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Raila’s Secret 2022 Game Plan Throws Allies and Foes into Limbo

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In his ever unpredictable and confounding political maneuvers, Raila Odinga has thrown doves among pigeons, as it were, and political feathers are flying all round. And those reeling under Raila’s current political spell include President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto.

But what is Raila up to this time round? This is the question on the lips of almost every politician across the board. And Raila seems to enjoy every bid of the unfolding drama that he has singularly staged on both his political friends and foes. In the opposition, Raila has left his so-called co-principals who form the apex of the National Super Alliance  devouring themselves.

Already, the impact of Raila’s meeting with President Kenyatta on March 9 that resulted in the now famous handshake, has brutally demolished the political marriage that propelled UhuRuto to power and the camaraderie that characterized their relationship.

Since the Uhuru Raila handshake, the relationship between the president and his deputy has evidently grown from cordial to frosty and the two, who had kept tight personal ties, have significantly drifted apart on many fronts to the point of expressing openly divergent views, a situation that had not happened before.

Ever the shrewd, some say enigmatic politician that he has been, Raila seems to dexterously walk the tightrope, balancing his role as opposition chief and at the same time navigating around the new found truce with the President, the man who was his bitter political nemesis only months ago.

Comfortably walking side by side with the President, to the utter chagrin of the Deputy president, Raila remains unapologetic on the new political path that he charted only a month after he defied government, diplomatic and religious counsel and went ahead to swear himself in as “the Peoples’ President”, an event that not only split his opposition down the middle but one that saw the government take the hardest stance against its opponents and critics, both real and imagined, including the media.

For the first time in the history of Kenya’s acknowledged free press, the government shut down and switched off three main and popular private television stations for more than a week in the wake of their collective defiance of the government order to give the Raila swearing-in event live television coverage blackout.

Within opposition ranks, Raila appears least disturbed by the disintegrating NASA, which fronted him in the stormy race for President.

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Instead, he has thrown them into total confusion, with his renewed crusade for a referendum. While his colleagues in NASA have been clutching at straws as the NASA ship drowns, Raila has shown no concern or sympathy for them.

The most dramatic testimony of this was the removal of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula as Senate Minority leader, and his replacement with Raila’s closest ally and Siaya Senator James Orengo.

Switching political alliances has been the hallmark of Raila’s political style over the years. Since Kenya’s return to multi party politics over two decades ago, there is no major political event and alignment that has not featured Raila.

But nothing seemed to have prepared the country for the events that have already tore NASA apart and driven a deep wedge within the top Jubilee echelons.

With the NASA alliance in limbo, Raila appears set to stage a new political coup of sorts, as his supporters continue to exert pressure on him to bring the home the fruits of his new deal with President Kenyatta and the push for a referendum seem to define his new strategy in that respect.

Regardless of which political side one stands, the handshake has already reshaped the 2022 presidential race and heightened the stakes for the Uhuru succession this early.

Suddenly, it is no longer apparent that Ruto will have an easy ride to the presidency, as it was presumed.

Following Raila’s subsequent separate meetings with former presidents, Daniel Moi and Mwai Kibaki, a new dimension was instantly introduced to the plot with those opposed to the handshake reading a more elaborate political plot to block Ruto, who is viewed as a rank outsider among families that have dominated Kenya’s politics since independence.

Proponents of this thinking are advancing the view that Raila’s ultimate intention is to derail and eventually jettisoned Ruto from the frontline of the Kenyatta succession race, a prognosis that Ruto has publicly admitted with his recent declaration that he will not allow Raila to rock the Jubilee boat or throw him off balance.

Whether Raila will succeed in his current political scheming, only time will tell.

BY Vitalis Musebe…Veteran journalist and political commentator

Courtesy, The Star

Isn’t it convenient to have Kenya’s latest breaking news at your fingertip? That’s right, at kenyanreport.com (which is an intriguing platform to explore all types of Kenya news); you’ll find good informative blogs and articles on various headlines. As a news-savvy person, you’ll not be disappointed with breaking news, entertainment news, politics and political happening, diaspora news, celebrity trend and many more.

 

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