CHANGE TACK

Merge ODM, Jubilee to get us to Canaan

A new coalition needs to be formed and succeed these two parties, if Uhuru and Raila are to have a shot at delivering on their vision.

In Summary

• According to Raila, the journey to Canaan was interrupted by crocodiles.

• Raila said the Canaan NASA promised was a peaceful land abound with good possessions for all Kenyans irrespective of their political, religious and ethnic backgrounds.

DP William Ruto when he hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga at his Karen residence in Nairobi.
DP William Ruto when he hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga at his Karen residence in Nairobi.
Image: FILE

When Raila Odinga drew the analogy of the Biblical journey to Canaan story to his quest for the presidency, he was conveying the message like Abraham in the story, he too would finally lead the multitudes he leads to the promised land where prosperity and happiness for all awaits.

He came close, or did he?

According to Raila, the journey to Canaan was interrupted by crocodiles, aka vifaranga vya komputa.

 
 

"Plenty be found within our borders. In the bible that is what Canaan means. A land with plenty and unified. Hiyo ndio Canaan tulikuwa tukiongelea (that is the Canaan we said we would take Kenyans to). Lakini tulipofika Jordan tukapata mamba na tukaona heri tujenge daraja (When we reached at River Jordan we found it was infested with crocodiles and changed tact- build a bridge to safely go across)," Raila said during the burial of legendary Gikuyu benga musician Joseph Kamaru in Muthithi, Murang'a county, in October last year.

The change of tack Raila was referring to was, of course, the handshake, a move by him and President Uhuru Kenyatta that blindsided everyone, shook the country’s political culture and is still reverberating in it’s after effect.

When all this comes to an end, the country will find herself more united than ever, which is objective of the handshake as stated by Uhuru and Raila, though that message seems to be drowned by hecklers.

As Raila sees it, their surprise move is not exactly unprecedented because his father Jaramogi Oginga and Uhuru's father Mzee Jomo Kenyatta united in different fronts to overcome the colonialists, and unity was a key ingredient of taking the country forward.

Raila said the Canaan NASA promised was a peaceful land abound with good possessions for all Kenyans irrespective of their political, religious and ethnic backgrounds, which was exactly what the handshake has attained.

Again, a very powerful message and noble goal that’s being drowned out by Team Tangatanga who see the success of this bold approach as the death knell for their leader.

Optimistic as Raila is that Uhuru will honour the handshake to the end, and by that, it’s meant delivery of all Kenyans to Canaan with Raila at the helm. But there are landmines on the way that must be safely detonated before they torpedo Raila one more time.

 
 

These are one, Deputy President William Ruto. Failure of Uhuru and Raila to politically neuter Ruto and sooner than later means the end of the journey to Canaan with Raila at the helm. Forever. And ever.

Second, wobbly vessels carrying the believers which, if not fixed in good time, will capsize and bury everyone in it long before arrival in Canaan.

While we still have NASA and Jubilee parties technically alive, neither has what it takes to deliver Kenyans to Canaan. A new coalition needs to be formed and succeed these two parties if Uhuru and Raila are to have a shot at delivering on their vision.

A referendum will and should take care of that, lest all this will be in vain as failure to forge such an alliance will mean Ruto’s presidency.

Third, while Jubilee has its share of brown bag recipients creating havoc within, the President has the tools and is capable of whipping the renegades into shape or rendering them irrelevant.

It’s Raila’s rebels, especially those with stuffed brown bags from the Coast, he should rein in on and render them barren before they become a bigger headache.

Last, but not least, there’s the wild card landmine and that’s men publicly supporting the handshake and Raila in particular while at night or privately they may still be conniving and scheming on how to defeat the handshake and install their own preference come 2022.

I would worry the most about this group if I were Raila and do everything to expose or advise Uhuru on how to deal with them.

Samuel Omwenga is a legal analyst and political commentator.


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