Distinguished US-based law professor Makau Mutua has weighed in on the working relationship between President Uhuru Kenyatta, and his deputy William Ruto.
In an opinion piece published by the Daily Nation, the prof opined that the president has “neutered (made ineffective) his DP since he can’t sack him”.
“One of the most impotent and ironically important positions in the structure of Kenya’s 2010 constitution is the Office of Deputy President. The number two office in terms of state hierarchy sounds powerful but is in actual fact just highfalutin. The President can render the Deputy President nugatory, utterly ceremonial, at his own pleasure.
“In my view, that’s what Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta has done to DP William Ruto, his most important subordinate. Any oxygen Mr Ruto breathes isn’t donated by Mr Kenyatta. The man from Eldoret is barely politically alive, but only by dint of his own cunning. Otherwise in political lexicon, Mr Ruto is a dead man walking. Don’t take it from me, read Mr Kenyatta’s lips,” he said in the article published by Nation.
Supporting his argument, the law scholar cited President Kenyatta’s move to appoint Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i as the Chairman of the National Development Implementation and Communication Committee.
According to Mutua, the appointment handed Matiang’i roles that were previously tackled by the deputy president.
“Mr Kenyatta gave Interior CS Fred Matiang’i even more powers. Mr Matiang’i now oversees not only the Big Four Agenda but effectively coordinates the daily running of government. Mr Matiang’i is a de facto Prime Minister in all but name.
“What Mr Kenyatta has done is very clever. He’s neutered his DP since he can’t sack him. Mr Kenyatta knows the Office of DP is an empty vessel….Mr Ruto has fallen hard from his days as “Co-President.” The chickens have come home to roost,” he opined.