It is now seemingly emerging that Uhuru Kenyatta could be working on a formula that will see him hand over power to Raila Odinga and Gideon Moi in 2022.
Other sources reveal that in case Raila is not eager for power in 2022, then ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi will be brought in.
Signals of the ODM leader’s growing influence in Uhuru’s government continue to surface day and night. The head of state chose him to read his speech at the Holy Family Basilica during the commemoration of Tom Mboya, who was assassinated 50 years ago.
Ordinarily, the president delegates his deputy to read his speeches or in his absence, a cabinet secretary he prefers.
Deputy president William Ruto relationship with Uhuru is of late frosty.
Weekly Citizen has information that secret meetings are being held between Raila and Gideon strategists as they plan Uhuru succession game plan.
Also not left out is Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka who of late has found his way in the ruling Jubilee one faction side. Indeed, there are those who believe Kalonzo could be the surprise Uhuru choice citing the fact that it might be next to impossible for Uhuru to convince his Central backyard to elect Raila president when only the other year he had told the community that Raila is its worst enemy.
Kalonzo was last week appointed as Uhuru’s South Sudan peace envoy. Earlier, Uhuru sent him to represent him during the burial of DRC opposition leader, Etienne Tshisekedi, the father of DRC president Felix Tshisekedi.
It is imperative to note that before Kalonzo flew to DRC, he held talks with Raila at the VIP lounge at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
While at the airport, Raila is said to have reached the DRC president on phone and had Kalonzo to speak to him. The Tshisekedi family has been close to Raila and using his current power in Jubilee government and African Union, he influenced Uhuru to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Felix as president. Regional leaders skipped the inauguration.
Sources well versed with Uhuru’s succession game plan reveal that those out to play a key role are revamping their parties and campaign secretariats in anticipation of a referendum that pit those pro-and those against.
Keen observers will have already noticed that Gideon’s Kanu is busy networking and recruiting members countrywide. Wiper officials are also busy laying the ground. Recently, Raila’s ODM held a meeting in Nakuru to strategise and chart the path ahead.
It is worth noting that as anti Ruto parties are reorganising themselves this as Jubilee party is on the deathbed.
Sources in the know claim that Ruto’s enemies who surround Uhuru want Jubilee dead as part of their strategy to tame the DP’s presidential ambitions. In fact, the sources further reveal that those who surround Uhuru but are opposed to Ruto are using the Kenyatta and Moi families to put paid to Ruto’s ambitions.
A story is told of how when Uhuru won his first term presidency, Gideon was driven to State House to congratulate him on his ascension to the throne. In that election, Moi family was backing Mudavadi.
The guards manning the gates refused to allow Gideon in. The Baringo senator immediately called Uhuru on his phone and the president personally drove to the gates to receive him to the surprise of the security team. Since then, Gideon can access State House at will and without any qualms.
Unconfirmed reports say that apart from powerful members of Kenyatta and Odinga families that anointed the handshake deal, the Moi family through Gideon was privy to it.
In the handshake deal, one of the key components was to have Ruto isolated and secluded but to eventually bring Gideon as an emerging force in Kalenjin politics and eventually land on national front as a national leader.
The idea, presumably, was to repackage Gideon using Odinga and powerful forces in Jubilee kitchen cabinet. Weekly Citizen has information to the effect that in the months ahead, Gideon will traverse the country being hosted by Wiper and ODM luminaries.
But even as the Gideon factor proves hard to sell in Kalenjin land, politicians in the region not comfortable with Ruto and Kanu are rebranding Chama Cha Mashinani associated with former Bomet governor Isaac Rutto as the community alternative avenue to ascend to power. They are fronting Mombasa based tycoon David Langat to go for presidency 2022.
As Uhuru succession events unfold, a joint secretariat that will bring together ODM, Wiper, Kanu and likeminded parties pushing for referendum will be established to push the agenda that will also have a faction in Jubilee not allied to Ruto.
For now, under the banner Holy Alliance, former Jubilee chairman David Murathe is being considered to run the secretariat.
Indications are that for now, a referendum will be pushed to have new political positions created to avoid the winner takes it all phenomenon. But this is causing jitters among true democrats who say that there has never been a democratic system that has the loser being in government unless this is a gimmick to return Kenya to the one-party system.
If every contestant in the race is accommodated in government, they say, there would be no opposition to check and balance the government and corruption and highhandedness would reign. Such situation is availing currently with the opposition having jumped to the government side in exchange of appointments and cash leaving the poor to their own devices as the cost of living goes beyond the reach of even the middle class.
With the new constitution in place, Uhuru wants to sneak Raila and Gideon into power.
