With more than two decades in the political scene, Johnson Muthama has been at the centre of most Kenyan political transitions.
At one point or another in his political career, the former Machakos Senator has worked with all the current political bigwigs; President Uhuru Kenyatta, Raila Odinga, DP William Ruto and Kalonzo Musyoka.
In an interview with the Sunday Nation, the UDA chairman was asked to rate the four leaders.
Read his full assessment below.
Let me be candid. Let us start with Uhuru. I was his supporter in 2002 and his whip in the 10th Parliament. About work, that is not Uhuru’s business. A man to wake up and go to the office and sit and work, that is not how Uhuru is cut out.
Uhuru’s business is to be called ‘Mr President, we want this and that’, and his response is, ‘Aha, let that continue that way, that is how it should be.’ For Uhuru, there is absolutely nothing serious. Even his greetings, he can be very enthusiastic and engage you in small talk, but the moment you leave, that is the end. It won’t go beyond that point. In terms of being charming and impressive, he is number one.
Agwambo is firm. When he says right, you need a bulldozer to change him to go to the left. Secondly, he hates saying things he cannot do. Even the agreement he signed with Kalonzo, he had resisted it completely and we had to force him to sign.
Raila resisted because he knew it would never work. Now I know why. When he makes a decision, he remains with it. When it comes to work, Raila is not a person who can formulate ideas, but Agwambo beats these people on one thing: He is a good listener.
Unlike Uhuru who will say ‘yes, yes, yes’ and at the end of the day give no comments whatsoever, Agwambo is a top-class listener. He listens and eventually pinpoints issues to be revisited and once you give him that, he will never trash it.
But for him to formulate ideas and come up with something that is impressive, no. He could make a good president, but I do not know if he might change should he get power in his hands.
Another thing about Raila, everything about him is centered on people. If you tell him that there are people in Uhuru Park at 9 pm or 3 am who want to be addressed, he will go. That is why, from time to time, you will see Raila without any plan, driving to Burma, or somewhere else, just to meet people because he loves mixing with people.
Now, Kalonzo. I do not know how I can describe him. Let us speak the truth. Going by even what happened the other day with this Azimio coalition and the things he said, how can you describe him?
He commands no attraction for the people. If you tell people Kalonzo is around, nobody will be attracted to go there, leave alone listen to what he is saying. The impression, the structure, and material are not there because if you go to his meeting, Raila, for instance, will tell what he did; he will coordinate. But my brother Kalonzo cannot do that. He is just an opportunist who found a vacuum in Ukambani leadership.
Kambas made a mistake fronting him, thinking he would come back with something and they found themselves in that deep sea they are in now—swimming with no shore in sight. But UDA is going to get them to the shore. They have got absolutely nothing from Kalonzo. Even in the areas where he has been sent to negotiate peace, you cannot point at even one where you can say he fully succeeded and people lived in peace.
The other man is Ruto. I swear by the name of the God who lives, Raila has never articulated his own policy on what he would do for this country like this man does. I have never met a presidential candidate like Ruto. I was with Moi when I was in the Kanu camp. And I was with Kibaki.
When I sat down with Ruto, we talked about how to improve the economy, and my first question was where we would get the money. He gave me his brilliant plan of raising money locally without those expensive external loans. He told me how we can improve our hospitals, roads, water systems in this country.
If Kenya wanted a president with a sharp mind, that man is William Samoei Ruto, and I say this without any fear of contradiction. This man commands what a president needs. He does not drink; he does not smoke; he is sober at 9 pm and when he dreams at 4 am. He is the best person in this country to articulate issues formulated from his own thinking.