By Stan Oyunga (firstname.lastname@example.org)
After the requiem Mass for former First Lady Lucy Kibaki held last Wednesday at Consolata Shrine in Westlands, President Uhuru Kenyatta appeared to spend a few minutes talking with Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka. One may not read much into this but in the on-going coalition building for the 2017 General Elections it may be a sign of warming of relations between the two leaders who had a serious falling out in 2012, leading to Kalonzo joining forces with CORD for the 2013 elections. Raila Odinga was just standing nearby but Uhuru appeared to have no time for him.
If Jubilee wants to win the 2017 elections without a run-off, then it will have no option but to turn east to the Kamba ethnic group that occupies lower Eastern Region but has as a sizable population in Nairobi and the Coast. This ethnic group is expected to have almost 2 million potential voters in 2017 (see my blog “Road to 2017: The game of numbers”) and is a principal partner in CORD but cracks are starting to appear in the Coalition, as last week Raila thrashed the MOU he signed with Kalonzo in 2013, that assured that Raila would be a one term President should CORD win in 2013.
Wiper has had a frosty relationship with Jubilee ever since attempts by Kalonzo to endear himself to Uhuru and Ruto just after they were indicted by the ICC in The Hague in 2011, failed. A remark Kalonzo made in Mosop in Nandi County in 2012 that seemed to suggest he will be available just in case both Uhuru and Ruto are jailed by the ICC, appeared to annoy them and Kalonzo was no longer welcomed. This re-buff drove Kalonzo into the hands of Raila leading to the formation of CORD in 2012. The Kambas have never forgiven Uhuru and Ruto for the mistreatment of Kalonzo and even bringing Charity Ngilu’s National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) into Jubilee in 2013 (after a brief dalliance with CORD) did not add any significant numbers to Jubilee’s vote tally in Ukambani. Uhuru received only 89,064 in Kitui, Machakos and Makueni compared to Raila’s 768,025.
There appears to be strategy by Jubilee to win Kamba voters by using Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who has an immaculate development record, as an alternative to Kalonzo and there is a growing movement called the Maendeleo Chap Chap in Ukambani which may end up as a political party. But this strategy may backfire as Kambas are unlikely to abandon Kalonzo especially after the treatment they have received from their Central Region “cousins”. Why go for the “Tail” when you can eat the whole animal?
Hence in order to win re-election in 2017, Uhuru and Ruto will have to make peace and make a deal with Kalonzo that will guarantee him a significant post in the Jubilee coalition in 2017. One possible arrangement is that Kalonzo becomes Ruto’s running mate in the 2022 Elections (one heart-beat from the Presidency), meanwhile he or one of his party members can become Speaker of the National Assembly (3rd in line in succession) or Majority Leader (equivalent to Prime Minister) in the 12th Parliament in 2017. Kalonzo can only end up as a running mate once again for Raila Odinga in CORD in 2017 (with no guarantee of winning). If Wiper pulls out of CORD and joins Jubilee, then CORD will have little chance of winning the 2017 elections.
The loss of Wiper will reduce CORD’s projected voters in 2017 to 8.8 million compared to Jubilee plus Wiper’s 10.5 million, a variance of 2.7 million. Hence Jubilee can afford to lose the entire Luhya block votes in 2017 as long as they have the Kamba votes. The significant Kamba votes in Nairobi and the Coast will increase the Jubilee vote tally in both Regions.
As Uhuru prepares to tour the Lower Eastern Region to give out “goodies” watch the body language between Uhuru and Kalonzo.
5th MAY, 2016
© 2016 STAN OYUNGA
By Stan Oyunga (email@example.com)
In modern warfare, Generals remain at their Headquarters, while majors and lieutenants lead the troops into battle. The reason for this is not only to protect the General from harm but also to ensure an effective command structure with overview of the battle remains in place.
For the second time in as many weeks, CORD principal and ODM party leader and his supporters were today tear-gassed in front of the IEBC offices at Anniversary Towers in Nairobi. They were taking part in country-wide demonstrations which were called by CORD to force the IEBC Commissioners out of office, despite a High Court order barring the demonstrations.
The fact that Raila Odinga personally led the demonstration to attempt to evict the Commissioners despite the massive presence of Anti-Riot police with the latest anti-riot vehicles, shows he was ready for battle. The videos of the CORD leaders scampering for safety into their cars is widely playing on TV and social media, begging the question what had been achieved by moving to occupy the IEBC HQ?
Would a political rally at Uhuru Park be more effective rather then attempting something which can end in injuries or even loss of life? CORD leaders know that public opinion can turn against them if people are injured, killed and property damaged on a cause that can be achieved by legal means.
Negative ethnicity is slowly rearing its ugly head going by comments in social media, something Kenya cannot afford to go through following the 2007/2008 post-election violence. CORD leaders are vulnerable to injury in this type of demos and going by Raila’s age (71) he should avoid inhaling tear-gas and be in physical confrontation with the authorities, especially when what you are doing is against the law.
Raila should also think of his personal security especially, when his police security have been told not to protect him during such demos. There is an enemy who will take advantage of the chaos provided by these demos to harm him and other CORD leaders and then blame the Government. The country will then burn for the second time in less than ten years.
If Raila is as popular as he thinks, then he does not need to worry who is in charge of the IEBC, and can still win the 2017 Presidential elections as long as he has a 80% registration and 80% turn-out in his strongholds and CORD remains intact. He should actually get out of the trench and get CORD’s 10 million potential voters to register and then vote. The very IEBC he wants disbanded is the one carrying out this voter registration with only 15 months to the elections.