By The Weekly Vision Team
The formation of the Kamwene group under the leadership of Narc-Kenya party leader Martha Karua has caused political ripples within President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza administration. Political analysts say the group enjoys full blessings from Azimio leader Raila Odinga, and the purpose of the group is ostensibly to counter Kenya Kwanza in the vote-rich Mount Kenya region.
According to sources, the formation of the group is a political plot by Azimio to ensure the region sponsors a presidential candidate in 2027 who will split the region’s presidential vote in 2027. Statistically speaking, no single presidential candidate in Kenya can win the top seat in the first round. The game plan is therefore to have a candidate from the region who can force a run-off between the top two candidates. Before the formation of the group, several names were mentioned as possible candidates, with Karua’s name featured very prominently.
According to those pushing for the plot, Karua will run under her Narc-Kenya party, coming face-to-face with William Ruto and Azimio’s candidate. Analysts now say that the leaders from the Mountain region have vowed that one of their own must be on the presidential ballot in 2022, and that person is most likely to be Karua. According to the schemers, Karua will rally close to 30 per cent of Kikuyu votes behind her, mainly the youths who believe they have been shortchanged by the current regime. Assuming that Karua, Kalonzo, and Ruto are on the ballot in 2027, the truth is that there will be no outright winner, and a re-run is inevitable.
With 30% of the vote safely behind Karua, leaving 70 per cent to be shared between Kalonzo Musyoka and William Ruto, chances are high that there will be no outright winner in the first round. A re-run between Kalonzo Musyoka and William Ruto will see Karua back Kalonzo in the formation of a coalition government. Sources say this theory, if well planned and executed, will see Kalonzo Musyoka defeat President Ruto in the second round. What is not clear is whether the plan will succeed should the president retain Rigathi Gachagua as his running mate in 2027. However, another scenario is when Ruto drops Gachagua and picks Musalia Mudavadi.
In the Ruto/Mudavadi scenario against Kalonzo Musyoka and a running mate from western Kenya, the mountain might rally behind Karua to send Ruto home for betraying Gachagua. It is also said that former President Uhuru Kenyatta is solidly behind the formation of the group. It is for this reason that many believe Kamwene is part and parcel of Azimio’s 2027 game plan.
The emergence of Kamwene has sent cold shivers down the spines of both the president and his deputy, as it could easily turn the tables on them and make William Ruto a one-term president. There are also speculations that Mr Gachagua, who is fighting for the unity of Mount Kenya, could reach out to Kamwene just the same way he has shown a willingness to reach out to Uhuru. Analysts say that with sound lobbying and financing, as well as backing from the Uhuru and Kenyatta families, Karua can pull surprises and run away even with half the Mount Kenya votes.
One fact that cannot be disputed is that there will be serious voter apathy in the Mount Kenya region. According to Azimio strategists, the lower the turnout in the Mount Kenya region, the better for Azimio.