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Why Raila Odinga doesn’t need Mount Kenya votes to win 2022 presidential election


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In 2016, ODM party leader Raila Odinga had sustained attacks against the jubilee government by unleashing dossiers at press conferences at his Capitol Hill offices.

But the dossiers would hit a crescendo when he accused President Kenyatta of diverting public water from Murang’a to their vast Northlands Estate in Ruiru through the taxpayer-funded Northern Water Collector Tunnel, sparking a barrage of insults and rebuttals from the then jubilee henchmen now-turned UDA worship crew.

The next time he was scheduled to hold a press conference, a visibly agitated President, while addressing a Jubilee Delegates’ Conference at Bomas, preempted what Raila was set to bring to public limelight: the sleaze surrounding the construction of Itare Dam.

It was then that Raila sensationally claimed that his phone conversations were being tapped and movements trailed.

The incessant attacks would later force the president and his entourage to troop to his Mt. Kenya backyard and beg his kinsmen to shield him from a Muguruki – Raila – who had him in a chokehold.

These, among other ethnic clarion calls, would ignite smoldering fires in the bellies of Mt. Kenya voters, coming out en masse to vote, ostensibly, against Raila Odinga, and not for their man.

So, what exactly are the prospects of Raila Odinga in Mt. Kenya?

At any given point, history has shown that a majority of people from Mt. Kenya will hate Raila Odinga. On any side whether in opposition or government he will remain an omnipresent evil in their eyes.

In opposition, he was the bogeyman for ‘sabotaging’ the economy. And despite the economy nosediving pre-2018 due to Jubilee’s voodoo economics, Uhuru remained the darling of the Kikuyu.

And now in government, by virtue of the handshake, the bogeyman suddenly ceased to exist. But because their hate for Raila is constant, the man who aided the extermination of the bogeyman – read Uhuru – effectively became yet another moving symbol of hate in Mt. Kenya.

But for Raila Odinga and his retinue, there is a deep sense of realization that to win Kenya’s presidency, you need a cocktail of support: the masses, corporate entities, diplomatic cops and government machinery.

Previously, Raila enjoyed the support of the former but dismally performed in courting the latter. To them, the time is nigh for a corrective surgery.

Often, it was fashionable for Raila to flash the ‘defendant of the downtrodden’ card. He has carried this tag for the general good of the public but to his personal detriment, costing him the presidency on the account of his radical approach to governance.

The truth is, in the long run, the business of politics is power. Yet, that power seems to abhor the idealism of leftist politics but cherishes the idea of pragmatic politics.

For the longest time, Raila Odinga has won the elections and he has done so without the support of Mt. Kenya. Unfortunately, he has been denied victory all through.

And now United Democratic Alliance (UDA) seems to revel, although pretentiously, in the glory of being the defendants of the rights of the people not knowing that Raila has been over that valley, and has seen those dry bones.

Fundamentally, the question that many people grapple with is, why is Raila Odinga placing so much premium on Mt. Kenya at the expense of his original support base?

I will attempt to answer in two-fold.

For the first time, Mt. Kenya is finding itself at a crossroads at a very critical juncture of our history: 2022 presidential elections.

With the lack of a formidable presidential candidate and a waning presidency of their son, the uncertainty of tomorrow is placing them on the menu when they are used to being at the table.

Effectively, Mt. Kenya is up for grabs!

But since William Ruto seems to be greatly attached to Mt. Kenya commoners, Raila Odinga has chosen to close ranks with the Mt. Kenya elite in a spectacular fulfilment of the phrase: If they go low, we go high! And if they go high, we go higher!

In short, Raila does not need the votes of Mt. Kenya commoners to win elections; he has done so numerously without them.

He only needs the backing of Mt. Kenya cabal to secure victory. For Raila Odinga and his circle, the presidency is the end, and the means will justify itself. Once they get there, they will explain how they got there.

Yet, in the fullness of time, won’t Mt. Kenyans in the lower cadres of the food chain be fed with a steady diet of hate and align themselves at the right time?

Big question.

Written by @Sir Isãåc Wambichi 


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