National Politics

After Betrayal by the Deputy President, Will the “hustler Nation” Survive without a leader?

Deputy President William Ruto. Image source: the-star.co.ke

The political about turn by deputy president William Ruto in favor of the BBI report could have much political implications in the hustler project than expected. Immediately after he posted on his twitter handle a post that appeared to go easy on his previous opposition to the BBI, a majority of his supporters who commented on his post were bitter about the new turn of events.  To the hustler nation, their general had betrayed the course. One bitter comment by one of his followers summed up this bitterness.

MJay

@MkaJms

27 Nov

Replying to

@WilliamsRuto

Just when The People Thought they had a Powerful Voice Pia wewe Mtukufu  @WilliamsRuto umeamua uuze Hustlers wako Kwa Soko ya Machingio and the way they have stood by you, Invested their Trust in You and depended wholly on You! It’s a Shame and Unfortunate!

And perhaps this simple post may come back to haunt the deputy president for years to come. A review of the comments on his post reveals that most of his followers were raring to challenge the system head on. And in the deputy president, no matter his association with the establishment was to them the “Moses” who would finally deliver them to a new political reality away from the baggage of the Kenyatta’s and the Odinga’s.

The actions of the current Jubilee government of insensitivity to a large majority of Kenyans throughout the corona period has not made matters easy. Because the reality is that a majority of Kenyas are suffering. Since this pandemic started, most were rendered jobless, businesses were closed and a the lives of the majority of Kenyan youths who were already jobless even before the pandemic is nothing other that distressing. Yet in all this, the president and his people have either been blinded by power and their affluent position and perks that they think all Kenyans are the same or they simply don’t care. A majority of Kenyans complete their university education and never ever get to get employed even with all the papers; the economy is in ruins and the only thriving Kenyans are those employed in government or the tenderpreneurs. When the Jubilee government took over, Kenyans had a lot of hope; the promse of a lower cost of living, a million new jobs every year, one million acre irrigation that would guarantee food security to every Kenyan was all too good to resist.

Immediately after the last election, the reality that we had been duped again by an insensitive leadership began to sink in. there were no jobs, the cost of living continued rising as the government continued raising taxes to cover the gaps left about by the blatant theft and corruption in government. And the Jubilee government was caught pants down. In all this, the deputy president was silent especially after the handshake. But as a good political student of both Moi and Raila, Ruto embraced the political coldness that he had been thrust into by appearing to side with the poor and marginalized in the society. What amazes me was that he really didn’t do anything that showed he cared about the majority poor Kenyans who have to struggle every day to eke out a living. When the government wanted to raise the price of petroleum products by 16%, he never came out to say no, after all, his motorcade is fully fueled by the loving poor Kenyans. Yet this man sold his story, the story of a charcoal seller, born of peasant parents being fought by the dynasties; who had a chance of being the president of Kenya.

What Ruto seems to forget today is that this is the story that Kenyans love him for, defiance against the system. His supporters somehow managed to convince Kenyans that our problems started with the Kenyatta’s and Odinga’s; and as much as this doesn’t make any sense, a majority deeply bought into this. The question, therefore, remains whether Ruto will be able to command the support of the “hustlers” after all this. And my answer is simply no. who will rise to be the king of the hustlers? Nobody knows, but reading posts on social media tells me that the hustler movement may be unstoppable, and they will prove how powerful they are by bringing down the BBI report at the ballot.