MAN OF THE MOMENT

With Murathe, Atwoli endorsing Raila, 2022 is his to lose

It is more than a year and several months and not only is the handshake intact but Murathe has gone even further in his support for Raila.

In Summary

• With the support of Murathe, which Raila must have evinced with more than just words, the opposition scion remains the man to beat in 2022 and this is his thing to lose.

• The man has love, admiration, and support across the country, even in Mt Kenya region, where support for him is the weakest.

ODM leader Raila Odinga (in blue) with former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe, Siaya Senator James Orengo at the home of Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli (second left) home in Kajiado county on Sunday, August 2
ENDORSEMENT: ODM leader Raila Odinga (in blue) with former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth, Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe, Siaya Senator James Orengo at the home of Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli (second left) home in Kajiado county on Sunday, August 2
Image: COURTESY:

On the Friday before the 2013 elections, I had a meeting at Serena with the now Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe.

One point I made and emphasised during the meeting was "let there be no interference with the elections". I also said let the winner ought to be the one that genuinely gets the majority vote as required under the Constitution.

Murathe gave me a slew of reasons why Raila would not be elected; I gave him mine why he would be. The difference between Murathe and me was confidence. Listening to him, there was no doubt in his mind, let alone an allowance that Raila could win. No, none.

 

Murathe then said one thing to me about Raila that stuck-out even long after the disputed elections and even the 2018 handshake.

So when Murathe was quoted in the press saying something positive about Raila after the handshake, I was shocked. Indeed, anyone who follows politics knew these were not words coming from him, yet they were.

It is more than a year and several months and not only is the handshake intact but Murathe has gone even further in his support for Raila.

To be sure, many, including myself, were skeptical, earlier believing Murathe was making the comments to get what or where he and the system wanted to be.

The skepticism was hardened not too long ago when he made a statement after Raila and ODM helped President Uhuru Kenyatta get rid of Deputy President William Ruto’s loyalists from Jubilee leadership positions. The remarks seemed to suggest ODM is to be seen, not to be heard. A miscalculation, of course, if the current political climate tells us anything.

Raila has once again become the key figure in the ongoing stalemate over the third basis formula to share revenues among counties, even though this is Jubilee government undertaking.

It is also telling for Murathe to come out so strongly in endorsing Raila for President in 2022 in the middle of this standoff. The Jubilee honcho insisted that Raila was better placed to succeed Uhuru and to steer the country to economic growth and political stability.

 

As a ribbon around his gift, Murathe — whose views are deemed to be those of Uhuru — said it was time to reward Raila for all his struggles and sacrifices for the country’s democratic growth and progress.

Asked about this development, Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli echoed Murathe’s glowing endorsement and added something else that is key to understanding all this. It is his deep relationship with Uhuru, Murathe and their families. Add to that Atwoli’s closeness with the late retired President Daniel Moi, you have the recipe for a unique, tasty meal Kenyans are about to be served.

Make no mistake about it. If Murathe and therefore the system or “deep state” or whatever you wish to call those who decide who becomes President have decided it is Raila for 2022, then it will be Raila.

You may ask, why suddenly the very system that Raila maintains has rigged him out at least three times would now say he can be sworn in as the next President?

The answer is simple and Murathe and Atwoli stated it in their endorsements: The man has love, admiration, and support across the country, even in Mt Kenya region, where support for him is the weakest.

There is also another reason and that is, compared to Ruto, Raila is a known product as to what he will do with his term as a transition president.

The same cannot be said about Ruto and, therefore, the worst of it is assumed.

With the support of Murathe, which Raila must have evinced with more than just words, the opposition scion remains the man to beat in 2022 and this is his thing to lose.

Samuel Omwenga is a legal analyst and political commentator