I have previously stated my sympathies for William Ruto. But on this one I think the man from Eldoret North is going a bit too far. For a whole minister to go on record and rubbish the work of a highly respected commission is indeed deplorable. I hope that soon enough Ruto will realise that the more he continues to shout from the roof tops about the uselessness of the commission’s finding the more Kenyans will start pointing fingers at him.
It is true that the Rift Valley was the hotbed of the violence and that most of the perpetrators may have been Ruto’s adopted constituents. It is therefore expected that someone from the Rift Valley would come out and defend the perpetrators. But this is not how to go about it. The systemic problems that caused the flare up last January will not be solved by the commission’s prosecution of the perpetrators. I hope Kenyans realise that and that the commission appreciates this fact in its recommendations – I have downloaded a copy of the report but because of a term paper and other commitments haven’t been able to read through it (plus it’s like over 500 pages long!). In light of this fact, I don’t see why Ruto wants the truth to be swept under the carpet this early. He ought to let the truth come out and then we shall deal with the truth as responsible citizens who want a united future for Kenya.
If the people of Rift Valley and their leaders killed innocent Kenyans, Kenyans deserve to know. The victims need to know who these people are. From here we ought then to proceed to why these atrocities were committed and if we are true to ourselves we shall realise that the solution is not retribution but honest reconciliation. It is no secret that land was the issue in the Rift Valley. On this basis, some form of amnesty and redistribution of land can be worked out – but only after the truth has been put out there.
So Mr. Ruto should not be afraid, this only betrays his guilt – whether apparent or real. He should instead advocate for a responsible handling of the reconciliation process. This is his only realistic way of navigating through the tricky issue of the violence. If he however choses to confront the rest of the country by rubbishing the report, he will lose face and his own party might throw him under the bus. More importantly, Kenya may end up further divided with residents of the Rift Valley feeling alienated and marginalised. Nobody wants that. I hope this is clear to William Ruto.