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Is Media to Blame Over War Between President Kenyatta and DP William Ruto?

Kenya politics are mostly driven by media narratives, whereas political pundits have warned electorates of believing everything reported by the media as the gospel truth.

Not only in Kenya that media is being used to drive an agenda but also globally especially during the campaigns period.

Globally, four years ago, Russia was accused of launching a cyber campaign to disrupt and influence the 2016 America presidential election campaign where about a third of Americans confessed that they could not differential between real and fake news.

Furthermore, with the 2020,3rd November presidential election nearing in America, it’s reported that more than half of U.S .adult are said to find it hard in differentiating these fake or deceptive stories that have become increasingly “true”.

Chart by Megan McGrew

Back in Kenya political narrative has been drawn to drive a political wedge that president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy president William Ruto don’t see each other eye due to what has been termed by the media as a conflict of succession comes 2022.

The showdown on their “political” difference has brought down the Jubilee party that won the 2017 disputed general election.

This has resulted in rival wars between their supporters who have been classified to either Kieleweke or Tangatanga.

According to media reporting, their political difference widened after the introduction of the handshake between Uhuru and opposition leader Raila Odinga.

Uhuru and Ruto at the merger to form Jubilee Party

President Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto

The divide between them grew after July 22, with the arrest of Cabinet Secretary to the National Treasury Henry Rotich, who was accused of corruption.

Ruto held his tongue on the indictment of Rotich, a key figure from his populous political support base in the northern Rift Valley region while also the recent firing of agriculture cabinet secretary Mwangi Kiunjuri who is a close ally to deputy president William Ruto was interpreted as a way of sending a message to Ruto over his 2022 presidential race.

The media had reported that Kiunjuri was being groomed to take over from President Uhuru Kenyatta as mount Kenya kingpin and to deputize William Ruto.

Image result for ruto and uhuru

Raila Odinga

Kiunjuri would later come out in public and accuse former prime minister Raila Odinga of being behind his woes.

The Ruto camp has never hidden its distrust for the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), an outcome of the March 2018 peace pact between the president and Odinga – his long-time opposition foe. The initiative was symbolised by the famous public handshake between the two men.

As per media reporting, president Uhuru Kenyatta has never come out in public to declare that he will not support Ruto’s 2022 presidential candidature but his closeness to Raila Odinga is what media is interpreting as the rivalry between the two.

While campaigning in 2013, Uhuru promised Ruto’s supporters in a rift valley that he will rule for 10 years and his deputy 10 years and his silence over whether to support him has worsened the matter with several reports indicating that Uhuru might favour Kanu chairman Gideon Moi who has declared the interest for the presidency comes 2022.

Earlier while speaking to NTV, deputy president William Ruto dispelled rumours by the media that president Uhuru Kenyatta will not support a Jubilee candidate.

The DP said that he is sure that Uhuru will support the Jubilee candidate comes 2022 and those against it will be shocked to the core adding that Uhuru made a public promise that a Jubilee party in power after he retires.

“If that candidate is William Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta will support me. If it is anyone else, Uhuru Kenyatta will support that candidate and I will also support that person,” Ruto said.

Image result for ruto and uhuru

President Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto

Ruto has displayed loyalty to the head of state and whenever he took to the podium, he always announces that he has been sent by the head of state.

“Gazeti ni ya kufunga nyama” (Newspaper is for wrapping meat) this is a phrase that president Uhuru coined in 2017 during the campaign after accusing the media of bias while reporting.

Ruto has severally said that they are a good friend with Uhuru urging their supporters not to believe in what media report about them.

Image result for uhuru and ruto

President Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto

“If there are respect and loyalty that can be displayed. There is no one who has displayed loyalty and respect to Uhuru than me.”Ruto once said.

He stated that when it comes to counting those who have stood with President Uhuru in his political career, only his wife, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta would match his efforts.

About Edwin Ochieng

Edwin Ochieng is living true to the calling of Journalism, He is passionate about issues of Business and Politics. Edwin Ochieng is a graduate from St Paul University and East African School of Media Studies (EASMS).

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