Pick any old newspaper from ten years ago, replace the names of Raila Odinga with those of William Ruto, and the paper will easily pass for a copy printed hours ago on the eve of this morning.
As the rhetoric amongst the political class intensifies, it’s all proving to be a case of same script, just a different cast. The most recent remarks by Saboti member of parliament Caleb Amisi bring to mind the politics of exclusion and isolation that unfolded about a decade ago.
Ironically, it was William Ruto, and others, who were subjecting the then Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, to that treatment. Fast forward ten years later, and the tables seem to have turned. It now appears that Raila has teamed up with his old tormentors to subject Deputy President William Ruto to the same fate.
Caleb Amisi was speaking on KTN’s NewsLine which was hosted by Ben Kitili. Beside Amisi in the studio was the Lugari member of parliament Ayub Sabula, while joining them virtually from Mombasa was the Makueni legislator, Dan Maanzo.
The entire show was characterised by a to and fro between Dan Maanzo and Ayub Sabula on one side, and Caleb Amisi on the other. The two One Kenya Alliance members made a barrage of accusations against Amisi and his ODM team. Maanzo complained that ODM had a hostile style of operating towards its NASA members, and this was characterised by the rude callous demeanour of the party’s Secretary General Edwin Sifuna.
He nevertheless added that Raila Odinga and his ODM team was free to join them in the One Kenya Alliance, as long as he accepted to support a candidate that is sellable across the whole of Kenya, and reiterated that this candidate wasn’t him.
These sentiments were echoed by Ayub Sabula, who, using an analogy, said that selling Raila to the Mount Kenya region was like selling pork to Mecca. He also said that Raila’s popularity in Western Kenya had plummeted, and he was popular only in Nyanza.
Caleb Amisi tried to calm his coalition partners down by admitting that though they indeed do have problems in NASA, they shouldn’t take their eyes off the prize, which is defeating William Ruto.