By The Weekly Vision
One week after Azimio leader Raila Odinga declared that Kenyans should be ready to resume street protests against President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza administration over the high cost of living, details have emerged suggesting that retired President Uhuru Kenyatta may have arm-twisted Mr Odinga to reject the National Dialogue Committee Report, which he had initially endorsed.
Details of the many meetings Raila Odinga held with Uhuru Kenyatta remain scanty for now, but sources privy to the closed-door meetings revealed that Mr Kenyatta had threatened to abandon Azimio if Raila and his brigades supported the report.
According to well-placed sources, Uhuru Kenyatta had threatened to quit Azimio, rebrand the Jubilee Party, and focus on forming new alliances ahead of the 2027 elections.
Raila Odinga had wholeheartedly accepted to take up the position of the official opposition and form a shadow cabinet, but Uhuru Kenyatta and a section of Azimio leaders vehemently opposed the idea, forcing Mr Odinga to backtrack.
Uhuru’s threat to decamp from Azimio had caught Mr Odinga and his foot soldiers flat-footed. Raila is aware that, as much as Uhuru has retired, he is still a household name in Kenya’s politics and that any political move he makes now might end his (Raila’s) political career prematurely.
Analysts say that Uhuru has several options that he can pursue if Raila refuses to backtrack on the NDC report. First, Uhuru had the option of swallowing his pride and withdrawing Jubilee Party from Azimio, reaching out to his successor William Ruto, and making Jubilee an official affiliate of Kenya Kwanza.
This option could have been welcomed by Ruto, who knows that Uhuru is still the Mount Kenya region kingpin and that any move by Uhuru to consolidate the region under Kenya Kwanza was a sure bet for his 2027 presidential bid. There were rumours that if Uhuru were to abandon Raila and Azimio to join Ruto, the Jubilee Party could have demanded the running mate’s slot, and Ruto could have agreed to replace Gachagua with Uhuru’s preferred candidate.
Uhuru has the option of withdrawing Jubilee from Azimio and forming other political coalitions, leaving Raila and ODM in political oblivion. Uhuru could work with Kanu and Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Party under a new political alliance.
If Kalonzo, Uhuru, and DAP-Kenya under Eugene Wamalwa form a coalition and front the Kalonzo/Wamalwa joint ticket, Kalonzo/Kioni, or Kalonzo/Karua joint ticket, there must be a rerun as there would be no outright winner who would score 50 plus one.
In the run-up, Uhuru would cut a deal with the top candidate and enter into a post-election coalition agreement to form a coalition government.
Analysts now say that the 2027 kingmaker will be Uhuru. If he decides to stick with Azimio and bring the mountain on board and under his control, whichever side he supports will emerge victorious.
It is against such scenarios that Raila had no option but to dance to the tune of Uhuru and announce that he would soon call for mass action. Raila is aware that Uhuru has the financial muscle to sabotage his political plans for 2027, as rumours continue to spread like bushfire that he will front Kalonzo and Oparanya to face Ruto in 2027.