William Ruto had come to be the face of those who did not trust the BBI document, pushed by Raila and President Kenyatta.
While many of Kenya’s well-known religious clerics and leaders had made their voices heard, Ruto remained the most prominent. His career as a politician meant that he influenced to worry those for the BBI.
Agrees with BBI Article
However, the Deputy President yesterday sent out a tweet that suggested that he had changed his stance. Ruto, in his tweet, put out an image of a section of Article 11A of the BBI Constitution. The article stated that the State would promote, among others, agriculture, pastoralism, and the blue economy, as well as micro-enterprises. Ruto termed this as a win for the hustler nation, showing that he was no longer up against BBI.
But perhaps we should have expected this.
Ruto had publicly refused to be firmly on the ‘No’ side of the referendum. Instead, he pegged his rejection on a consensus over the document. Furthermore, Ruto had never had a history of progressive politics. He was in the ‘No’ camp for our current constitution.
So, now, what does that mean for the political landscape in the future.
No Contest Referendum?
This is perhaps the biggest win for BBI proponents. Ruto had been giving them sleepless nights.
However, with his latest turn, they can rest easy, knowing that the likelihood of BBI passing had risen significantly.
Rise of Civil Society-led Opposition?
While Ruto has been the most prominent of those that had issues with BBI, a section of Kenyans have been firmly against the document, and they could lead the opposition to the document.
Kenyans appear to be, at best, non-committal to the new document, with many questioning why the urgency as the pandemic sweeps the country. Thus, while the BBI proponents might be popular, activists and other civil societies could take the spot in radicalizing the disillusioned public to rejecting the document.