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Ruto-backed Raila presidency solution to our woes

In this arrangement, Raila will have to agree to serve one term after which Ruto can succeed him

In Summary

• Raila seeking the presidency with Ruto backing will combine to produce a tsunami at the polls greater than 2002, greater than 2007.

• It will have the duo realising what they sought but were denied in 2007.

Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga in 2018.
Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga in 2018.
Image: FILE

The axiom there are no permanent enemies, and no permanent friends, only permanent interests should be even more evident as leading politicians realign for 2022.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga's handshake in 2018 is a historic event that proves that indeed, there are no permanent enemies.

The only other handshake that can outdo the  March 9 one and become the most impactful and historic would have to be one between Raila and Deputy President William Ruto.

There are several reasons for this. To begin with, even though the handshake between Uhuru and Raila is intact and will likely deliver in having BBI implemented, there is more to it than meets the eye.

Many analysts believe 2022  elections will be determined in 2021 because the lineup of leaders who will make BBI happen will be the one to assume or remain in power.

However, this is not to the exclusion of everything else that could happen because a day is a lifetime in politics.

Even when you think things are lined up perfectly to deliver a desired victory, circumstances and fate could have something else in store.

In the US, Hillary Clinton knew in 2016 that she will win the presidency as the polls showed. Donald Trump, however, shocked everyone with his victory.

Years before that here in Kenya, the late President Daniel Moi thought he had all the ducks lined up in a row, including the system, to deliver the presidency of Uhuru Kenyatta in 2002.

However, Raila having declared Kibaki Tosha and Kenyans having been fed up with Moi, they voted overwhelmingly for the opposition coalition such that not even the system would dare rig out Mwai Kibaki.

It was an easy decision because Kibaki was seen, as one of them, after all.

Had Raila been the opposition candidate instead, we would have had Uhuru as president in 2002. Please do not doubt that.

At the rate things are going right now, Uhuru is facing the same, though not as widespread, and intense enough hatred as Moi suffered in 2002.

That means conditions are ripe to have another tsunami of an election no different than what we had in 2002, except this time the players will be allayed against some, but not all in the system.

The “some,” however, are likely the ones calling the shots going by how things are being stage-managed and unfolding.

Uhuru has played along but is treading carefully because on the one hand, he fully and totally believes in the handshake. He is also committed to seeing BBI through implementation.

Although there are in the system playing along in having BBI implementation done, it is only for purposes of furthering their own objectives, not what Uhuru and Raila have in mind.

Indeed, it would not surprise any keen observer  that the preference of these “some” in the system is to have Uhuru and Raila retire from politics and go home.

Ruto? It is obvious the system is unanimous he cannot succeed Uhuru.

There are others in the system, however, who would want to see Uhuru remain in the next government — though the same people do not and would not want to have Raila in that government.

Given this dynamic, the best outcome is to have a handshake between Raila and Ruto.

In this arrangement, Raila will have to agree to serve one term after which Ruto can succeed him. Yes, this is possible, especially given there are ways to ensure that is the case.

Ruto is young and can wait five more years serving in some other capacity, which is less time than the 40+ years Raila has waited.

However, given he cannot vie as deputy again, a less ambitious stand-in can be found such as a retired soldier.

Raila seeking the presidency with Ruto backing will combine to produce a tsunami at the polls greater than 2002, greater than 2007 and have the duo realising what they sought but were denied in 2007.

Samuel Omwenga is a legal analyst and political commentator


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