President Uhuru Kenyatta has confounded both allies and foes in regards to the 2022 political race – especially those who thought he would steer clear of the succession debate.
His public announcement that he will have a stake in who becomes the next President and promised a shocker has sent all contenders back to the drawing board.
It is common knowledge that the support of an incumbent or immediate one for that matter makes a whole lot of difference. Hence, his words broadened the possibilities of the probable list of names the President might feel would be a safe pair of hands for the country.
With the handshake that has since brought down political walls between the ruling party and other political players, Uhuru will not be short of choices.
Key for him would be to get to State House someone who would ensure completion of his main legacy project – the Big Four agenda – be firm enough to stand up to corruption and someone around whom the country can coalesce and continue the nation’s healing process.
So what are the possible names?
Top on the list is Opposition leader Raila Odinga who now enjoys a camaraderie with the head of State.
If he were to endorse Raila, Uhuru’s Mt. Kenya backyard might be shocked at the prospects of an Odinga presidency that for years, the Central Kenya elites have used as a boogeyman to have their bidding.
And then there is his deputy William Ruto who has received his fair share of coldness from the once enviable bromance of public hugs, endorsements to encrypted jabs.
A resumption of these endorsements and an affirmation to his supporters that Ruto is indeed the best man for the job would shock many who believe the relationship, at least privately, between these two statesmen is beyond repair.
Kalonzo Musyoka might just be the shocker. He has played second fiddle to President Daniel Arap Moi, Mwai Kibaki and Raila.
To be fair to Kalonzo he is probably the only individual with presidential ambitions who has been in government long enough to know what it takes to run a country.
Baringo Senator Gideon Moi has spoken on several occasions about his ambitions for higher office and has hit the road running.
An endorsement would be shocking because it will be turning tables on Ruto, the man who powered the Jubilee juggernaut to 2013 electoral victory.
Few things make sense in politics though, and with the right strategy and team acceptability of candidates, it becomes an acquired taste.
After spending time at the Treasury and serving as a Cabinet Secretary in Uhuru’s first Cabinet, Anne Waiguru would be a surprise addition to the national political stage.
At a time when public offices are crying out for more female representation, Waiguru has managed to contentiously position herself as a leading voice for those aspiring for higher office.
Musalia Mudavadi has never been short of aspiration and ambition. After coming close to the top seat on more than one occasion, the man from Western Kenya may feel the moment is right for a Mudavadi presidency.
Away from the usual predictable players, there have been a few standout performances from governors on their second and final terms. Among them is Kivutha Kibwana whose performance as Makueni governor has got people talking.
To guarantee a solid block, and deeply aware of the fatigue in the rest of the country of a having a candidate from Central Kenya at the ballot, Uhuru might take this opportunity of endorsing a candidate from Meru. This way, power and effectively control, remains a stone’s throw away
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