The last time Uhuru Kenyatta attended a public event was at a prayer rally hosted by Kalonzo at the SKM centre after the state denied Azimio team access to the Bomas of Kenya to hold prayers for victims of police brutality. He has since taken a low profile, that is until last week when he was again hosted by Kalonzo. Analysts say the Mwingi meeting was politically significant as it comes barely two months after Raila “endorsed” Kalonzo to fly the Azimio 2027 presidential flag during Senator Oburu Odinga’s birthday and Thanksgiving prayers, where Kalonzo was the chief guest
By The Weekly Vision Team
When Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka hosted retired President Uhuru Kenyatta in his Mwingi backyard last week, the move was deemed by many as a warning to President William Ruto that a new political strategy by the Azimio Coalition was already in the offing. What started as mere speculation that ODM leader Raila Odinga would endorse Kalonzom is almost becoming a reality, and even though Uhuru did not publicly endorse Kalonzo, the writings are already on the wall.
The Mwingi meeting was politically significant in many ways. One, this is the first public meeting Uhuru was holding, freely discussing politics and throwing salvos at his predecessor’s failures. Uhuru Kenyatta has taken a very low profile since he retired, keeping off political commentaries despite the obvious humiliation and provocation from the Kenya Kwanza administration.
The last time Uhuru Kenyatta attended a public event was at a prayer rally hosted by Kalonzo at the SKM centre after the state denied Azimio team access to the Bomas of Kenya to hold prayers for victims of police brutality. He has since taken a low profile, that is until last week when he was again hosted by Kalonzo. Analysts say the Mwingi meeting was politically significant as it comes barely two months after Raila “endorsed” Kalonzo to fly the Azimio 2027 presidential flag during Senator Oburu Odinga’s birthday and Thanksgiving prayers, where Kalonzo was the chief guest.
Political pundits now say that the Mwingi event was well-planned and executed to achieve some political goals. The big question that is now bothering the Kenya Kwanza team is why Uhuru decided to come out of his comfort zone for the event.
Another matter that is bothering Kenya Kwanza is the absence of Raila Odinga at the event. Sources say Raila’s absence was part of the script, as was planned. He was, however, well represented by his deputy, Wycliffe Oparanya, DAP-K party leader Eugene Wamalwa, and Senator Godfrey Osotsi.
Analysts say the meeting was intended to send signals to UDA and Jubilee political parties that the 2027 power games are already in play. Sources say that Uhuru was indirectly telling the Jubilee Party leadership, led by Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni, that, as much as they were plotting to rally behind Karua in 2027, his political stand and support as far as the 2027 elections are concerned are around Kalonzo.
Analysts further say that Azimio is slowly but tactically implementing its 2027 election strategy, which is to unveil their presidential candidate early enough to give him ample time to do early campaigns and to expose him to Kenya Kwanza’s mudslinging him early to have enough room to counterattack their propaganda and to silence them early enough.
The meeting, according to sources, was just to unveil Kalonzo as a possible candidate. Again, Kalonzo is also making some strategic moves ahead of the 2027 elections. He is said to be putting up a team that would spearhead his campaigns and, more so, bring on board Ukambani tycoons to bankroll his campaigns. With Uhuru on his team, bankrolling his campaigns may not be a big deal.
The big problem in Kalonzo’s second stab at the presidency is who would be his running mate. The presence of both Wamalwa and Oparanya was significant, as their names have been mentioned as possible running mates for Kalonzo in 2027.
According to Azimio sources, the position of Kalonzo’s running mate is narrowing down to Oparanya and Wamalwa; however, there are also speculations that should Raila endorse Kalonzo, then his running mate should come from Luo Nyanza, and the name that is being mentioned is that of Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi. Another name being mentioned is that of Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna.
Those who have been following political events must remember that the other week, Osotsi and Wamalwa hosted Kalonzo at a church function in Vihiga, where the 2027 elections debate took centre stage. Analysts say that Kalonzo’s running mate must come from Western, and that is a done-and-dusted deal.
It should be noted that Wamalwa is a close associate of Uhuru, while Oparanya, Sifuna, and Wandayi are close associates of Raila Odinga. How Raila and Uhuru will play the ball and agree on one potential running mate remains a big challenge. Of course, Karua’s name is not featured anywhere in the new Azimio setup.
During the 2013 elections, sources say that Uhuru had settled on Wamalwa as his running mate, but it was the intervention of Kikuyu elites and elders who brokered the deal to drop Wamalwa and have Ruto as the running mate.
The genesis of the beef between Wamalwa and Ruto dates back to the 2013 elections when Ruto edged him out of being Uhuru’s running mate. Sources say Ruto sold Uhuru the propaganda that he has the financial muscle to co-finance their campaigns, unlike Wamalwa, who did not have a department. Ruto also dangled the carrot of the tyranny of numbers, claiming he had a bigger constituency (the Kalenjin votes) as compared to Wamalwa, who was not assured of delivering even half the Luhya votes.
However, Uhuru seems not to have given up on Wamalwa and might push him to deputise Kalonzo. The name of former Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho is also being mentioned as a possible running mate. The truth of the matter is that Uhuru is going to play a huge role in the 2027 elections. Today, Uhuru is the darling of the mountain, and he would easily persuade the mountain to vote for Kalonzo. Sources say selling Kalonzo in the mountains is much easier than selling Raila Odinga.
Further, it is being said that the mountain cannot afford to defy Uhuru’s political advice a second time. Analysts say a race between Ruto and Kalonzo in the mountains will be too tight, and chances are they are likely to share the votes 50:50.