Kenya’s Vice President Lut Campaigns “Husler Nation”


From pushing a wheelbarrow to cherishing the fact that he was a chicken seller when he was young, Kenyan Vice President William Ruto will hold a contest between “Husler” and “Dynasty” next year. We are framing the general election more and more.

In Kenya, hustlers are people, especially young people, who are struggling to achieve their goals in an economy that is said to no longer work for them.

The word dynasty, on the other hand, is Monica for a wealthy family who is believed to have dominated politics and the economy since independence from Britain in the 1960s.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition politician Raila Odinga fell into the latter category.

Odinga holds the record of being Kenya’s longest-serving political detainee and has been instrumental in the fight for political reform, the sons of the country’s first president and vice president, respectively.

The phrase “Hustler Nation” was coined by Ruto, a 54-year-old combative and ambitious politician.

He went to school barefoot, got his first shoes at the age of 15, and once talked about how to “sell chickens on the roadside and make a fuss.”

Political divorce

Recently, Mr. Lut has been handing out wheelbarrows, wheelbarrows and water tanks to the unemployed and is loved by many young people.

A group of activists against unemployment in Nairobi, Kenya, October 9, 2019.

The youth unemployment rate in Kenya is about 40%

He formed an alliance with Kenyatta in the 2013 and 2017 elections, putting them in power.

The alliance was seen by many as a combination of conveniences between two men whose backgrounds could no longer differ.

The two have since dropped out, but Mr. Lut is still in office due to constitutional provisions that secure the term of office of the Vice President.

He hopes to be promoted in next year’s presidential election, a sign of a change in Kenya’s political sand, in an election that could face 76-year-old Odinga, who is currently allied with Kenya.

They countered Mr. Lut’s campaign by promoting the Building Bridge Initiative (BBI), which revolves around constitutional amendments aimed at improving governance.

This includes creating a post for the prime minister. It fueled speculation that Mr Kenyatta wanted to take office as a government led by Odinga.

However, the Court of Appeals last week upheld the High Court’s ruling that the BBI was illegal, saying that only Congress, not the president, could begin the process of constitutional amendment. The government has announced that it will appeal the Supreme Court’s decision.

“Deepening division”

Lut, who also gained support under the “Hustler Nation” slogan in the last election, is now using it to promote a “bottom-up” approach to the economy, especially in favor of the poor. It says it will benefit young people who are blamed for the recession, which was primarily caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

William Lut working on a campaign rally

Vice President William Ruto has presidential ambitions

The official unemployment rate between the ages of 18 and 34 is close to 40%, and the economy does not create enough jobs to absorb 800,000 young people joining the workforce each year.

Critics dismissed Mr. Lut’s “bottom-up” idea as being full of “hackney clichés.”

“Plans only seem to be giving money to the common people. It doesn’t sound like a sound economic idea or plan,” says historian Ngara Choem.

Odinga, who failed in the last four presidential elections, described Lut’s proposal as “garbage” and said economic growth could not be achieved without first taking steps to ensure political stability and good governance. Stated.

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission, a national institution obliged to promote national unity, previously said that continuing the “Hustler vs. Dynasty” line would deepen class division and risk disrupting the country. Warned.

Raila Odinga, the leader of Kenya's opposition National Super Alliance (NASA), is watching during a demonstration after arriving at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on November 17, 2017.

Veteran opposition politician Raila Odinga will run for president next year

There is no doubt that Mr. Lut’s focus on the “Husler State” has sparked a debate about Kenya’s harsh political reality since independence.

“The same political elite who gained power after the colonials left is the same elite who is still in power. That’s a very important aspect of trying to understand Kenyan politics,” Choem said. say.

Mr. Lut’s focus on this is to strengthen his position between young people and the poor. The candidate he approved has won three recent parliamentary by-elections.

His campaign has so far avoided playing ethnic cards. This is usually a great mobilization tool and has caused anxiety in previous elections.

“Kenya’s politics is changing. People are now discussing the economy in campaigns in new ways,” says Chome.

Gritzy Campaign

Questions are still being raised about Mr. Lut’s allegations of support for change.

He has something to do with the government’s corruption scandal, and his source of wealth is controversial.

In June 2013, the High Court ordered him to abandon a 100-acre (40-hectare) farm and compensate farmers who accused him of acquiring land in the 2007 post-election violence.

A burning road barricade seen during a protest while people were walking nearby. A welcome rally to return opposition candidate Raila Odinga to Kenya turned into a riot with burning road barricades, stone throws, tear gas grenades, and water cannons (2017/11/17)

Violence has hurt some of Kenya’s previous elections

He claims to be beautiful and says his immense wealth was diligently earned.

Financial problems are important because Kenyan politics is a costly issue. Candidates spend thousands of dollars and there is no guarantee of success.

The “Hustler Nation” campaign by Mr. Lut and his allies is flashy and suggests access to a significant budget.

A study on election funding published in July We found that the level of spending was “a major contributor to the results.” Lack of regulation also means that voters may be bribed and may affect the outcome of the election.

Chom sees Lut’s campaign as a “struggle between old and new money.”

“This new young generation, now called the’Hustler generation’, does not propose to take Kenya’s politics seriously,” he says.

They simply “seek space for governance.”

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