Kenya’s Vice President William Ruto has said he wants to mend his boss as the rift grows between the two former allies.
However, it should be noted that last year the two leaders also attempted to settle their political differences through clergy mediation, but failed to move forward.
The union between these two former political allies collapsed on July 22, 2019 following the arrest of Cabinet Secretary to the National Treasury Henry Rotich, accused of corruption.
Rotich, who pleaded not guilty, was released on bail the next day. He was appointed by Kenyatta in 2013 at Ruto’s request.
Camp Ruto has never hidden its mistrust of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), the result of the March 2018 peace pact between President Uhuru and Raila Odinga – its longtime adversary.
The initiative was symbolized by the famous public handshake between the two men – a moment now referred to simply as “The Handshake”.
Ruto’s supporters fear the rapprochement could signal Kenyatta’s plan to reverse a power-sharing and succession pact, under which he would back Ruto as president in the 2022 election after serving two terms.
The BBI aims to amend the 2010 constitution – which established a presidential system – to create, among other things, a post of prime minister, two deputy prime ministers and a leader of the opposition and increase the number of seats in parliament.
According to President Uhuru, the Constitutional Review (BBI) aims to mitigate the current “winner takes it all” system that has caused post-election strife throughout the country’s history.
On May 11, 2021, Parliament approved the bill, which was then to be submitted to a referendum.
But two days later, a Nairobi court ruled that the process was illegal, declaring that such a constitutional review could not be initiated by the president.
With the collapse of the BBI, Ruto seems to have won the fight and therefore seems ready to reconcile with Uhuru.
However, it remains to be judged in the coming days whether the two will really reconcile. President Uhuru had previously challenged his deputy to step down if he did not approve of the government’s achievements while he is serving there.
Although President Kenyatta and Ruto have never explained exactly why their relationship fell apart, it is understood that they have already exchanged bitter texts. Some have been read by their allies.
“From the messages shown to me, the differences between the two are personal and very deep. It will take a miracle to iron them out, ”a source said. His opinion has been echoed by others.