EXPERT COMMENT

HERMAN MANYORA: Raila's Mt Kenya gains should worry Ruto

Raila's increased popularity in Mt Kenya an obstacle to DP's 2022 prospects

In Summary

• DP cannot get sufficient votes to compensate him for that loss to Raila.

Herman Manyora.
EXPERT: Herman Manyora.
Image: FILE

The determining factor will be who loses the most and where those lost votes goes.

If Raila loses his votes from Ukambani and Western — as indeed he will lose a bit, whatever happens — there will be a question of how much he loses.

Question number two is who does he lose them to? For example, if he were to lose and the votes goes to Deputy President William Ruto, then that spells doom for Raila.

On the other hand, Ruto is so heavily dependent on Mt Kenya that if he were to operate anywhere below 70 per cent, in the worst-case scenario, that's trouble. 

The very lowest he should be at is 70 per cent and if he were to go to as low as 57 per cent, then there is no way he can seek compensatory votes elsewhere.

He cannot get sufficient votes to compensate for that loss. If he is getting 57 per cent, where is the rest going? Not necessarily the 43 per cent but a significant portion — of course, there will be people who are undecided.

If Raila is scooping a bit of that, then Ruto should worry a lot.It would spell doom for him.

Other factors may also come into play. One would be how will the Luhyas take ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi if he was a presidential candidate? Would they take him seriously?

Will it be the same for Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka? People back you when you have a chance. In 2013, people backed Musalia because of the prevailing narratives.

For that reason, people took him seriously but that's not the case today. He can’t even get what he got. The question is where does it go? Most definitely it will go to Raila.

The same is true for Ukambani. In 2007, when Kalonzo vied, residents were upbeat that he would get the vote. Now people know he stands no chance so they won't be excited. But of course, if they stand with Musalia, they look more credible and can eat into Raila’s votes. Those are some of the factors that will shape this election.

The University of Nairobi don spoke to the Star

(Edited by V. Graham)