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Is Ruto Naruto Running?

By Paul Kaweru

Among the many popular memes that aimed to encourage people to storm Area 51, a highly classified and heavily protected US Air Force facility in Nevada, was a highly popularized concept considered the most effective entry strategy among a majority of enthusiasts – ‘Naruto’ Running. The concept is extrapolated from the Naruto Uzumaki fictional Japanese anime and manga, where Naruto runners sprint with arms locked straight and stretched out behind their backs. The distinctive running gait has increasingly become an integral part of viral memes to convey a ‘speedy’ technique that might probably help to the target objectives by circumventing the existing ‘hurdles.’ In Kenya, ‘Naruto Running’ can be considered a ‘staple anime fandom,’ a strategy aimed to achieve some political objectives.
Ruto’s presidential ambitions can be inferred as ‘Naruto Running,’ a strategy that may not be effective in the end. While his ‘populist’ political demeanor seems to strengthen his grip in Mt. Kenya region, some critics have argued that this strategy is short-lived, as it is merely built with a focus on 2022 presidential inspirations. Ruto’s influence in Mt. Kenya, according to some political analysts, depends on the extent to which he will be able to maintain close ties with his Mt. Kenya allies to back him in the next elections. “Galvanizing this support is not a funfair, as it is subject to constitutional limits,” posits Makau Mutua. His vehement push of 2022 political agenda culminates in premature campaigns, which might subsequently widen the hitherto burgeoning schism between “Kieleweke” and “Tangatanga” factions within the Jubilee party. In other words, Ruro’s political strategy can be inferred as a ‘Kamikaze act.’ His interference with Central Kenya’s politics in his endeavors to become the next president by capitalizing on Mt. Kenya’s votes can be regarded as a desperate ‘politically-suicidal’ act.        
            To win the support of Mt. Kenya’s electorate, Mr.Ruto ought to learn from the precedents. The region’s hypocritical demeanor is silent shaming, notes COTU boss Francis Atwoli. Raila Odinga was also branded ‘Jamba’ sometimes ago. He was their favorite, simply because he kowtowed to Kibaki, their then favorite candidate. How he lost the region’s support is a difficult conundrum for many. If you want to become a president in Kenya, probably you should avoid committing a cardinal sin: the holier-than-thou attitude. Humility appears to take precedence over any other considerations,” reiterates Atwoli.
Dear Ruto, think different! Re-strategize! Avoid premature campaigns. These people do not hate Uhuru. They are probably ignoring him because he appears to have forged ‘bonds’ with their historical foe – the Odingas. The moment Uhuru decides to wage war against you, trust me, it will render your supportive brigade helplessly useless. The influence of many members of a cohort of your seemingly strong battalion is merely ephemeral. On the ground, Central Kenya and Uhuru Kenyatta are inextricably intertwined. Do not defy Uhuru’s orders. Those who think that they can ‘go against the grain’ to succeed Uhuru as the region’s kingpin are just myopic. My ‘fren’ Ruto, you are my favorite politician in Kenya. Stop Naruto running. Slow down. Do not fall for a Kamikaze attack!

The writer is a Mechanical Engineer graduate from Moi University and a Political Enthusiast.

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