- Raila had at one point declared Nasa dead despite its existing legally.
- Raila, Musalia and Kalonzo are the key Nasa bigwigs set to battle for Uhuru's choice.
President Uhuru Kenyatta's dramatic suggestion of an end to the Kikuyu-Kalenjin domination of the presidency has jolted DP William Ruto's succession plan and offered a political lifeline to Nasa principals.
The Nasa trio of Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya) appear to bask in the glory of Uhuru's surprise remarks likely to boost their 2022 succession plans. Raila, now virtually in government, had been at the head of the opposition alliance.
Raila on Monday backed Uhuru's pronouncement, saying it was time the country’s top seat went to another tribe outside of the Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities.
“Different countries have dealt with this issue [exclusion] differently and I really see no harm in this… Kenya is a multi-ethnic society, this is actually sensitive to the ethnic differences we have in our country,” Raila said.
Raila admitted that there was no harm in considering Kenya’s diversity in picking the next President, saying that should happen because all Kenyans pay taxes to the government.
Raila cited the case of United States of America where if a presidential candidate comes from one region then the vice president must come from a different region.
Speaking at his Karen residence when he met Team One Nation led by ex-Mungiki leader Maina Njenga, he also drew a parallel with Switzerland which has domesticated rotational a presidency.
“In a place like Switzerland they have even have what is called a rotational presidency. The pPresidency moves from this region to the other. In the United States if you are running as president, the vice president must come from another region,” Raila said.
With Uhuru having technically ruled out Ruto and Gideon Moi, who both hail from the Kalenjin community, from his succession plans, the President appears to be looking at the Nasa trio for the next President.
There is speculation that Uhuru is determined to have the Nasa leaders stick together and then they would share the leadership spoils proposed in the BBI.
The statement is also likely to elbow Ruto from Mt Kenya and give the three an avenue to penetrate the region.
Following the 2017 presidential contest and the controversial swearing-in of Raila as the people's president, Nasa had been teetering on the edge for a potential disastrous split ahead of 2022.
Raila has previously declared the coalition dead.
However, the Star has established that there is palpable excitement within the Nasa camp after Uhuru made the statement.
ANC deputy party leader Ayub Savula told the Star that Uhuru's remarks now offer Musalia a better chance of ascending to the presidency next year.
“Uhuru made the remarks at Musalia’s home. We see this as a direct endorsement of our party leader,”the Lugari MP, a key Musalia ally. said..
Savula said Musalia's political machine will now traverse the country to build strong networks with strategic allies to shore up his national appeal and position himself as the man to beat in 2022.
Makueni MP Dan Maanzo, a key ally of Kalonzo's, told the Star that it was time the country's top leadership position moved to other communities that have been marginalised for decades.
“It is true that the late President Daniel Moi was in power for 24 years, Kenyatta, Uhuru and Kibaki combined 35 years. Is it not obvious that the seat should go to another region?” Maanzo asked.
Nyando MP Jared Okelo, a Raila confidant, warned that for Kenya to achieve equality, the yoke of tribal dominance at the top must be fought at all cost.
“For the 45 different tribes in Kenya to enjoy a sense of belonging, convinced of equality of votes, encouraged to take their children to school to nurture future leaders, it is time for a third tribe to take the reins of power,” Okelo declared.
Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said Uhuru had started a very important discussion but denied the remakes would exclude the two ethnic communities.
"It is a good conversation that needs to be taken up and it is a good thing for Kenyans to stop burying their heads in the sand," Wandayi said.
Raila on Monday reiterated that the country must address its problems of exclusion boldly, saying the BBI process offers Kenyans an opportunity to fix the ills since all pay taxes.
“We must understand that each and every Kenyan pays taxes, taxes are collected in all regions of this country without discrimination. Therefore, don’t discriminate when it comes to making appointments in this country. Look at every person as a Kenyan,” he said.
Raila said the 2013 Jubilee Cabinet lacked the face of Kenya, the reason why the country must embrace inclusivity.
"Just go and look at the Cabinet of Jubilee of 2013, look at the Principal Secretaries, then look at heads of parastatals. I wish somebody in the media can come out and publish the names even tomorrow...If you look at the Grand Coalition government it was a different ballgame," he stated.
Raila’s sentiments come days after Uhuru gave the clearest hint he may renege on his earlier promise to back Ruto for a decade-long rule.
Uhuru said the Mt Kenya and the Kalenjin communities have produced the country’s four presidents since Independence and should now make way for other communities.
Edited by Henry Makori