By bringing on board the three Ukambani governors in the Kibra by-election campaigns which pundits have dubbed a mini General Election, Raila Odinga seems to have solved his Kalonzo Musyoka problem.
That is according to political analyst and strategist, Prof Herman Manyora.
“A lot of what you’re seeing in Kibra now, may be what you’ll see if the BBI (Building Bridges Initiative) report slides into a vote,” said Manyora on K24 TV’s Punchline show on Sunday.
Over the weekend, the Orange Democratic Movement leader unveiled what seems to be his new allies, including his foe-turned-ally Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru, Dr Alfred Mutua (Machakos County), Prof Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni County) and Ms Charity Ngilu (Kitui County).
“Kalonzo’s party decided early on they are backing Ford Kenya party candidate [in the Kibra by-election], but if this [BBI referendum] will go through you’ll have to think where to place Kalonzo Musyoka. Remember there was a Kalonzo problem in 2017,” said Prof Manyora.
Besides the Ukambani governors, Ms Waiguru’s campaigning with Raila in Kibra —the man whose attacks hounded her out of the Cabinet as a Devolution secretary — also took many by surprise.
Hashtag #AnnWaiguru was among top trends on Twitter and images of the “new allies” were widely shared on Facebook.
“We must say in plain truth that the country is peaceful because of the handshake. We will protect it,” Ms Waiguru said on Sunday.
“The others who claim they want to bring developments are just baiting you. They are a one-man guitar, unlike Imran who is the fruit of handshake.”
But it was Deputy President William Ruto’s entry into the Kibra by-election politics that turned the race into what is being dubbed a mini General Election.
“Initialy it was ODM and nobody thought someone else would stand a chance. And then when we were trying to figure out the war between Eliud Owalo and Imran Okoth, from nowhere the man we had dismissed, Mariga, came very strongly…even the way he presents himself has changed, the sindio sindio has disappeared. Someone seems to have coached him,” said Mr Manyora.
Pressed further on why he thinks Mariga can cause an upset, the political strategist said that the Kibra by-election will boil down to money and strategy.
“It is the man with money and strategy, and who is willing to spend the money, who could carry the day. And when you talk about money and strategy, William Ruto is not far from there. Raila used to be the man of strategy in this country, now it is William Samoei Ruto,” said Mr Manyora.
Should Mariga win the Kibra by-election, Mr Manyora said it would be a devastating blow to Raila.