|Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Minister Fred Gumo|
|Kalonzo Musyoka, Uhuru Kenyatta & William Ruto|
By Jerry Okungu
February 14 2012
Now I know; there is no place like Kenya. In this country, we have the most intriguing, complex and entertaining politics one can get anywhere on planet earth. Not even Japan, Italy or Israel with their ever changing governments can match us. Yes, we wait for five years most of the time before we vote in another government but in between, we get our money’s worth.
Politics in Kenya is so dynamic that one cannot be guaranteed a spot in the news network for a week for lack of another bombshell. It is its dynamic nature that now makes Kalonzo Musyoka regret having staged a prayer meeting for the Ocampo Two at Machakos last weekend. Now the Ocampo Two are turning their guns on him for refusing to sack Mutula Kilonzo.
For weeks now, the Ocampo 2 and their G7 supporters have busted our eardrums with their watertight mathematics that in their language were a sure entry State House. With individual representatives from Turkana, Pokot, Mijikenda, Kiambu, Mwingi, Eldoret North, Saboti and Gusiland, we have been made to believe that other players have no chance of winning the impending elections. However, like they say, one day can be a long time in politics. It would appear like that one day can even be longer in Kenyan politics!
Perhaps this is the time to reflect on the words of one politician who described Kenyan politics way back in 2007 as a marathon race. You may start on a fast pace but if not careful, you may burn out before touching the finishing line.
When the KKK mutated into G7, observers could not help but read a KANU script in it. At that time, the leading KKK members were Kalonzo Musyoka, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, all claiming to be representing Kamba, Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities. When the strategy backfired and competitors started referring to them as a tribal grouping, they changed cause and co-opted a few other individuals from other communities.
However, the common denominator was that all of the three were once staunch KANU operatives for decades except for Uhuru Kenyatta who had no known political affiliation until Moi recruited him in 2001.
If today you look at the G7 Alliance, William Ruto, Uhuru Kenyatta, Kalonzo Musyoka, Cyrus Jirongo and their junior partners representing other tribes, you cannot fail to see KANU regrouping to reclaim power after ten years in the wilderness. And this single identity must be the one that has been sending chills down the spines of many Kenyans who thought in December 2002 at Uhuru Park that they had said good bye to KANU’s kleptocracy for good.
Part of the reason there has been so much venom against Raila in particular is that he is believed to have been the architect of the KANU demise in 2002. Being the Secretary General of KANU and an insider at that time, those who remained in KANU to face NARC in 2002 have never forgiven him for their loss of power.
At that time, Raila and Kibaki garnered enough votes in seven provinces to beat KANU. Despite the fact that Uhuru was a Kikuyu like Kibaki, most Kikuyus preferred Kibaki who promised change rather than Uhuru who would be a continuation of the Nyayo era.
Now that “KANU” orphans have been traversing the country preaching venom and doomsday against their single opponent, it was inevitable that other political operators left out of the G7 would look for their own alliances.
Remember that in the run up to the elections in 2002, Moi and Raila had formed a formidable alliance between KANU and NDP that was thought to be watertight against Mwai Kibaki, Kijana Wamalwa and Charity Ngilu. Before then, there was no emergency for Kibaki allies to join forces for the then impending elections. It was only after KANU merged with NDP on March 18 2002 that alarm bells forced Kibaki and allies to form the NAK alliance.
Had the KANU- NDP merger held until December 2002, it would have been difficult for NAK to ascend to power. NAK was no match for the New KANU. Kibaki’s quest for presidency would have been buried that year.
However the fatal mistake that Moi made was to side line his long time loyalists such as JJ Kamotho, George Saitoti, Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga, the new kid in KANU. The arbitrary choice of Uhuru Kenyatta, a political greenhorn at the time did the trick. It literally pulled the rag from under KANU’s feet.
The departure of Raila from KANU hardly six months later was the fatal blow KANU needed to get out of power. And Raila did not just walk out with NDP legislators. He took a chunk of disgruntled KANU loyalists with him. They included George Saitoti, Kalonzo Musyoka, JJ Kamotho, Moody Awuori, William Ole Ntimama, Katana Ngala and Musalia Mudavadi. Katana and Musalia later abandoned ship and re-joined KANU for fear of the unknown. It is this group of KANU renegades who later teamed up with Kibaki’s NAK to assure Kibaki of a landslide victory.
If Ford Kenya and ODM are contemplating a counter attack on the G7, we can only understand it in that context. What they must be saying is simple; if the G7 onslaught on ODM is a ploy by “old Kanu” to steal the thunder out of ODM, then members of the original FORD must regroup to stop the Jogoo Party’s resurgence. And Western Kenya being the bedrock of Ford Kenya, such an alliance would make Mudavadi think twice in case he has been nursing some thoughts of jumping ship at one point in the near future.
Once Western Kenya is secured, the battle for votes would be in Nairobi, Coast, Rift Valley, Eastern and North Eastern regions.
And just like in 2002, Rift Valley and North Eastern regions were KANU strongholds with fierce battles fought in Nairobi, Coast and Upper Eastern regions.
It is the most interesting election year Kenyans can ever think of in decades.