CENTRAL POLITICS

Mt Kenya: History will repeat itself in 2022

Mt Kenya learnt its lesson and knows better than to divide its vote.

In Summary
  • Mt Kenya voters may seem scattered before a vote but always coalesce around one leader and party.
  • At the end of the day, Mt Kenya will coalesce around President Uhuru Kenyatta in relation to the succession politics when the time comes.

Once upon a time a Wolf disguised himself to secure food more easily. Encased in the skin of a sheep, he pastured with the flock deceiving the shepherd with his costume.

In the evening he was shut up by the shepherd in the fold; the gate was closed and the entrance made thoroughly secure. But the shepherd, returning to the fold during the night to obtain meat for the next day, mistakenly caught the Wolf instead of a sheep, and killed him instantly.

The moral of this story is that if you seek harm, you will find harm. And by going against the regional leader, Central Kenya leaders will find themselves damaged and history has taught us so.

The history of Central Kenya politics is repeating itself —it’s like 1992 all over again when we had two strong presidential candidates: Kenneth Matiba and Mwai Kibaki. Many people were locked out and there were many parties that divided the Central vote.

Initially, Matiba was selected as the best bet for Mt Kenya to push President Moi out of power in the 1992 election. There was also a large selection of strong Mt Kenya candidates for Parliament, which was also a clear battleground.

The truth is that the BBI, arising from Uhuru’s actions, has backed Mt Kenya into a corner. Failure to support the BBI has the potential of having the region isolated and left out of power for years to come.

This is a tactic used by most leaders. ODM leader Raila Odinga, for example, always selects strong leaders to represent his Nyanza backyard, regardless of their popularity. This is how some people have gotten direct nomination to strengthen the key leader’s grip.

Matiba said No to this tactic and said the people should elect their leaders with his famous slogan of “let the people decide”. As a result, Mt Kenya strongmen such as Njenga Karume and Koigi wa Wamwere lost the election and Matiba missed out due to detention.

Mt Kenya ended up being represented by many newcomers who were bullied by Kanu hawks while in the opposition. Years later, Mt Kenya has learnt its lesson and knows better than to divide its vote. In fact, Mt Kenya voters may seem scattered before a vote but always come together to coalesce around one leader and party.

This should serve as a warning to the Mt Kenya leaders insulting the President, keen on taking an independent route. At the end of the day, Mt Kenya will coalesce around President Uhuru Kenyatta in relation to the succession politics when the time comes.

Uhuru, being the political genius we have known him to be, engineered the handshake as a political masterstroke aimed at ensuring that Mt Kenya is not sidelined as he leaves office.

Those pretending to be taking a different route are doing this at their own peril and will be taught a great lesson by the voter for defying the only leader they know—Uhuru.

 

Looking outside the region – from Kalonzo Musyoka to Moses Wetang’ula, Hassan Joho and Raila - everyone is supporting the Building Bridges Initiative for a reason. This is the surest way to get elected in 2022.

The truth is that the BBI, arising from Uhuru’s actions, has backed Mt Kenya into a corner. Failure to support the BBI has the potential of having the region isolated and left out of power for years to come.

Uhuru, being the political genius we have known him to be, engineered the handshake as a political masterstroke aimed at ensuring that Mt Kenya is not sidelined as he leaves office.

As he works to unite Kenya, Uhuru knows that Mt Kenya really needs a stable political future and this is the ground he laid with the handshake. But some leaders from the region are not seeing this bigger picture and, thus, are a threat to the plan.

As history repeats itself in the next election – mirroring 1992 – Mt Kenya leaders who need a political future must be on the right side of history.  With Uhuru having shown the way, it would be politically naive and foolish to take any other route. And that is why Mt Kenya listens to him and will do so in 2022.