By Joseph Lister Nyaringo, NJ. USA.
The two leaders in the grand coalition government President Kibaki should hold with esteem are Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, because of their positive role to his 10 years Presidency.
That’s why I think that Raila and Kalonzo are the most betrayed by Kibaki. As he strides towards the end of his political career, he does not appear to favour any of the two to succeed him.
This has sent tongues wagging especially in the Vice President’s camp, which have been holding their breath for payback time from Kibaki. They feel that the President should return the favour which Kalonzo extended to him in 2007 during the disputed Presidential election results.
What shall we conclude about President Kibaki who has been in politics since age 28 and who unsuccessfully vied for the Presidency twice before clinching the seat in 2002?
Shall we conclude that he is a principled leader and not a rewarder of political cronies or an unthankful person who dumps those who helps him to ride to his glory?
The Vice President had every right to turn Kibaki down when he offered him the Vice presidency and join Raila’s protesting camp over the disputed presidential election results. Perhaps we would not have the current coalition government, since it would have changed the political equation in the Country.
It’s also remembered that President Kibaki’s victory in 2002 is largely attributed to the role played by Raila. The deputy Premier, just like the Vice President, even if both leaders don’t speak openly, must be feeling that Kibaki owes so much.
I’m 100% sure that the Vice President’s heart bleeds more than Raila’s especially when he sees the succession debate from the President’s community shaping up negatively to his presidential ambitions.
Its true Kalonzo saved Kibaki during the inevitable hour in 2007; a period viewed by many as the most desperate in the President’s political career. It can’t even be compared with 2002 when Raila Odinga, used the phrase “Kibaki tosha” at Uhuru Park.
Several political events have kept the Vice President extremely sceptical. First of all, a party formed by State House insiders- UDF, is spearheading Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi to succeed Kibaki.
It remains to be seen if Kibaki will eventually support Mudavadi and if he does, will he succeed in convincing Uhuru Kenyatta to forego his ambitions to support his fellow deputy PM?If he doesn’t, Mudavadi should not expect any support from the President’s backyard and his exit from ODM will be seen as the most miscalculated political move in recent history.
Secondly, the pact this week which brought together Uhuru’s (TNA), Kiraitu’s (APK), Kimunya’s (PNU) and Kiunjuri’s (GNU),all from Mount Kenya, has left Kalonzo in tenterhooks.
Kalonzo may look passive and sound calm on State House’s silence over his Presidential quest but he bitterly feels betrayed by a community whose man he stood with and accepted to take the number two slot when the Country was smouldering.
When the campaign hits a crescendo soon, Kenyans will hear alot from the Akamba community who have continued holding their breath; hoping that since their man helped to legitimize Kibaki’s grip on power, Kalonzo would have been his preferred successor.
Watching the vigour with which Uhuru Kenyatta, Peter Kenneth, and Martha Karua are campaigning for the top seat, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi should not bank on Kikuyu votes. Even if Kibaki will rally behind one of the two, it’s unlikely that the community will deny their own and vote for an outsider.
The formation of the G7 alliance gave a new lease of life to the Vice president where he thought that the group will automatically endorse him. However, key figures in the alliance are expanding their energy and resources to advance their campaign on the national radar. This is a clear demonstraton that the success of the alliance to rally behind one presidential candidate is elusive.
It’s ironical that UDF, URP and TNA parties led by Mudavadi, Ruto and Uhuru respectively were all born almost at the same time except the Wiper party of Kalonzo and New Ford Kenya of Eugene Wamalwa. If these party leaders believed in a similar ideology and unity of purpose, why can’t they rally behind one candidate?
In the coming election, the 1992 and 1997 history is likely to repeat itself when a fragmented opposition would not beat former President Moi. This time round, the Moi, will be none rather than Prime Minister Raila Odinga.