EXPERT COMMENT

Handshake under threat, may not last until 2022

Politicians playing Russian roulette with public funds and the lives of Kenyans.

In Summary
  • The survival of the Handshake will now depend on how Raila works to meet the political interests of Uhuru.
  • Uhuru will make the Handshake hold or not; it is actually up to him.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga on the footsteps of Harambee House on March 9, 2018.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga on the footsteps of Harambee House on March 9, 2018.
Image: JACK OWUOR

The handshake was an interesting phenomenon in the Kenyan political environment. What is becoming clear about it is that it seemed intended to meet certain goals.

For Raila Odinga, it was about his political survival or rehabilitation.

For Uhuru Kenyatta, it was meant to tame Raila politically and ensure he does not become too rogue a politician to interfere with peace and hinder his development agenda.

The events that are unfolding at the moment are leading us to the conclusion that the Handshake is primarily about Uhuru and Raila managing their politics.

When the Senate majority whip said Jubilee will not support BBI if the revenue-sharing formula does not pass, he meant they are not totally into the handshake.

Governance expert Javas Bigambo
Governance expert Javas Bigambo
Image: COURTESY

This means their support or embrace of BBI has not been sincere.

If the government side sees there is continued political disturbance and non-co-operation on the part of ODM, then it may jump ship.

This tells you that politicians are playing Russian roulette with public funds and the lives of Kenyans.

The extent to which they pull in different directions at their wish tells you that they do not have the interests of Kenyans at heart.

It is obvious to any observer that the handshake is under threat. The centre is not holding as it was thought.

The survival of the handshake will now depend on how Raila works to meet the political interests of Uhuru.

If he does not, Uhuru may not want to continue with BBI. The BBI is a Raila agenda, judging from his remarks.

BBI is Raila’s baby that Uhuru has adopted.

What was intended to be a handshake beyond the elbow is now not even past the wrist.

The handshake is at the fingers. Yes it can be fastened, but this will depend on the kind of political games both sides will play.

Both sides will have to review their interests in BBI. Uhuru will make the handshake hold or not. It is actually up to him.

The governance expert spoke to the Star