By William O. Makora
The latest opinion polls make me believe Kenya has begun to attract trust to her institutions. The results show the right spirit in the nation, save for margin of error. If polls ever portrayed well analyzed picture of political outcomes, the latest Ipsos Synovate carries the day despite claims of doctoring. I believe the survey that informed the results was satisfactorily carried out .
Predicaments of Raila (ODM) are also embedded in his theory of disregard; or in his false seat of comfort. His reference as “The Chairman” of the Luo Nyanza cohort must have calmed him over the period; years within which the vehicle’s engine, Pentagon, blew off.
It is true to say that Uhuru M. Kenyatta has vastly gained against Raila A. Odinga in popularity quest and it is just a matter of time before he “sits” on top of him. This is informed by certain factors in the former camp and against the latter.
Uhuru’s TNA has clear windows into the political milieu; capable of flexibly and passionately analyzing, scheming and attracting massive following from other parties. This is due to the burning ambition of its leadership. Unlike Raila’s ODM, Uhuru’s TNA has youthful personalities in the party’s top leadership that creates rooms for fresh political ideas.
Enriched with political experience enlisted from Kibaki’s core team and monetary powers, TNA has the muscle to influence the nation in the forthcoming elections.
As it is clear today, TNA is the party with a resounding resolution to capture power. This may be motivated by the fact that its leader, Uhuru, and supporters believe that the impending ICC trial may spell misery in case of a runoff . It’s in Uhuru’s interest to win the first round! If that is a potent drive, the other parties may not rival the party’s motivation.
The strategy for TNA was to move fast and attain horse status in the expected “two horse race”, to this end they are succeeding. TNA will definitely employ a strategy that will set the presidential race to two horses as declared by Raila and that may delete a run-off. Such a strategy if hinged on the current gains will work for TNA.
Raila’s misgivings are in the formation of his party and his own supposition of the current politics. Old guards in leadership of his party are not easy to penetrate hence fear by youngsters who would consider joining it. That explains why the party is losing members to other parties instead. The conjecture that ODM is a massive tree from where birds fly may be in bad faith and taste as the migrating flock may overwhelm at the time of need; or the remaining birds may not be rich enough to bring pride into the heart of the planter. As at now the migration is doing damage to the party.
TNA will try a move that will set the presidential race to “two horses” as declared by Raila and that may delete a run-off. Such a strategy if hinged on the current gains will work for the TNA.
Predicaments of Raila are also embedded in his theory of disregard; or in his false seat of comfort. His reference as “The Chairman” of the Luo Nyanza cohort must have calmed him over the period; years within which vehicle’s the engine, Pentagon, blew off. When he lost William Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi, Najib Balala and Kaluki Ngilu, he lost muscles for these are not mere names but campaign machinery. With diehards like Jakoyo Midiwo, Anyang’ Nyong’o, James Orengo, etc. holding chords of his robes, the man is not in the league of progress. What keeps him in contention is a gradually silhouetting goodwill and position as a co-Principal. That is like a tick biting a skin into the tannery.
It is also true that Mudavadi is preferred to win in case of a run-off with any of the aspirants. It is simple: if he goes with Uhuru, Raila’s followers will back him up and vice versa. The question is: how will he navigate his way to second place? The answer is in Ruto’s and/or Kalonzo Musyoka’s support especially when they get keen on a third force, ostensibly, to disappoint the so-called “first two”. That is the interesting part of the game that precedes Kenya’s forthcoming General Elections.
In event that the results stand as predicted, Raila will not be a president in Kenya. That means he has everything to lose, including the goodwill he currently wields. That is a nightmare one cannot survive. Even though he “mustn’t be a president”, losing to people the age of his son is something that must worry him.
Losing a run-off which looks as “the decider” is the summary of a very bad news. This throws Raila’s spanners onto the loose bolts throughout the time (and exceptionally cleverly) in order that he reduces the race to his first round as the poll predicted. This will save his face from the embarrassment of defeat by Uhuru (in Kenya or in the Hague), or Mudavadi in a run-off.
If Raila ever thinks that he is safe in a run-off “because Uhuru and Ruto may be in court at the ICC”, he rather thinks twice. Like scathed sheep, their followers may escape and pitch camps with his rival. If law allows Uhuru’s name both on the ballot and in the court, people will vote in a suspect for a president thereby making Raila one of the awkward aspirants ever in the world. Or, in the same light, Mudavadi may simply replace Uhuru. That is also awkward as Mudavadi currently controls a mere 7% of the votes.
If Raila and his handlers are not going to wake up to reality and employ a winning scheme, they will only have themselves to blame. Presently, the ODM has not done enough ground work. A lot of grounds are ceded to the competitors in a careless comfort where the public is taken for granted with cheap maxims. Since the ODM has believed in the polls in the past it will be reckless to dismiss it today. If they take it as a wake up call and stitch in time, it will save them. It is on this basis that I agree with the poll forecast.
May the best horse will the race!