President Ruto Terrified of Demonstrations. The Heart of Any Democracy

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William Ruto was very active in Kenya politics as a Moi henchman when Kenyans got fed up with Moi’s dictatorship and took to the streets most notably on July 7, 1990, to protest and demand democracy and freedom, from Moi’s thuggery as the president of Kenya.

In fact, after the Saba Saba rallies, William Ruto formed the first terrorist organization in our country known as YK92 to protect the Moi dictatorship from any demands for multi-party democracy in Kenya. As far as they were concerned, Kenyans adored their dictatorship and were not going to allow multi-party in the country.

That YK 92 group killed opposition activists, grabbed billions of shillings from our Central Bank, and were very sure that they will stop multi-party democracy in Kenya.

They failed to achieve that goal and they will face the same defeat now when they are telling Kenyans that we have a king in office and everybody should shut up or open their mouths only to sing for the king. They were delusional then as they are now. Kenyans won that battle with their blood and sweat.

To quote a Kenyan journalist then:

Kenya was suffocating under the armpits of Moi’s single-party regime. He held the bureaucracy and the security apparatus in a firm grip; Parliament sang his song; the judiciary was cowed into sniveling subservience.

Moi killed more than 100 Kenyans at the Saba Saba Day rally and in his sinister mind and plans that meant it was the end of any such activity. Little did he know that it was just the beginning and two years later he succumbed to the reality that Kenyans wanted multi-party democracy and were ready to fight and even die for it.

Today the little dictator William Ruto said the same things Moi used to threaten Kenyans with.

He assured the country that the government will secure their lives and property should the Opposition go on demonstration. 

“You will not blackmail this nation. You will not threaten Kenyans. We are determined to move forward,” he said.

First of all, let us tell Ruto that he himself will not blackmail Kenyans. But the key piece of what Ruto said was that his government will secure “lives and property”. That is a code word for doing what Moi did, which is to kill people like on the Saba Saba day and claim that he did that to protect lives and property.

How was Moi protecting the lives of Kenyans while killing more than 100 demonstrators?

If Ruto wants to follow Moi’s footsteps and send killers to the demonstrations he will be very sorry. Even Moi couldn’t get away with that and he was ten times more powerful than William Ruto will ever be. Leave the demonstrators alone. They too are Kenyans and they have earned that democratic space to hold rallies against the best efforts of Moi and his boy Ruto. You can’t take that back my friend. Stay on your lane.

The other thing Ruto and his mob are talking about is that Raila and other leaders want a handshake. Raila and his co- leaders know one thing:

When you shake hands with the devil, the first thing you do is count your fingers assuming there is any left. Nobody in their right minds would want any handshake with this fumbling and bumbling government who now think that they can use the Hustler Fund to buy Kenyans. They will find out on December 7, 2022.

The one very smart move by the opposition leaders is to stage a counter-rally on December 12, 2022. That is a key rally for Kenyans to let Ruto know that he will not bully anybody to bend their knees in front of him as the new king.

Handling opposition rallies and activities is the toughest thing for any government, whether you are a government with all powers. Look at what is happening in China and Iran right now. If any leader dares the citizens claiming supremacy in governance they get sorry very fast. The supremacy of leadership in any country belongs to the people, not the leaders.

On the issue of IEBC commissioners, Ruto and his friends shot themselves in the foot.

Why start worrying about 2027 elections in 2022? That is insane. Kenyans have every right to demand that their democratic institutions be respected. There is nothing Ruto gains other than his childish show of power in fighting IEBC members who did not coronate him. Put that behind you and look ahead.

Now here is the nightmare and that is why some of Ruto’s mouthpieces are begging the four IEBC commissioners to resign rather than go to the tribunal. When that hearing starts in a few days, the IEBC members under attack will have their lawyers and they will explain their side of the story.

Things will get very tough for Ruto when the lawyers for the commissioners ask for evidence from IEBC that everything was done as per the constitution, the counting and verification of the votes and that the four commissioners were malicious in rejecting verified votes when they were part of the verification.

We could end up with another vote count at the tribunal. The worst part is that all material produced as evidence in this tribunal becomes public and Kenyans may finally get to see what was really going on at Bomas as votes were being counted.

The last thing Ruto needs to know is that these demonstrations will not just be about the Ruto takeover of the IEBC to take Kenya back to the 1990s.

Kenyans want to look at what William Ruto’s government has done in the first 100 days and counting and see if they have even fulfilled 1% of what they promised Kenyans. While they were promising everything from reduced food and fuel prices, the opposite has happened to upholding the rule of law in their so-called fighting state capture.

The only visible thing Ruto has been doing is having all terrible criminal charges against his friends dropped including those who murdered Kenyans.

The GMO is being pushed down the throats of Kenyans because the Ruto government has no plans or any ideas to improve Kenyan farming and help the citizens produce the food they need to live. The Ruto government can’t even figure out how to deal with farmers who have maize to sell and the best they have done is to issue threats to the maize farmers, giving them 3 days to sell their maize or else they will flood the market with GMO maize.

Ruto and his mob are now experts in having many pictures taken of them distributing beans and swinging the Kenyan flag even in peoples’ homes to show how hard they are working.

Adongo Ogony is a Kenyan Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada

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