Mombasa governor Hassan Joho’s visit to retired President Moi’s Kabarak home on Saturday should not be rubbished by naysayers. That was one loaded visit. There was something cooking and it all has to do with 2022.
This was not the first time Joho and Baringo senator Gideon Moi were holding long meetings; Joho played host to Gideon three months ago in Mombasa. Where there are two or more politicians, you can be sure that they are not discussing the price of unga.
Joho is serving his last term as the governor of county number 001. No governor in his second and last term wants to fade into darkness after his time in office. The future has to be put into perspective so when that time comes he or she will have prepared a landing gear. This is what Joho is doing.
As deputy chairman of ODM, Joho is firmly hooked on driving party leader Raila Odinga’s agenda for 2022. Yes, you heard me; Raila is surely taking another stab at the presidency four years from today. Those who don’t want to believe that 2017 was not his last lap in the presidential race had better rethink.
Joho will move from the gubernatorial seat to a national one. Which one would it be? 2022 will be a totally different political landscape. With the change of the Constitution in the offing, it is not foolhardy to think that the Executive will be extended and revamped to accommodate the premiership and several deputies. The President in 2022 onward will be a ceremonial one with two deputies.
Joho is the most influential politician at the Coast. If there will be sharing of posts in 2022, he will be smack at the centre of it all.
During President Moi’s 24-year rule, the Coast played an integral role with the likes of Shariff Nassir flying the Kanu flag high and mightily. To Moi, Joho can as well wear Nassir’s shoes.
Joho appears to have a free hand to use his position in ODM to cut and seal deals with the blessing of his party boss. Raila and Joho are joined at the hip. Where Raila goes, Joho will be jogging with him.
Last year Gideon was in NASA until President Uhuru Kenyatta pleaded with his father to persuade him to back his presidential candidacy. The two are, therefore, not strangers.
Uhuru’s desperation to have Gideon by his side was too much to bear for Mzee Moi. He didn’t want to fail the man he mentored and propped up to succeed him in 2002. He had to let Gideon support Uhuru but not without a promise that in 2022, the son of Jomo would support the son of Moi. This is where we are today.
The Baringo senator has not announced that he would be vying for the top seat, but his body language and the pronouncements of his allies speak volumes.
But why would Gideon prefer Joho and not any other politician from the Coast? The Mombasa county chief has amassed profound clout politically speaking and he easily endears himself to people across the social and political divides. For a politician eyeing the top seat, this is the kind of man you don’t want to ignore.
Gideon and his father held a one-hour meeting with Joho as the rest of the delegation waited in another room. This only means one thing; Joho will be happily immersed in the push-and-pull politics of Rift Valley. How will this pan out for Deputy President William Ruto? Well, the DP, as calculative as he is, will not ignore the Sultan’s presence as Gideon’s ally. He will have to collide with him one way or the other as he claws his way to the presidency in 2022.
With time, Joho may recapture the support of Coast politicians who have announced their support for the DP. This won’t be hard as some of them have developed cold feet and could be rethinking their decision to throw their weight behind Ruto.