Uhuru, Raila, Gideon Moi join forces against Ruto to retain power in 2022


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Uhuru, Raila, Gideon Moi join forces against Ruto to retain power in 2022

Uhuru, Raila, Gideon Moi join forces against Ruto to retain power in 2022President Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi are working on a winning coalition to retain power in 2022.

The trio — through their representatives — have been burning the midnight oil to craft a working formula to prevent voter backlash as witnessed in 2002.

Their emissaries have been holding closely-guarded meetings with various power brokers at private homes and popular clubs in Nairobi suburbs, with the latest one being at Cotu secretary-general Francis Atwoli’s Idamat home in Kajiado.

Sunday’s meeting, although branded a lunch date by the Cotu boss, had a lot of political ramifications.

“It was simply a lunch date to welcome Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, among other leaders, in my home and we had a discussion about issues of national concern,” Mr Atwoli said.

He went on: “I’m an elder and its normal for politicians and leaders to visit me given my age and experience and relation with other leaders.”

The meeting brought together Mr Moi and his lieutenants, including Tiaty MP William Kamket, Mr Odinga’s confidants James Orengo and Junet Mohammed as well as Jubilee leaders led by vice-chairman David Murathe, National Assembly Majority Whip Emmanuel Wangwe, Igembe North MP Maoka Maore and former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth.

Other leaders who attended the meeting were Kajiado East MP Peris Tobiko (Jubilee) and Kajiado Central MP Elijah Memusi (ODM).

Perceived inroads

Sources at the meeting intimated that the leaders were seeking to come up with a strategy to cut off Deputy President William Ruto’s perceived inroads in Kajiado County.

In the last two months, the DP has hosted two delegations from Kajiado North and Kajiado South at his Karen home.

Sources said, Ms Tobiko and Mr Memusi were charged with the responsibility of ensuring the county rallies behind President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga’s handshake pact.

The President and Mr Odinga first forged a working relationship through their March 9, 2018 Handshake before Mr Moi’s Kanu formalised his party’s post-election deal with the ruling Jubilee.

Mr Moi cuts the image of a cool politician with little influence in the political arena, but the Kanu chairman is deeply rooted in government cycles.

Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli (centre) when he hosted (from left) politicians David Murathe, Junet Mohamed, Maoka Maore, Peter Kenneth, William Kamket, Gideon Moi, Elijah Memusi, Peris Tobiko and James Orengo at his home in Kajiado yesterday. The leaders are close allies of President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Mr Moi. Mr Atwoli told journalists after the meeting that it was nothing more than a lunch gathering.

So entrenched in the system is Mr Moi that insiders in the Jubilee administration say the Baringo Senator “could be the holder of the key to State House in 2022.” This, they say, could either be directly or indirectly.

His party Kanu is the only one that has ratified a post-election pact with Jubilee in preparation for the elections and with the hope of taking the seat of power.

Due to the challenging political dynamics in the country, those in the know say, the man who is said to have President Kenyatta’s ear in affairs of the country could just be the king-maker or the king himself in 2022, depending on Mr Odinga’s resolve.

Succession politics

Already, Nation has established that there have been talks on the 2022 succession politics and Mr Moi and Mr Odinga have been right at the centre of it.

In an interview with Nation, Mr Odinga however downplayed any talks on 2022 and maintained their main focus remains Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

Last Week, Mr Murathe let the cat out of the bag when he told Kenyans to reward Mr Odinga “for all his struggles and sacrifices for the country’s democratic growth and progress.”

“We would like to tell him [Raila] to be a transitional president who will then nurture the young generation to take over in 2027,” Mr Murathe said during an interview with KTN.

In what appears to be a result of the behind-the-scenes succession discussions, the Nation has established that Mr Moi’s Kanu is, however, determined to go all the way to the ballot.

“If Gideon agrees to support Raila, then the ODM leader must be ready for a one-term presidency and hand the baton to Gideon in 2027,” said a source privy to recent discussions.

On Saturday, Homa Bay County Kanu branch officials were hosted in Nairobi by Mr Tom Ojanga — Mr Odinga’s former ally and who is now Mr Moi’s confidant and Kanu regional coordinator in Nyanza.

Game changer

During the meeting, they resolved to embark on a massive membership recruitment in the entire region.

“We call on our membership to utilise the recently launched digital platform by the chairman, Senator Gideon Moi, to boost the party numbers and activities as we prepare for 2022,” branch chairman Ken Okul said.

Kanu secretary-general Nick Salat said nothing bars Mr Odinga from any political discussions with Mr Moi as the two are on the same wavelength with the President on the BBI drive.

“We have discussions under pre- and post-BBI, but we’ve not arrived on the post yet. What we’re saying is that we first pass the BBI as it will be the game changer,” Mr Salat told Nation.

He went on: “It’s the BBI that will give us enough room to make such discussions.”

ODM chairman John Mbadi said the party would discuss issues of coalitions and alliance building for 2022 “structurally and formally and that will be going to next year and towards 2022.”

“I can’t talk about who is going to run for president and for what period.

“Those are issues that we will definitely discuss and we will definitely agree.

“It’s too early to start disclosing and making public what kind of arrangement we are likely to enter into,” Mr Mbadi said.

ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna in an interview with Nation revealed the party’s intricate strategies to revamp itself ahead of the “grand match to State house in 2022.”

“…but we want to make it clear that all members of ODM are free to seek the party ticket to run in 2022. However, it’s not our priority right now. Our focus at the moment is the implementation of the BBI report,” Mr Sifuna said.

He went on: “What I can guarantee you is that since ODM began, it has always had a presidential candidate, and it’s not going to stop during my tenure as SG (Secretary General).”

By Justus Ochieng’ and STANLEY NGOTHO



Uhuru, Raila, Gideon Moi join forces against Ruto to retain power in 2022

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