Deputy president william Ruto’s break away Tanga tanga movement have completed plans to launch a party to be used in the 2022 elections. For a long time now, it has been an open secret that after their tribuations within the Jubilee party and failing on several occassions to take control of the Jubilee party from the officials who are loyal to the president, the deputy president has and his team were on a hunt for a new party to accomondate their 2022 elections.
And just a few days ago on December 17 2020, the deputy president in a meeting with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) officials led by Omigo Magara, the DP was donned in an attire embedded with his old United republican Party (URP) colors. There was speculation then that the DP was simply introducing his next party informally to Kenyans. it is important to remember that URP is the party Ruto had formed prior to the 2013 elections and was merged with the National Alliance (TNA) party just before the 2017 elections to form Jubilee party.
According to sources, the DP and his followers are now ready with a party, the Party of Democracy and reforms (PDR) has been hurriedly set up with the aim of testing the DPs popularity in the upcoming by-elections in Machakos and western Kenya with the party colors being the former URP colors, with the party symbol being a wheelbarrow and the slogan Kazi ni Kazi. The deputy president used the last by-elections in Msambweni and some wards in Muranga and Nairobi to test his popularity by supporting candidates from other smaller parties and independent candidate in Msambweni; and it is understood that the rollout of PDR is meant by the DP and his team to test his popularity in Nairobi, Machakos and Western Kenya where by-elections are due early 2021.
There are however jitters in Central Kenya over the acceptability of a new party in the region, and the fact that the new party will be seen as an entirely Kalenjin affair. As much as the Tanga Tanga wing of Jubilee has been boasting of support in Central, the reality is that President Uhuru still remains the Mount Kenya kingpin and that the president will be influencial in choosing the directgion the central Kenya will take in the next general election. Coupled with the uncertainty of what direction the poltics dof the country will take, what the presidents role will be then especially if the BBI referendum will go through, this explains why no senior politician has come out openly to support the deputy president in the region.
The coming in of former prime minister Raila Odinga in the political matrix of the region seems to have complicated the 2022 equation more. His support for the president has created a soft spot for him in central Kenya, and according to political analysts, most of the moneyed people in central Kenya feel like the region owes a political debt to the former premier from the 2002 elections. Others perceive Raila as a safer pair of hands to take over the reigns of power as opposed to the combatant deputy president. Yet in all this, the people of central Kenya have questioned the honesty of the deputy president in guaranteeing peace to the vast Kikuyu community living in Rift valley especially due to public pronouncements by his key supporters. It is worth noting that on several occasions, Kikuyu elders have come out openly to ask Ruto supporters to respect the president, and it is believed that this group may cost the DP this key voting block that he dearly needs to win the presidency.
It is still unclear what reaction the new party will have on voters of central Kenya; with most of the politicians clinging to it being political rejects who have zero influence on the political decisions of this vast region. But dethroning Jubilee from the region will not be a walk in the park