Loyalty has its payoffs...

This past week was chock full of the kind of intrigue that a top rated soap opera or political drama can only dream of, with the constitutional debate heating up and the lines between the ‘Yeses’ and the ‘No’s being drawn firmly in the sand political loyalty would count more than ever before. The week started off as any other, then Wednesday swung around and the political air became hotter than a Mombasa mid day. It all began when the President and Prime Minister put their heads together in consultation and reshuffled their cabinet. As with any reshuffle someone had to ‘demoted’, this time around that (un)lucky- though he would have us believe otherwise- someone was William Samoei Arap Ruto whose once friendly and cordial relationship with the PM took on a sour note a few months ago when the latter attempted – unsuccessfully – to suspend the then Agriculture and Education ministers on grounds of corruption. This act has only served to intensify the rocky relationships. Rutos demotion from the powerful and large Agriculture ministry to the smaller and less ‘public’ ministry of Higher Education Science and Technology could be seen as a way to subdue the minister’s vocal support for the No campaign and a means to punish the Eldoret North MP for his apparent disloyalty. When asked about the reshuffle and whether it was punishment Ruto said ‘if that was the intention ,then it will not work’.
In a direct swap Dr. Sally Kosgei – a staunch supporter of the Prime Minister within his ODM party – is the new Agriculture minister. She takes over the ministry which has over 20 parastatles within its docket.
The gavel of judgment did not stop with Ruto; the principles also saw it fit to remove the Energy minister Charles Keter from his post. Keter is an ally of the Higher Education minister. He was replaced by another Raila loyalist Magerer LLagat MP for Kipkelion.
The Prime Minister expectedly denied that the changes to the cabinet were made as a result of the pairs support for the No campaign in the constitution stating that ’that is farfetched’ he added that ‘we are democrats.’ And that ‘people are free to express dissent.’ He also stated that ‘we will not punish anyone because they hold contrary views’.
The good thing to come out of the referendum is that the two principles are reading entirely from the same script, and that they are consulting one another so as to run the country like a true coalition.
During the course of this last week you would not have been remiss in thinking that loyalty has its perks and payoffs, for in politics if not in life that definitely seems to be the case.


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