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‘Cracks in Ruto camp’: What were Kimathi Street editors up to with this story?

The headline on the newsstand grabs your eye. “Cracks in Ruto camp” (Saturday Nation, January 9). Photo of the DP in a cap branded ‘Hustler’. You grab your copy, quickly find a spot and sit down. Order a cup of tea without looking up at the waiter. “Mandazi mbili.”

“Sibling rivalry: Murmurs have emerged among ‘Hustler Nation’ friendly political party leaders over the projection of UDA as the DP’s vehicle for 2022, with some saying such a move is premature and in bad faith,” the blurb reads. You rush to pages 4-5 for the story.

“The Hustler movement associated with Deputy President William Ruto has sent the strongest signal yet that they will use the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), a rebrand of Jubilee affiliate Party of Development and Reforms, as a vehicle to power in next year’s General Election”.

Know that already. You are looking for the “cracks”, “sibling rivalry”, “murmurs”. You read on.

“The brigade, led by UDA party chairman Johnson Muthama and Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, yesterday announced that they had found a “room” to shelter from the “terror and humiliation” meted upon their mother, Jubilee”.

Yeah, you saw that on TV last night. Cracks, sibling rivalry, murmurs? Where are they?

“Speaking while unveiling the candidates to fly UDA flag in various by-elections set to happen across the country, the faces of the hustler movement also dared the Jubilee leadership to evict them for supporting an affiliate party”.

You skim a lengthy quote attributed to Murkomen. The next paragraph doesn’t tell you much. It is about Murkomen saying UDA is a Jubilee affiliate.

Another direct quote from Murkomen, says their father’s house has many rooms. The seventh paragraph reports that the sentiments were echoed by Nakuru Senator Susan Kihika. She takes the eighth and ninth paragraphs as well.

Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wah takes paragraph 10. Direct quote. Paragraph 11 tells you who else attended the meeting.

By-election aspirants are handed UDA nomination certificates in paragraph 12-14. For the first time, you take your eyes off the paper and lift the cup of tea to your lips.

Paragraph 15: “Former PDR chairman Abdi Noor handed over the party to Mr Muthama before the unveiling of the candidates…

You are halfway down the story but haven’t yet encountered any “cracks”, “murmurs” and “sibling rivalry” in the Ruto camp as promised in the headline and blurb.

Grab ndazi moja, bite and chew absently. Paragraph 16. “The unveiling sets the ground for a bruising battle with Jubilee party…” No cracks or anything of that sort in paragraphs 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21.

You put the paper down, with a sigh. Finish mandazi mbili and drain the cup. Shake your head. You are debating whether to continue reading ama you pay and tembeza kiatu.

Anyway…paragraph 22. “But the UDA shift has caused cracks in Tanangatanga…” Okay. What are the cracks? Who is involved?

Paragraph 23: “The immediate trigger is the upcoming by-elections in what, if not sorted out now, insiders fear could jolt the movement outfit before it takes off.”

Paragraph 24: “After it became apparent that they had lost control of the Jubilee Party, a number of politicians backing the DP in his State House ambition embarked on a rush to register political parties…” Sure, they did. For heaven’s sake, where are the cracks?

Paragraph 25 talks of the hustler movement “stung by internal wrangling”. The next one lists some of the parties registered by politicians backing the DP.

Paragraph 28 is a lengthy quote by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria complaining that, “Though we are also in Tangatanga, some of us believe that UDA was not to be a party but a Nasa-like, PNU-like alliance or the TNA-URP of 2013 in the Jubilee Coalition and that the almighty party right now before harmonisation of all ideologies is premature.”

Phew! Here then are the “cracks,” “murmurs”, “sibling rivalry” in the Ruto camp. Who are the other ‘Hustler Nation’ friendly political parties rejecting UDA?

“The fear among other parties, like Mr Kuria and others say, is the risk of ending up with a behemoth with the ‘original owners’ riding roughshod over others”, the story says. But who are these others besides Moses Kuria? None.

“Mr Kiunjuri, who is said to share these concerns, promised to get back to us but never did”. The rest of the story is about what the UDA bigwigs said.

Well, from this story, are there “Cracks in Ruto camp”, “sibling rivalry”, “murmurs” as trumpeted by Kimathi Street?

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