Third Eye

Unfoldings in political arena ahead of 2022

Monday, August 9th, 2021 00:00 |
Deputy President William Ruto. PHOTO/Courtesy

Deputy President William Ruto, is not short on courage and stoic determination. He was courageous enough to ditch Kanu for ODM in the run up to the 2007 elections and lead his supporters to Raila Odinga to the last man.

In the run up to 2013 he did the same, only that he walked his supporters out of ODM and into the Jubilee government. 

Juxtapose that with the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) leaders, who have taken several months in meetings discussing breaking away from Nasa; only to pull out of the coalition but ironically at a press conference overtly welcome ODM and Raila  to join them in their journey to nowhere! 

I have argued that OKA has three options. One, join forces with President Uhuru Kenyatta and work a formula with Raila on how to take the Big Four agenda to the next level; fighting corruption and uniting Kenyans against the backdrop of shared economic prosperity. 

Option two is to join Ruto and fit within his party hierarchy and political power sharing line up going to 2022.

Need I say that given what the DP has said about these leaders, they are likely to fall very low in the pecking order.

Remember, the DP has rubbished power sharing or discussions among top political leaders.

It is therefore interesting and probably impossible for him to have a former Nasa principal in his rank without the real hustlers raising fundamental questions. 

Three, OKA leaders can discuss amongst themselves and give us a clear roadmap with a presidential candidate, running mate and their agenda going into 2022. 

Today, OKA is cementing this hyena narrative that some critics have been whispering in low tones-OKA is lurking somewhere waiting for the proverbial hand to fall and it is no secret that Raila is the one they are all angling for.

From where I sit, it will not happen and their indecision and the fact that joining the DP is almost impossible suggest that they might end up angling for space to support Raila. 

You see, for the last three or so elections, Raila has not had a chance to reach the citizenry in the vote rich Mt Kenya region.

And that has been the same case with Mount Kenya presidential candidates who have found it hard to campaign in Raila’s backyard. But things have since changed. 

President Uhuru’s legacy has essentially been fossilised by a galaxy of Luo Benga stars who recently unleashed a performance that wowed the country.

It also does appear that Raila is well poised; for the first time since he accompanied President Kibaki on a homecoming tour after the 2002 historic win - to speak to the people of the mountain and sell his agenda.

Granted, the courage that Ruto has had to campaign in the mountain is admirable and that has put him in good stead going to 2022, even though the jury on whether his forays will translate to votes is still out. 

Back to Raila, there is this study I did with a masters student and the findings seem to suggest that Raila’s access to the Mt Kenya region with his political message, puts him in a very good space. 

From the study, which sampled close to 400 voters in Murang’a County and another 400 in Homa Bay County, the voters were unequivocal that in as much as they identified with Raila’s struggle for a better Kenya and his reform credentials, there was no need to interact with his campaign message. 

Needless to say, Raila needs to cover enough ground with the opinion leaders and endear himself to the people.

But most importantly, he needs to move beyond the opinion leaders to the common mwananchi, especially the youth.

Reach the youth not only with his political agenda, but with a listening ear. Listen to their aspirations and their needs and struggles. [email protected]

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