The Deputy President had started his campaigns as early as 2019 after the historical handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. He has recently announced a new party and has according to so many political analysts started a class war dubbed ‘hustlers versus dynasties.’
William Ruto’s campaign cards for his 2022 election bid are the hustler narrative and the sympathy card where he claims to have been betrayed by the President; both of which are vague considering his controversial and dramatic political career.
Class war is eminent in this country, the political class, a few elites and their close knit circles continue to loot massively and grow wealthier as the masses suffer. However, Ruto is the last person to lead this struggle against corruption, dynasties and impunity. Let’s look at the political history of this self-proclaimed hustler.
Ruto started off his career in the Moi era where he mobilized youths to drum up support for the late autocratic ruler. William Ruto helped in the founding of the infamous YK’92 youth group that allegedly took part in orchestrating ethnic violence, political intimidations and hooliganism during the 1992 general elections.
After Moi disbanded the YK’92, William Ruto vied and got elected as Member of Parliament in 1997. He subsequently became the minister for agriculture and the minister of Home Affairs (Interior) ministry. Ruto would then form and jump alliances with key political figures in the country up until the last one – the Jubilee Alliance.
Ruto believes that Kenyans are gullible enough to buy into the hustler narrative and vote him in come 2022. He fails to account for the fact that he was indeed in bed with the same ‘system’/’dynasty’ that he keeps referring to. He also forgets that he was elected before by Kenyans and his government has terribly failed them – the same reason many Kenyans reject the wheelbarrownomics.
William Ruto like any other typical political leader in this country, has countless corruption allegations and was accused of being the mastermind of crimes ranging from assassinations, land grabbing and crimes against humanity (by the ICC).
The hustler narrative is an insult to the mama mboga who strives to earn a few extra coins in the CBD and gets kicked around by kanjos, it is an insult to the university graduate whose shoe soles have worn out in the streets of Nairobi in the inevitable search for a job and it is still an insult to the Kenyan voter who has given up on Kenyan democracy. It is an insult to every Kenyan youth trying to earn an honest living and make proud his parents.
It is sickening to see politicians using the youth as a campaign tool in every election season and when elected, turn around and ask them, ‘why they are broke?’
However much it the hustler narrative would seem like the best alternative compared to others, young people are not convinced that the people propagating it are in the moral position to do so. Same old monkey, different forest they say.
William Ruto should know that the Kenyan youth are not as stupid as it was thought before, they would soon find their voice, so he and his obsequious fellas should never try to hijack the real hustlers’ struggle when they all know they don’t belong to the same class as them.
Nairobi-based journalist and writer covering domestic and regional politics, players and policies. Focusing on the bigger picture in a modern contemporary world.