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November 16, 2018

I can see the political future and it is really very fuzzy

Political predictions are a minefield. There are so many ifs, buts and maybes involved in politics that to presume to know how it will all turn out is to embark on  task or activity that has no hope of success.

That said, as a journalist who dabbles in political reporting and analysis gazing into the murky depths of a political crystal ball is part of my stock-in-trade.

Nevertheless, before I get in too deep or anybody decides to remind me of my predictions, I am going to take steps to cover my backside with a wonderful Latin phrase that economists like to use: Cetiris Paribus or in other words, all other things being equal.

In short, if nothing much changes on the Kenyan political front and none the lead actors that are on the scene today decide to take a break from politics or life, for that matter, I would like to suggest what I foresee being the situation at the 2022 election.

Ever since the event now known as the “hand-shake” between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Emeritus Raila Odinga there have been suggestions that the two plan to bring about a change in the constitution that will effect a Putinesque power-switch that will see the older man finally achieve the presidency (albeit a much watered down version of it)  and the younger man continue at the the helm of the government in the post of Prime Minister.

It is this presumed chopping and changing of the succession script that has annoyed the  incumbent deputy president and his supporters.

I see this state of affairs as the real reason that DP William Ruto and former vice president Kalonzo Musyoka are sniffing each other out. The DP refuses to be snookered in succession politics. If necessary he will bide his time and then do like his Malawian counterpart, Saulos Chilima, who recently quit the ruling party and plans to run against President Peter Mutharika at next year’s election.

If the feared plan to change the constitution comes about, and Uhuru and raila team up, Ruto will need to run for PM and bring along Kalonzo as his ceremonial president thus creating a win-win situation for both.

The Building Bridges ticket of Uhuru and Raila would be hoping to win the tribal numbers game  but if Musalia Mudavadi were to come to some sort of agreement with Ruto and Kalonzo, they might just about match the tribal numbers (which, let’s face it, is what all these people see Kenyan politics being all about).

This is probably why the president is suddenly very solicitous of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho even though they haven’t exactly been great fans of each other in the past.

Of course the above scenario could be total nonsense and what is really happening is that Uhuru and Ruto are using the pincer movement as a fantastically clever ruse to neutralise the opposition and take us down the Chinese road back to a single party state. Talk about legacies.

For now however, my crystal ball has gone all fuzzy and I suspect soon I’ll see a sign bearing the legend: Normal service will resume as soon as possible.

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