In the opposition, Raila will argue no person is able to face Ruto in 2022 apart from him. He may decide to have Mudavadi as his runningmate and Gideon as second deputy vice president. A Kikuyu will land deputy prime minister or prime minister. The same slots being sold to Kalonzo. To win the Kikuyu further on their side, they want the next Nairobi governor to be a Kikuyu. It is on these grounds that Raila, aware that former city governor Evans Kidero will be in the race 2022, has abandoned him to fight criminal cases facing him alone.
Before then, Raila would be in court to stand with Kidero at his hour of need.
But in case Raila does not run, Mudavadi, Gideon, Kalonzo lineup that will also bring on board Interior CS Fred Matiang’i and Mombasa governor Ali Hassan Joho is a plan B. During the recent Muslim festivities in Mombasa, Matiang’i was hosted by Joho. To show how positive things have been working, Raila has been at the defence of
Matiang’i as a performer.
But cognisant of the power games, Ruto’s allies are piling pressure on the president to convene a meeting and discuss issues affecting Jubilee party with a view of making it stronger ahead of the 2022 elections to strategically position himself.
But it is now evidently clear that Uhuru is not interested in strengthening the Jubilee party.
A statement by the State House spokesperson drew a lot of criticism from the DP’s allies otherwise known as team Tanga Tanga and they now believe Uhuru is secretly working on a secret formula at the expense of their man.
Raila has learnt that being combative cost him the presidency in the Mwai Kibaki succession and he will not want to repeat the same mistake. The same mistakes Raila made in undermining Kibaki is the same Ruto is at it, making Uhuru presidency look unfocused. Others however say it is Ruto who is actually focused on fulfilling the Jubilee manifesto but Uhuru is sabotaging him in fear that Ruto will use the Jubilee success to endear himself to voters and win 2022.
It is on these grounds that Uhuru allows Raila to represent him in meetings as Raila creates vacuum in opposition to remain relevant but befriends the Mois who happen to be Uhuru’s political mentors.
For now, one thing that is clear is that the Kenyatta, Moi, Odinga families and powerful forces surrounding Uhuru fear Ruto presidency and will prefer a new face who will retain them in power and protect interests. What will happen to cabinet secretaries Matiang’i, Sicily Kariuki, James Macharia, Joe Mucheru, Peter Munya and Karanja Kibicho, if Ruto is next president? many keep on asking.
According to sources, the tours which Raila and Gideon will intensify across the country have been planned by Uhuru for them to shed off the tag of a leader opposed to development that Ruto has pinned on him.
The tours are meant to polish their image as a presidential material and development conscious leaders contrary to the tag the lord of poverty who should never be elected president.
Insiders point out that when Uhuru visited Kisumu during the burial of Bruce Odhiambo, a strange thing happened that showed the president now fully trusts the ODM leader.
A few months later, Uhuru and Raila took a discreet and an impromptu tour of Kisumu port to check progress of construction work that is part of an envisaged facelift.
Although Raila has not yet declared his intention to contest again, having pulled out of the repeat October 2017 general elections, his lieutenants maintain he was still as fit as a fiddle to run for the presidency, with Siaya senator James Orengo noisily trumpeting the sentiments.
Tellingly, Uhuru has never defended Ruto from attacks by ODM.
The Raila-Gideon alliance came to the fore when Raila visited ailing ex-president Moi at his Kabarak home to wish him well after he jetted back into the country from Israel, where he had gone for treatment.
Raila later met the former president to condole with the family following the passing on of his son, ace rally driver Jonathan Toroitich Moi. Ruto has never been allowed to visit Moi with Gideon shutting the gates much to the chagrin of Kalenjins who say it is against their culture to bar one from visiting a sick person and wonder if Gideon would also bar Ruto from attending Moi’s funeral, in case, God forbid, the old man goes. It is clear is that the old man is Gideon’s political asset that he uses to gain relevance. A senator from Eastern who has been to the meetings with Moi in Kabarak says Moi is senile and is only used for photo ops.
After Raila’s visit to Kabarak, Joho followed suit and he was welcomed at home by Gideon.
The ODM leader has also intensified his efforts to reach out to Central region as part of his building bridges plan. Of note however is that his tour there with Uhuru has been in the cards now for a year with those in the know saying that the ground is not soft hence the postponements.
Raila has been meeting covertly with influential Mt Kenya leaders and Uhuru’s close relatives before and after their March 9 handshake settlement.
Central Kenya has traditionally rejected Raila. It embraced him temporarily in 2003 when he played the leading role in the Narc campaign that led to the election of Kibaki but deserted him after he led a revolt against Kibaki.