Ajar gasps. That summarises the outcome of unceremonious debate on the revenue sharing bill at the Senate for the last two sittings.
It was not lost to political pundits that the entire Tangatanga team was briefed on the eve of the debate last week to vote in a certain manner.
Let no optics fool you that it was otherwise.
The Bill, which has left President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga scratching their heads to near baldness, is unpopular and presented a life time opportunity for the overly calculative Deputy President to pull the rug under the feet of his political naysayers without breaking a sweat.
Lately, Tangatanga has been hard pressed on every side but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair. Persecuted but not abandoned.
Behind the curtains, Deputy President William Ruto executed this clever wit with surgical precision, leaving a trail of tears and blame game.
In the eyes of many, he is neutral on the Bill because his foot soldiers voted for and against the Bill.
He spread his risks and came out the winner. Let’s give it to him.
The Bill had thrust the DP in a hard place because it was designed to snatch meat from 18 scarcely populated counties and place it between the jaws of endowed ones.
However, Ruto has supporters from the endowed counties and the losing ones, making the Bill look like a snake — beautiful but terrifying, too.
The betrayals rocking Jubilee have confined Ruto to his official residence in Karen and rural home in Sugoi, Uasin Gishu county, where he dishes out goodies and cash to youth and women to venture into business.
This push and shove has given Ruto time to plan for his journey to State House, never letting any opportunity pass.
He knows who is for him and who isn’t, therefore, executing plans from a point of knowledge.
All he does now is solely focused on 2022.
As long as he has breath, this man will always work to safeguard his political dreams from his foes.
The Bill as it is, gives more financial muscle to Central Kenya and parts of the Rift Valley, where the bulk of his support base is domiciled.
It also has a serious negative impact on the other side of the coin of his supporters in 18 counties in Northern Kenya, parts of Nyanza, the Coast and Western Kenya.
To show that his troops are liberal enough to vote the way they want, he tasked senators Samuel Cherargei (Nandi) and Susan Kihika (Nakuru) to vote for the Bill in support of Central MPs and the rest of the brigade to vote against it.
The objective was to show his neutrality in the matter.
He knew the outcome would burst and leave an egg on the faces of Uhuru and Raila who had, unfortunately, trusted their troops to deliver.
Things are now boomeranging at the Coast, a longtime stronghold of Raila, and other counties where his word was a command.
Immediately the Bill was defeated, MPs from the coastal counties held a presser to hit out at the ODM boss for abandoning them in their hour of need.
Who appeared like the probable saviour? Of course, Ruto.
Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa is a staunch DP ally and it was no accident that she was the one leading the press conference as she poured vitriol on Raila, making him look like Judas Iscariot.
From any angle you look at , Raila was in a fix. He was damned either way the vote went.
His calculation was that his allies in the Senate should vote “Yes” to support Uhuru’s side in the spirit of the Handshake. But look how it turned out.
The Bill has left a bad taste in the mouths of Uhuru and Raila but strengthened Ruto’s plans to expand his support base and increase his chances to win the presidency.