- It is unlikely that Uhuru will want to indulge in a battle for the party unless he is to use proxies as he has appeared to do before.
- Last week, he appeared to endorse Jeremiah Kioni as he stormed Jubilee headquarters.
Retired President Uhuru Kenyatta who has largely kept away from the public eye and ignored political events recently reappeared to steady the Jubilee Party boat.
East African Assembly’s Kanini Kega’s announcement of Sabina Chege to be the party’s interim leader, ostensibly replacing Uhuru, is yet to invoke a response from the former head of state.
It is unlikely that Uhuru will want to indulge in a battle for the party unless he is to use proxies as he has appeared to do before. Last week, he appeared to endorse Jeremiah Kioni as he stormed Jubilee headquarters.
Kioni has come out already to refer to Sabina and allies as coup plotters, saying that the party will hold a National Delegates Conference to iron out the challenges it faces.
Twenty two out of 28 members of the Jubilee national executive committee attended the meeting held last Tuesday where the former President was replaced.
Also, Uhuru cannot be ignored because he clearly anchors the approach the party is using towards curtailing the Kenya Kwanza government, hence dealing with him is delicate. However, his soft underbelly remains his immense business interests which he requires power to sustain.
He is likely to enjoy public sympathy if the defensive combat against him continues to be in the public gallery. One would expect that, by now, he or his emissaries would have called a truce with President William Ruto but it appears that relations are beyond repair for the two.
However, Uhuru does not have as much political clout as he did more than five years ago, and what the likes of Sabina and Kega are doing in Jubilee simply is going to give him political mileage.
The question is whether it is as much of a strategic political move or an approach for them to remain relevant and useful for Ruto and Kenya Kwanza government.
Political outfits can be created and recreated as history shows, and Uhuru will be thinking more about succession within his family fraternity more than anything else. Being a political family, they will need to stay in politics and have power. The best bet for Kenya Kwanza is to deal with him silently and where it hurts to draw him to the table.
Although Azimio is right in fighting for power which is the ultimate goal of any serious political outfit, their failure in going for the top seat in the last presidential election is something Kenyans should not ignore.
Raila’s failure to become president, something which he has sought for decades, has been widely attributed to two things.
Number one is an inability to properly manage people during electioneering periods.
Another loophole of his, which is linked to the first one, is a lack of willingness or preparedness to foot the political bill adequately. The matter of unpaid election agents and political volunteers was not new for Azimio in the 2022 general election. It was the same script in 2017 and 2013.
It cannot be forgotten that the likes of Oburu Odinga, David Murathe and Francis Atwoli had made strong claims that Raila would emerge victorious in the August 9 pills because he was ostensibly supported by the ‘deep state’. Atwoli has since shifted alliances to the ruling Kenya Kwanza, while Murathe is in the Kioni team fighting for Uhuru as Oburu is largely silent.
The strong assertions of these men together with the dramatic events at Bomas during the period the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission was tallying the presidential results could be strong indicators that Azimio actually undertook to influence the results of 2022 election but failed.
In a scathing attack on his deputy when he hosted leaders from his Kikuyu community in Sagana State lodge, Uhuru tried to painstakingly make a powerful presentation detailing why he had a change of heart despite Ruto supporting him in 2013 and 2017.
It was clear at this point that the Kikuyu community had gravitated towards Ruto, and the fact that he was able to cement the support of the majority of the community’s active political leaders, mainly legislators, was something to worry about for Raila and Uhuru.
The National Security Council is said to have tried to compel the electoral agency chairman Wafula Chebukati to meddle with the election results to disenfranchise Ruto and grant Raila a win.
However, Raila’s disorganisation in the election had left nothing to salvage even if Chebukati had played ball. The recruitment of agents in the Mount Kenya region and the larger Rift Valley were poor. While good efforts were made in a region such as Ukambani, where some Azimio-allied gubernatorial candidates even visited IEBC training of staff for the 2022 election, the coalition failed miserably in the two key regions above.
Mount Kenya and Rift Valley are important vote baskets for any presidential contender serious about becoming president of Kenya. The two communities are a lot more politically enlightened, having produced all four of Kenya's presidents between them, and always forming the bulk of government employees in lucrative positions.
For these communities, a collective and united approach in politics is always adopted during the electioneering period. The failure to hack a way to gain their support was a major loophole for Azimio and it came to pass.
As we stand, Azimio is using archaic methods in trying to gain political mileage such as sensationalism and fear mongering. Last Tuesday, as people waited to see how the day that Raila had called for demonstrations against the government would pan out; claims emerged online that he had been shot.
It was a similar theory one week ago when he, together with other Azimio leaders, claimed that his car had been shot at apparently by the authorities. Although these approaches may be aimed at reinvigorating followers and creating fear so that Kenyans in Nairobi fail to show up at their workplaces or business zones, it lacks credibility.
We can project that the demonstrations tactic will end in a whimper. In other news, while Ruto will always need the support of the church in Kenya, it would be wise to engage their leadership in resolving current challenges so that the solution appears to come from them.