Connect with us

General News

Why Mt Kenya Foundation remains influential in the political discourse » Capital News



The Mount Kenya Foundation appears to be fairly influential and if you think otherwise, then you probably need to look closely at how both Raila Odinga and the four OKA principals have humbled themselves in seeking their support. In politics, that perception that these very influential business leaders are behind a presidential candidate sends a very powerful message. To put this into perspective; remember at some point Raila was portrayed as anti Kikuyu businesses, with the weird allegations that his presidency would take away businesses from Kikuyus.

If people bought such stories, then it goes without saying that the most prudent approach in allaying such unfounded fears in the run up to 2022 is to start with winning the endorsements of the very top businessmen. If they are safe with Raila Odinga or any other OKA presidential candidate, then it would be easy for the other businessmen and the larger population in this region to move on and evaluate these leaders on substantive issues and not fear.

As influential as they may be, the critical question though is whether they will actually recommend a presidential candidate to the vote-rich Mount Kenya region. Is that something they want to do and what will that do to the four NASA principals and Senator Gideon Moi because there can only be one chosen one?

You see, even if they are that powerful and I bet they are pretty powerful, of what value would such a public pronouncement be to a presidential candidate? The chosen ones have fallen short, not in one or two instances but in many. The world over, including Africa, there are instances of failed chosen ones and chosen ones who have gone on to be disasters. Some like in Angola have turned back against the very people who chose them.

My crystal ball tells me that these business men from the mountain have already achieved their goal. They will not announce who their candidate is since they have already done that in a very subtle way and sent fairly unequivocal signals to any voter outside there who was waiting for the white smoke.

Raila Odinga’s triumphant climbing of the mountain and his two-day traverse of the region from Nanyuki in Laikipia and back to Kiambu in a fashion that was characterized by a pompous welcome in all the stopovers was without a doubt a calculated move to wipe out the Raila phobia. Granted, that was not an end but a significant part of the process that seems to have gained traction as seen in his subsequent meetings with the youths. The narrative that Raila Odinga cannot be sold in Mount Kenya is now like a candle with its last glimmers as the wax melts away. In just two days Baba managed to start the journey of selling himself and there is a sense in which his new strategy is breathing some aura of freshness in his candidature and maybe everything is finally set for a Raila Presidency.

The Mount Kenya foundation meeting of Raila and the OKA leaders also puts a lot in perspective. Raila goes as a presidential candidate while apart from Gideon Moi who has declared his candidature, the other OKA leaders went as principals and probably with fairly limited clarity on what they want. But they did give Hon Cyrus Jirongo a memo to unleash in the meeting. Maybe he outdid himself in admonishing people whose perceived wrong doing is the fact that they seem to have opinion which seem not to favour OKA. One principal actually cast some fairly distasteful aspersion and the less said about that the better.

Nevertheless, if there is wind sailing in Raila’s favour then two factors are behind this wind. One, he has unequivocally demonstrated that it is not so much about selling him in the mountain as it is about him reaching the voters in this region and selling himself. He has been given that freedom to sell himself and he has taken the opportunity big time. Two, hustler nation has been running with the pork in Saudi Arabia narrative but now the narrative has been dimmed and in addition they have to deal with the reality that they are responsible for the death of BBI which had a lot of promise for Mount Kenya.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

They gloat about the end of reggae in every public platform but it turns out that is something that will come back to haunt them. Whatever they will go promising the people of the mountain, BBI had it entrenched within a guaranteed legal framework. That alone would make it fairly hard for hustler nation to go with any promises to Mount Kenya. Raila on the other hand will only need to remind the mountain that he had their interest at heart and even though his rivals thwarted BBI, giving him the power to lead guarantees the return of the goodies that BBI promised.

Back to the Mount Kenya Foundation and from whichever political lenses Kenyans may want to look at it, there are indications that the foundation has made its stand known. It also does appear that the tycoons are unlikely to make a declaration and neither will the president be involved.

But as they say, he who has eyes let him see. If you have not seen the white smoke yet wait for the fire.

The author is a PhD Candidate in Media Studies and Political communication.

Source link