ECHOES FROM THE PAST

Kisumu was a Raila Tosha moment

Symbolically Uhuru passed the baton to Raila.

In Summary
  • The euphoria was because the presidency had finally arrived in Nyanza.
  • Politics will never be the same again; BBI will transform the political landscape.

Yes, Kenyans are suffering. Yes, Kenyans need jobs, food on the table and money in their pockets. Yes, we are battling a pandemic that has decimated livelihoods. The BBI is here to solve this by changing the way our nation is governed so we may follow a path to peace and economic prosperity for all.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has worked with many politicians and as he prepares for retirement, many have been watching to see his moves.

Last week, the Building Bridges Initiative report was finally handed over in Kisii and thereafter, President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga went to Kisumu to popularise the initiative.

Euphoria. That is the best way to describe what was witnessed in Kisumu as the residents of the lakeside city took to the streets to celebrate the President and BBI.

The Kisumu visit will be remembered for years to come because symbolically Uhuru passed the baton to Raila. The euphoria was because the presidency had finally arrived in Nyanza, and I think that it will stay there past the next election.

This was an echo of the Kibaki Tosha moment of 2002, with the President indirectly declaring Raila Tosha. It was clear where the President’s heart lies in regard to his succession and the stability of the country.

We can no longer guess who the President wants to succeed him in 2022 to ensure that his legacy of peace and prosperity is in safe hands. The projects that the President announced in Kisumu are a key indicator that he wants the entire country to move together.

The choice of receiving the BBI report in Kisii was not lost on those of us who observe politics keenly. The choice of the guests Uhuru invited to the State Lodge in Kisii was also a clear indication of what BBI and its underlying agenda mean to him.

Without a doubt, there is something in the air, the BBI has brought a wave and those that will oppose it will be swept away by it. Politics will never be the same again; BBI will transform the political landscape.

There are those taking the narrow view that BBI is aimed at just creating positions. Even before the report was launched, some politicians were already misleading the country on its agenda.

The BBI report is aimed at building lasting bridges for Kenya in order to ensure that there is shared prosperity. This is something that Uhuru and Raila have emphasised since the March 2018 handshake.

It is therefore not surprising that Uhuru has chosen to show Kenyans who can be entrusted with this agenda as he enters retirement. His decision to receive the report with Raila and then visit Kisumu was not by default but by design.

Those opposed to the BBI report will only have themselves to blame as the rest of the country moves into a new era of shared prosperity, politically and economically.

Yes, Kenyans are suffering. Yes, Kenyans need jobs, food on the table and money in their pockets. Yes, we are battling a pandemic that has decimated livelihoods. The BBI is here to solve this by changing the way our nation is governed so we may follow a path to peace and economic prosperity for all.

The President is clearly aware of what is ailing Kenya and has repeatedly asked leaders to focus on this and stop politicking. The only politician who has heeded this call is Raila who, while the rest of the politicians are focused on 2022, has worked to support Uhuru’s agenda.

When Raila said Kibaki Tosha in 2022, the country was yearning for change after years of being under Kanu.

Kenya is yearning for change and this is why the BBI process is important. Uhuru knows this and his Raila Tosha moment is informed by this. The need to give Kenya the change it deserves and looking for the person who can safely deliver this when his term is over.