruto can’t
He “destooled” former President Moi as the “paramount chief” of the Kalenjin
by posing as their new saviour.
They say “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”. Governor Ruto
seems eager to use the same sword against DP Ruto that the latter used against
Mr Moi. It’s called poetic justice. DP Ruto risks being “destooled” by Governor
Ruto among the Kalenjin.
This narrative explains the intrigues and war of words between the proxies of
DP Ruto and those of Governor Ruto. DP Ruto’s Kalenjin allies haven’t taken
kindly to Governor Ruto’s naked attack on Jubilee for its failure to support
devolution. They have threatened to either impeach the governor or kick him out
But his Kalenjin cohorts and fellow governors – across the political divide –
have come to Governor Ruto’s defence. They have called DP Ruto’s bluff and dared
his cronies to make the first move. An old African saying is that “two rats
can’t live in one hole”. Can the Kalenjin Rift Valley be “ruled” by two “kings”
– both of them named Ruto? Or will one vanquish the other?
Methinks Governor Ruto
smells blood, and sees an opening to dethrone DP Ruto. It’s a slight window, a
Governor Ruto is a strategic thinker, and knows that The Hague trials are
looming. That’s why it’s a perfect opportunity to position himself as the
alternative to DP Ruto among the Kalenjin.
These may be the first shots in the struggle for succession among the
Kalenjin. This may explain why one Ruto is after the other.
Makau Mutua is Dean and SUNY Distinguished Professor at SUNY Buffalo Law
School and Chair of the KHRC. Twitter @makaumutua