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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Why Raila’s 2017 strategies may not click

While the debate on digital migration rages on in the country, Cord leadership should not capitalise on the moment and turn it into a political gain. The move by the party to cancel its agenda on referendum Okoa Kenya until further notice is a political gimmick. This is meant to divert attention of the Kenyan citizenry. The Kenyan voter of today is an informed person. He differentiates reality from propaganda and is able to judge for himself in decision making. 
And ever since mini-election and political campaign rivalries have been witnessed in parts of the country, so to speak, Homa Bay and the forthcoming in Kajiado Central, leaders of the mainstream parties: Cord and Jubilee now christened as Jap are at it again where each is strategising for the 2017 main presidential elections to win.
However, analysts including the media have exposed the formulas that they would employ to give them workable frontal political muscle. Raila Odinga may not be exhausted yet to be in the tussle to run for it, but, he may be mistaken to assume that he may capitalise on the challenges facing the Jubilee administration that include runaway insecurity, high cost of living due to economic pressure, corruption, censorship of press freedom, land issues among other grievances like the profiling of Muslims in Kenya.
In fact, Raila’s overestimations and underestimations may easily result in another political flop. His ambitions, as it were, will not be achievable if he continues to calculate these factors and assume as food on a silver plate. On the contrary, the former PM could as well drop his presidential bid for after a fourth time attempt and recall the MoU agreement he signed with the Wiper leader and Kalonzo Musyoka before he became his running mate in 2013 presidential poll.
According to sources within Raila’s backyard, it is said that he may not run after all. That he fears losing the Kamba vote who might easily switch to join their Kikuyu cousins who are perceived to be enjoying the “cake” in the Nairobi establishment contrary to the tradition of Luo community which has ever since time immemorial been followers of the Odinga’s and known doyen of opposition politics, is hard o fathom.
In the event that William Ruto works towards his advantage come the ICC ruling sometimes this year. He expects that come what may, the result will be an immediate break-up or disintegration of the Jubilee coalition rule. Why does the arithmetic not add up?
With the next general election to take place in two years time, Raila’s Cord seems to have learnt a lesson from the tyranny of numbers – that Jubilee had registered more voters in their stronghold areas, but, the rivalry and competition means changing tact and not isolate pro-opposition regions in appointments to lesser public outcry, but, on the contrary, they are being left out so as to maintain, if it not to increase their numbers.
Jubilee has however embarked on a mission to destabilising opposition stronghold like Ukambani by sponsoring rebellions against former VP’s Wiper party. The “divide and rule” policy and the “assimilation” method is as a process to absorb political support that could as well work in favour of the president’s party. Senator Johnson Muthama is at war with Alfred Mutua whom he believes is being used to block Kalonzo’s immense influence and control of Kamba vote ahead of 2017. Moses Wetang’ula is another face in the opposition but compared to Kalonzo, he is seen as politically colourless and out of touch in the entire western.
It must be understood that this rivalry should not only been tested or be used as the litmus paper by the results of Homa Bay and the coming Kajiado mini-poll. For the Kenyan voter, two years up to 2017 is a long period enough to make changes in political decisions.
Historically, Kenyan political parties especially at the beginning of selecting the presidential candidate as the flagbearer just before the election exercise begin. Ever since multi-party politics swept across Kenya in 1992, opposition political groupings took the tribal lane dividing the votes in favour of the ruling party, Kanu. The same trend in 1997 was also witnessed. Will the 2017 presidential vote happen again as it is said, that history repeats itself?