SCRATCH MY BACK...

Raila is riding on handshake to split vast Kikuyu vote

Kibra by-election more hyped than the BBI report which is supposedly for nation's benefit

In Summary

• ODM leader Raila has brought together leaders that one can summarise as driven only by vengeance and opportunism rather than principles.

• Results have been mixed thanks to a sustained onslaught from DP William Ruto's camp who managed to caricature him as a political turncoat. 

Raila Odinga shares a piece of cake to president Uhuru Kenyatta during Raila's birthday
WANTS A SLICE OF HIS CAKE: Raila Odinga shares a piece of cake to president Uhuru Kenyatta during Raila's birthday
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

The just-concluded Kibra by-election is proving to be a serious game-changer than even the much-hyped, but yet to be unveiled BBI report.

In a desperate attempt to cobble a team that could help him secure his ambition at the presidency or whichever position he may deem powerful, ODM leader Raila Odinga has brought together leaders that one can summarise as driven only by vengeance and opportunism rather than principles.

The initial script went something like this: divide Jubilee Party which in its wake meant dividing the populous Kikuyu vote bloc, ride on the handshake to inherit the President’s traditional support and leverage on the state power that comes with proximity to the head of state.

The results have been mixed thanks to a sustained onslaught from DP William Ruto’s camp who managed to caricature him as a political turncoat taking advantage of his rapprochement with the president to bolster his 2022 chances.

By bringing together a coterie of rather light-weight politicians looking for a straw to clutch on, he boxed himself in a corner that leaves him no room for broader negotiations with strong regional kingpins.

It can only be described as attempts by a desperate leader to take anything thrown his way even if it works against him. While there’s no evidence to support the notion that Kibra winner Imran Okoth benefited from the so-called handshake brigade, the attempt to rekindle ODM is quickly turning out to be a non-starter given the shaky foundation that’s being laid.

After many years of political deceit of ‘scratch my back I do the same next time’, the ODM leader seems desperate to have new courtiers being aware that the old ones will only demand their pound of flesh.

 

Economic and political analyst