2022 LINEUP DILEMMA

JEBET: So many hopefuls, so little room to occupy in Oka

Eventually, someone must humble themselves enough to pave the way for a colleague.

In Summary

• With election D-day fast approaching, the Oka principles ought to re-think their strategy as there is no space for opaqueness at such a crucial time.

• It may be a truly daring risk, but if one of them was to decamp to the DP's side, they might find themselves in a better position.

OKA principals during their campaigns in Makueni County on Monday/ GEORGE OWITI
OKA principals during their campaigns in Makueni County on Monday/ GEORGE OWITI

Following ODM leader and presidential aspirant Raila Odinga's rendezvous with the Mount Kenya Foundation, Oka principals decided to follow suit in a likely attempt to warm up to the vote-rich Central region.

This being an election period, political dynamics are expected to be volatile, especially in a situation where state office aspirants act as both allies and competitors simultaneously.

There is an elephant in the room that the Oka brigade is trying so hard to ignore: The final lineup ahead of the 2022 polls.

It is well established that the various principals purporting to be working in unison have set high standards for themselves in terms of the positions of government they deserve.

During the Kanu National Delegates' Conference and the Oka-MKF forum, the concerned leaders implicitly hinted at throwing their hats in the ring, notwithstanding their supposed synergy.

The Bomas meeting had heavy undertones of Gideon Moi's presidential endorsement but the other party leaders expressed their personal ambitions nonetheless. How long this unclear scenario will carry on is still up for debate.

And with the Building Bridges Initiative out of the picture, it gets even more complicated because the proposed posts in the document are no longer within sight.

Eventually, someone must humble themselves enough to pave the way for a colleague.

There is very little doubt at the moment as to whether Raila will go for the presidency, and this makes for a more complicated situation as it intensifies the atmosphere in Oka.

So many hopefuls, so little room for occupation.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Deputy President William Ruto, who is now affiliating with UDA, is enjoying a more or less equally promising presidential campaign as his ODM nemesis.

The difference here, however, is that his political partners are comparatively less influential. To be fair though, his popularity more than sufficiently makes up for this. His camp can easily accommodate at least one Oka member, if there ever were to be a defection, which cannot be ruled out.

Frankly speaking, the Oka members do not stand a chance, if they were to each set out on their individual political endeavours.

Pitting themselves against each other and especially against Raila and Ruto would be ridiculous. At the end of the day, they will have to put their money on one of the two.

It even gets worse for Oka as Raila reserves the privilege of fronting his running mate. This is because in a bold move, he may opt to nominate a leader from the Mt Kenya region, a move that will almost certainly vindicate him substantially in the eyes of the Central electorate who are justifiably most interested in regional representation.

That, coupled with his campaign pledge of promoting the one-vote-one-shilling ideology, will surely do more good than harm to his presidential bid.

True, choosing a Mt Kenya running mate would cause a monumental uproar from other regions as it would reek of deceit, but it is of utmost importance not to downplay how decisive the region is when it comes to presidential elections.

Mt Kenya region's high bargaining power is not to be underestimated. Unifying that with the level of rapport he has attained with the general electorate over the decades that has accorded him an apparent cult following presents a very good chance of clinching the top job.

If this were to occur, the Oka players would inadvertently be sidelined, further diminishing their hopes for the best bargain. 

With election D-day fast approaching, the Oka principles ought to re-think their strategy as there is no space for opaqueness at such a crucial time. It may be a truly daring risk, but if one of them was to decamp to the DP's side, they might find themselves in a better position.

It is obvious that one or two of them has mulled over this issue, but they probably have their fingers crossed in the hope that their partners be the ones to exit the pro-Raila team ease the competition.

 Leaving and losing would most certainly take a heavy toll on the careers of any of the Oka co-principals.