Crucify him, crucify them, the crowd shouted, but William is the man. He is
By Macharia wa Gakuru
Koech, not his real name is a man who loves politics. I came to know him in around 2002 when I was publishing Eastern Africa Magazine, the days of Moi must go. He was a very trusted lieutenant during Mois regime, a man who helped Moi invest in Britain.
I like to have a chat with this man who knows Moi men in and out. What we found out early in our meetings is that we had same common ground on taste of exotic African food, Ethiopian Ijera.
It is a political season in Kenya and therefore Koech and I longed to see each other, as we normally have an informed political debate. He wanted to know from me why I came so strongly in support of Hon. Raila and why I told him Uhuru has a spoiled child of Kenya with no development, investment or charitable or reform record that I could refer to. I had told him Uhuru is hard to sell at the moment except for being Kikuyu, funding Mungiki, and being the son of Jomo. I wanted his analysis on William Ruto, a man he knew well. I wanted to know who is this man, what drives him how has he managed to steal the limelight of the Professor of politics Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi and how he managed to survive Kenyan abrasive politics at such a young age.
Thursday evening this week at six oclock we agreed we meet at a restaurant owned by a friend of mine in Caledonian road. It was easy for us to meet there, as he would leave whatever time he wished to catch his train back to Leicester in the midlands in the UK.
The restaurant is good, well set for city dwellers looking for out of the ordinary food experience, something different. We sat on the African stools with a big open flat based but shallow serving basket specially associated with Ethiopia. I asked for coffee Ethiopian style. This coffee is dark bitter sweet served in small glasses and he asked for an Ethiopian beer.
For those who may not know, Ethiopians eat communally, a common large fermented sour chapatti-like dough called Ijera eaten with a choice of different sauces. I chose to eat Kitfo, a special beef meat eaten raw spiced up with goat cheese and spices, very nice and Koech ordered Doro wot, a chilli hot stewed chicken with spices. The special thing about eating Ijera is that you do not use folks or knifes, you use your hands. That adds colour to the experience of friendship, food and the process of eating. We were set for our discussion.
I know what you want to know but Gakuru I have seen a lot of abuses on you in your last piece, how do you cope with such venom? He asked looking a bit of reservation. I would not like you to mention my name in your article, my wife will go mad.
Koech, the best thing to happen to Kenya now is that people can exercise their democratic rights in whatever way that suits them, I replied. What you see with those reactions you are referring to, is people precipitating of anger in different forms. People are exercising what your friend Moi denied Kenya for such a long time and what Raila and others like Kenneth Matiba, Rubia, Martin shikuku and many brave fathers and mothers of our second liberation were beaten, tortured and put in cell for.
Dont look me like that, I am not Moi, he interrupted me as he realised my voice was going louder, I am a businessman you remember?
Look, you have asked me a question that I have been asked many times and I need to answer it. Let me make it simple, these people are voting with their words. They all have serious issues that we all need to address as Kenyans. Some have lost their loved ones, others land and property and others their dignity. I respect their views but I do not know if some of them can differentiate the issues of the message from the messenger as they are entangled and trapped in themselves. But again that is a matter for them, I am liberated. For me the issues are important to them as to me but we have different ways of solving them and that is our difference and that is democracy. We all have the same interest but looking at the issue differently.
The issue is about Kenya and her future, I continued, Kenya is the greatest country in the world, our motherland our promised land. We cannot see any more bloodshed or hate as we have seen in the past. We are all trying to find the best leader for Kenya come next elections based on substance, issues of development, social tribal harmony, contribution to democratic change, respect for the rule of law, the new constitution among others.
The food was then placed on our table.
Now I have heard you what do you want to know?
Before I answer your question let me say this Kenya is more important than all of us, Kibaki, Moi, Raila and the rest of them including you and me. Let us respect each other. If people democratically abuse the written word in their shadows and cannot say why their preferred candidate is the best presidential candidate for the 4th Kenyan presidency then thats them. For me Raila Odinga stands out and I am here to support him. If they have another better choice I am ready and willing to listen, and be convinced of him or her. All what I want is what is best for Kenya, I concluded.
It is up to you but please dont mention my name, he requested.
Koech I want you to paint for me a picture of Ruto. I fear him as a warlord am I right or is it illusions without foundation? Among the existing candidates he is the most dealing politician, killed Moi politically and dared Raila, at his age I want someone who can give me an insight into the man. Can he be our next president though a Kalenjin or Kikuyu president makes me sick? I posed.
Uuuuhu, I thought you wanted a briefing on tribal crushes? he asked, you have moved the goal post Gakuru. Mmmm, he posed.
He looked deep in thought. My earlier self-defence to his question might have reflected an issue we had not discussion with him. For a moment, I thought he would leave the food and walk away.
