Politics

Why Peris is feeling ‘unsafe’ in UDA

It has not escaped the attention of political observers that Peris, unlike when she was in Jubilee, appears increasingly forlorn and isolated. She appears to have lost some of her confidence. She previously had one opponent to deal with – Governor Lenku – and she made a good job of constantly attacking him

There is a video of Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko speaking at DP William Ruto’s residence in Karen, saying how she has put all her eggs in Ruto’s UDA basket.

“I dread the prospects of a State House without William Ruto,” mourns Peris, in the video. “When I joined Hustler Nation, nilitetemesha nchi, nilitetemesha kila mahali… He must get into State House for me to be safe.”

And with that revelation, Peris has finally exposed her worst fears; that the journey to become Kajiado governor will be a lot harder for her. While we do not know what she means by kutetemesha nchi, it would appear that reality is slowly beginning to down on Peris, and it is not pretty.

The bravado that saw her storm out of Jubilee and enter UDA with so much fanfare has now been reduced to a mere whimper, hence the fear that she might not be ‘safe’ if Ruto does not occupy State House next year. Many people who know Peris, are finding it hard to reconcile the fire-eating Peris they know and the snivelling woman they are seeing in this video.

Could she have made a miscalculation by jumping into UDA at the time she did?

Well, let us examine some issues here. By the time she joined UDA in early October, DP Ruto had an almost unassailable lead in ratings nationwide, seeing as he had been campaigning non-stop since 2018. Again the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), which was widely seen as Raila Odinga’s vehicle to State House, had just been dealt a crushing blow by the courts.

At the time, Ruto looked like the only game in town. Ironically, the ODM leader had just kicked off his Azimio la Umoja meetings in Kajiado, where Peris was in attendance. It was still early days for the Azimio movement.

That was before Baba held very successful meetings in Mount Kenya and before the Mt Kenya Foundation, consisting of billionaires from Central Kenya, endorsed him for president. Now, the tide appears to be changing in favour of Baba and UDA is now on the back foot, playing catch up, with Ruto appearing increasingly frustrated by the day.

Odinga’s crowning moment came on December 10 when he officially launched his 2022 presidential candidacy at a glitzy event held at the Kasarani Stadium, where he launched his ten-point campaign manifesto.

Back to Peris.

Peris, who, before decamping to UDA, was a darling of many ODM supporters especially in her Kajiado East backyard, must look at Odinga’s ascendancy with increasing regret. It is not just Peris who is getting sleepless nights in Kajiado, but UDA mobilisers as well.

Baba’s support base in Kajiado is alive and well and remains faithful to him. Things can only get better for him seeing as he is increasingly endearing himself to the Kikuyu vote. Kajiado has a huge diaspora of Kikuyu voters, and if they buy into his hype, the Azimio candidate will take the governor’s position by early morning.

Still on Peris.

It has not escaped the attention of political observers that Peris, unlike when she was in Jubilee, appears increasingly forlorn and isolated. She appears to have lost some of her confidence. She previously had one opponent to deal with – Governor Lenku – and she made a good job of constantly attacking him.

By Joining UDA, however, Peris has to first reckon with Kajiado South MP Katoo ole Metito and former NTSA Director General Francis Meja, two opponents she will have to square out with before she gets the UDA nomination to run for governor.

Still, for someone who was largely used to running her own show in Kajiado, Peris is finding it somewhat difficult to operate under the heavily scripted rules of UDA. Here, when the boss – Ruto – says jump, she will have to answer how high as opposed to why.

Thus any time Ruto summons her to Karen, she must avail herself and ensure she says endearing things about the boss. And whenever the boss is in town, she has to be at his beck and call.

In short, Peris amekubali kupangwa

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