Mombasa,KENYA:The National super Alliance Coalition has made its most awaited announcement- naming their 2017 presidential flag bearer. And just like expected by many people, it is Raila Odinga.
The move comes a few months to the General Elections termed “most challenging to the jubilee party”, if the state of the economy, war on corruption are anything to go by.
It is a fact that Odinga is a seasoned politician. In fact in Kenya’s political landscape, Odinga is an enigma. Raila alone sends shivers to both political friends and foes alike. He is one politician who is much talked about by Kenyans in both positive and negative terms.
However, he has failed in his presidential ambition thrice -1997, 2007 and 2013. He contested the results of two election’s -2007 and 2013.
In 2013 General elections, Kalonzo agreed to become Raila’s running mate in the Coalition for reforms and Democracy CORD. The rest is history; Uhuru Kenyatta was declared the 4th president of Kenya. The Railonzo ticket did not work out. A case was lodged in the Supreme Court but Kenyatta’s victory was upheld.
Now why again would Kalonzo-5 years later- still stick to the Railonzo ticket? Was he contended with the same lineup as in 2013? The answer to this is yes.
Kalonzo has nothing to lose in 2017 elections. If anything, he is not the flag bearer. He still has age by his side unlike Odinga who as it is always said “has only one bullet left’. It is a do or die for his case.
So why is Kalonzo playing second fiddle to baba?. Kalonzo is propping himself for 2022.He is much aware the last bullet’s success or failure will be in three months time.
As a shrewd politician, Kalonzo is aware that he will badly lose a one on one contest between him and Raila. Therefore better work with him and buy time. However, he knows that he has a better chance to inherit Odinga’s huge and fanatical stronghold.
He is in line to be the next “enigma” with the former PM’s blessings. The Wiper leader is much aware that Odinga is nearing his political sunset and that a successor is needed. He envisions himself as the next in line.
The Wiper leader is aware that it’s only months to the General elections. If the NASA leader loses, then the next day – 9th August, he-Kalonzo- will surely take over the mantle of not only the official opposition but Nyanza stronghold.
If at all Odinga wins, the former VP will bank on the hope that the former PM will only go for one term and thereafter pass the baton to him. Anyway that will depend if at all Odinga will clinch the presidency. Whether he is poised to win is a debate for another day.
With Kalonzo supporting Odinga for the second time, he is trying to wash off him the “watermelon” tag that was been thrown at him whenever there was disquiet in the CORD or NASA outfit.
The “chameleon” tag which is synonymous with Kalonzo in Kenya’s political arena, arose from his move to join a coalition government as VP to Mwai Kibaki following the 2007 bungled elections where more than 1,300 Kenyans were killed in post election violence.
Since then, the man from Tseikuru has been keen to discard the chameleon tag and position himself as a trusted fellow who is fit and qualified to gain support from opposition stronghold especially Luo Nyanza which is Odinga’s political dynasty.
So in short, Kalonzo is eyeing the 2022 general elections and does not really care the outcome of this year’s presidential election.
The views expressed here are solely of the author.