I told you I wanted to discuss with you how I can support Raila, not Ruto. If it is about Ruto, you can get a lot about him on the internet, just goggle him. Why dont you do your research on him rather than making me come all the way from Leicester?
We had a lengthy discussion and finally he agreed we talk about Ruto.
William as those who are close to him will call him is no childs play. He is one of the most skilled Politian in Kenya today. Uhuru, Musyoka are his opportunities and only Raila scares him. Therefore he admires the son of Ramogi and wishes that Kalenjins will see him the same way Luos sees Raila, a messiah. watch my words he will achieve it. Who on his own can oppose the Kenyan constitution, get a third of the votes and survive? he started.
I met William in the days of YK92, then our leader of Cyrus Njirongo, and he was the organising secretary. He is a calm calculating man, young for what he has achieved, about 45 years, very patient and intelligent with what he wants but he has this strength from within of convincing and working with people.
How do you rate him compared to the other presidential candidates?
Please do not rush me. You want me to tell you about William right? he asked.
Yes, I replied.
In the days of YK92 (youth for Kanu 1992) William was not well up financially but he learnt quickly to be humble, attentive, to sing Mois song or royalty and therefore he build such a strong trust with his master in a way that he made money for Moi by negotiating big deals and also made money and power for himself.
William is a survivor. When Jirongo lost favour with Moi, William became Mois dear project of cleaning Rift Valley off the foreigners. William understood Moi well and grew to be a monster who has favour of many from Kalenjins his tribe unlike Moi a Tugen a sub-tribe of Kalenjin.
I can clearly tell you knowing William well he must have been very much involved in masterminding tribal crushes of Molo that have made a good number of you Kikuyus to be in the UK. You should thank Ruto and Moi for your papers, he posed and looked at me on the face.
Tuko pamoja? he asked with a smile.
I nodded, in response.
I can clearly tell you again Ruto was involved in 1992, 1997, and 2002, and 2007 tribal crushes. You know I am frustrated beyond believe to see Uhuru Kenyatta bedding this guy who has an agenda of clearing the whole of the Rift Valley county of all the other tribes. He just want Kalenjins in the Rift Valley county and I can tell you he is the greatest threat to peace in Kenya today as Luos, Luhyas, Kisii and many Kikuyus share this region not forgetting the Maasais. Pastoralists are our brothers but you Bantus you came and took our land, tilled and settle on it. Dont you think we do not have issues with it as well? How would you feel if in the middle of Nyeri county there is a patch of land owned by half a million people who are prosperous and they start controlling Othaya, Mukurweini regions owning all the businesses? Do you think that would be fair to the locals who owned land since the beginning of time? To Kalenjins this is our land given to us by Cheptalel our God. But maybe those times are gone.
I realised he was becoming emotional.
If these people buy this land in Kikuyuland I do not see what the issue is Kenyan land is for Kenyans. Do you want another drink? I asked.
He nodded as I ordered him another Ethiopian beer.
I do not know why after the ICC ruling last month that Uhuru and Ruto will face charges, the two are accusing Hon. Raila of post election violence in 2007/8. In fact the tribal crushes killed and displaced thousands of innocent people long before this. Therefore these people are crucifying the wrong person. They should go and make a case against Moi and his henchmen including William Ruto. Moi should be a part of ICC for crimes against humanity. The violence we saw was William perfecting his skills of his masters plan. If it was not for the government machinery and Uhuru funding mungiki he would have succeeded. People forget quickly. It is interesting he has become the darling of Kikuyus. I can tell you if he does not have his way, William will be back.
Tuko pamoja? You know I dont trust journalists fully. Kikuyu ni Kikuyu tu. You might be Uhurus project posing as Raila interviewing a friend of Ruto for wiper - Kalonzo Musyoka. Si hata General Kiguoya alimake kuwa President, Kwani?
Waoo what an analysis, and it might be the same with you. You might be a Moi man for Uhuru via a diplomat called Kalonzi for William your war-lord. Be careful what you say to this journalist, I joked.
By the way is it true what I am hearing that Raila has poured lots of dollars in the UK to you guys. You know what I can do. I can pull the Kalenjin vote within UK for you guys. We are many, well linked and wealthy. Some of our guys are in Surrey.,
Well Koech, can we stick to the issues please, I interrupted.
I think I have told you enough. Go and research the rest about William for yourself or as your friend Mutula Kilonzo. But I have one thing I want to tell you, Uhuru politically cannot match William Ruto. William is a formidable force, a shroud politician, who feels he can easy do better business with Raila than Uhuru. In fact he is just using Uhuru at the moment for his political gain. He knows Uhuru is a privileged boy with resources and they are both victims of ICC. At opportune time I can clearly tell you he will cut a deal with ODM then you guys kikuyus hatutakua pamoja, you wait, there are no permanent enemies in politics. Go and pay the food and drinks bill. I am off.