Politics is a game of chess and Raila is a king in checkmate! He is in a precarious position. Every move on the board reveals that the man is cheated and will soon be short changed! Yes! Raila is betrayed, wounded and a limping politician; not because he is weak, coward or wanting in any way. He is actually a towering political figure not only in East Africa but also in Africa. He is the most sensational politician of our times. He has remarkably weathered many storms and largely retained his demeanour and traction among his stout supporters.
His image, especially where he is loved, is larger than life. Where he is loathed, his name elicits great fear and stirs up concerted efforts and energy to reject his leadership.
This two-sided depiction of this political mogul is riveting! How can a noble man be so strong yet so weak? But Raila is not weak in himself, he is weak, frail and wounded because he has chosen to snub history. He has blatantly ignored the betrayals that have taken place in his political life, driving himself to the rat trap.
He has bitten the worm on the bait and accepted to stay on the edge of the cliff gazing at his eventual destruction into smithereens. Raila has surrounded himself with the same people who have rocked his boat before; not once, not twice but several times.
He somehow expects the political god of mercy to intervene and miraculously change these opportunists to saints!
The truth is, Checkmate! it won’t happen! Game over!
You know it’s catastrophic when Baba has to cut short his tour of the United States to put out a fire ignited by the untamed ambition of one of his erstwhile lowly rated (by the polls) counterpart, Kalonzo Musyoka.
Musyoka has stuck to his guns that the formula to be applied in picking the NASA flag bearer must be based on the 2013 MOU, where he was to support Raila in 2013 in return for the same in 2017. His team lays claim to this MOU.
Is Raila’s memory so short that he cannot see history repeating itself? In 2007, Kalonzo denied Raila a direct win by running away with the Maanzo registered ODM-K. Through the now famous ‘kati kati’ move, he earned himself the Vice President position, while Raila had to literally fight for a piece of the cake, later getting the Prime Minister position.
There is absolutely no difference between the political manoeuvres witnessed ten years ago and the ones happening now! For Kalonzo The presidency is his ultimate goal.
Musalia Mudavadi’s political relation with Raila has been even more dramatic. In 2002, Musalia moved back to KANU where he served as Vice President for only two months. Then he was made Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate, betraying Raila for the first time. A phenomenon that would play back ten years later when he left his pentagon colleagues in the cold to join Kibaki under the UDF party. Eventually, Musalia went it alone, denying Raila a huge chunk of the crucial western vote.
Now, Both musalia and Kalonzo seem to be portraying Raila as a spent force whose usefulness can only be realised through endorsing the blue eyed boys of Kenyan politics.
They plan to scavenge on Raila’s dwindling political fortune when in fact they have contributed greatly to his misfortunes. The ideology used in this is that the Jubilee Government must be stripped off powers. The main question lingers, why so much determination to send Raila home in the guise of removing Jubilee from power? In this arrangement, Raila is promised sweeping powers and the coveted position of a respected Statesman. The ultimate beneficiaries are the two gentlemen and they’re irked.
I dare say Raila needs to abandon these political opportunists and immediately contact Uhuru on the following arrangement:
Create the position of the prime minister before the current parliament completes its term.
This must not be in a post-election MOU. Raila to occupy this powerful position and power is divided three times between Uhuru, Raila, and Ruto. Each of these principals will be free to bring on board other senior politicians who will eat into their share of power. Take Gideon Moi to Uhuru, Joho/Wetangula to Raila and Ruto to pick his choice. Alfred Mutua will be crucial in replacing Kalonzo as the Ukambani strong man.
This arrangement will entrench the principle of democracy as it should be in highly polarised societies. This would foster a sense of inclusivity of Kenyan communities. Executive powers will be shared among more Kenyans, boosting the sense of patriotism as more Kenyans will feel represented in government.
This will be the winning political formula that will benefit all Kenyans.
Review the constitution
Reduce the many overlapping layers of representation by; returning the executive ministerial positions to elected leaders who have a direct mandate from the people, mainstream the gender requirements in government & develop a Kenyan blueprint without losing sight of the implementation of the vision 2030 projects.
It’s evident that whenever the Lake Region people work together with the Central Region people, political temperatures in the country go down. In 2002 when this merger was realised, Kenya enjoyed the highest level of optimism and development growth of 7%. The last time Raila worked with Uhuru they won the ‘NO’ referendum campaign in 2005 and won the ‘YES’ referendum campaign in 2010! Similarly, whenever the Central people work with Rift Valley people peace and tranquillity is evidenced between these warring parties in Kenya’s conflict boiling point of the Rift.
It remains, however, to be seen how Ruto, the new political commando of Kenyan politics, would react to such Odinga’s overtures to the Jubilee side considering they would be strange bedfellows due to their past rocky political associations and the impact this would have to the 2022 Ruto’s presidential ambition.
What is clear though is that Kenya requires a winning formula to bring to an end the high stake political circus that we have slid into over the last 15 years after Moi who ruled with an iron fist exited the political scene.
(John Kaguchia is a Lawyer and a Governance Expert)