Uhuru support for Raila a double-edged sword - Beaking Kenya News

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Friday, 15 January 2021

Uhuru support for Raila a double-edged sword

 

If President Uhuru Kenyatta decides to endorse ODM leader Raila Odinga as his preferred candidate in 2022, a few things will emerge.

We are likely to see a scenario similar to that of 2002 when President Moi endorsed Uhuru. The candidate endorsed gets to take the blame for the failures of the outgoing regime. This may include poor governance, extrajudicial killings, corruption and many other societal ills.

The endorsement may, however, benefit Raila as it will come with a bit of the successes of Jubilee and resources that will enable him to campaign for his candidature.

Another scenario will be that Uhuru will be portrayed as betrayer-in-chief. The President is on record several times, including during campaigns ahead of the 2017 election, saying Deputy President William Ruto will succeed him after his term comes to an end.

This will entrench the politics of betrayal and mistrust. It will be noted that key politicians can shortchange their principal assistants, people who work under them or they had agreements with.

Nonetheless, Uhuru’s endorsement of Raila could also mean the ODM party leader would be able to pick a few low hanging fruits in the vote-rich Mt Kenya region. It may, however, come with a bit of chokehold for Raila since Ruto seems to have an easy ride penetrating Central Kenya.

If the endorsement comes after the coastal region has come up with a regional party, which then chooses not to work with Raila, it would be a different ball game. This is because Ruto seems to be slicing into the support bloc Raila used to enjoy.

Raila should be very careful about that desired endorsement from Uhuru. This is because at the moment, many Kenyans are disappointed and dissatisfied with the performance of the Jubilee administration. Raila would inherit the burden of the wrongs and evils the administration presided over.

However, Raila would also be able to ride on the successes of certain undertakings by the Jubilee administration such as infrastructural development.

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