10 November 2012

Kenya: What Brings Uhuru and Ruto Together?


This week, news of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto striking a pre-election agreement to run for public office on one party has been accorded extensive publicity in the media.

There have been reports that Uhuru will be the presidential candidate of the alliance while Ruto will be his running mate.

Other positions will be distributed to various key leaders who are also lining up to support this political pact. And in the event of Ruto and Uhuru being prevented from vying for political office by the High Court, the reported Plan B, is to have one of their political associates aim for the presidency, and one of the others, serve as the running mate.

In all fairness, it is within Uhuru's and Ruto's constitutionally guaranteed rights to enter an alliance and contest for public office of their choice.

But the question that Kenyans must soberly and thoroughly interrogate is what brings Uhuru and Ruto together? It is common knowledge that the two have been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for crimes against humanity. Their trial is due to commence in April next year.

If, as has been speculated by some political commentators, the Uhuru-Ruto alliance springs from their joint predicament at the ICC it will quite unfortunate.

Unity among leaders must have, as its cardinal object, the desire to advance the well-being of the whole country and not to serve the interests of the privileged few.

And so as much as plans by the two leaders to build an alliance cannot be faulted, Kenyans should seek to know what brings them together.

If it is for the good of the country then that is phenomenal. But if it is out of a determination to scuttle the ICC trials, Kenyans should deeply consider whether they are willing to allow national interests to take a back seat to the personal interests of two individuals.

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