There is no doubt that indeed, the handshake was based and founded on a well laid out ideological structure which was comprehensively contained and perfectly documented in the 9-point agenda that followed the handshake, and preceded the BBI report. However, be that as it may, there is no denying that the handshake also had a political face to it, and there are some political realities that the two gentlemen were aware of, and which they took into consideration as they shook hands.
One of the biggest political considerations that the two parties came face to face with, and had to tackle head on was the real danger that the DP, William Ruto, hostile to the new working arrangement, would devise political machinations to try and undermine the entire process.
With this in mind, it was necessary for the two men to cover their political bases and make sure Ruto wouldn’t penetrate them and use them against the BBI.
In the early stages of the handshake, both men faced resistance from their bases. Just like Raila’s camp was pushing back against the new working arrangement, so was the president’s camp as well.
However, Raila was quickly able to get his house in order, convincing sceptics like Kalonzo and crushing hardliners like Wetangula. Uhuru on the other hand had a much more difficult time containing the fallout in his camp. Even his own home county governor, Ferdinand Waititu, was dancing to the DP’s tune.
However, through a lengthy process that entailed tours to Sagana, purges within the Jubilee party, impeachments and even use of state machinery to carry out policies such as demonetization of the a thousand shillings notes, Uhuru finally contained any possible revolt from his deputy.
Of course, he wouldn’t have managed this without the numbers provided by ODM in parliament, which strengthened him.
Then came the Msambweni by-election, and Jubilee kept off, with the belief being that Raila had completely covered his bases and there would be no way for Ruto to sneak in.
Ruto stole the show right under the handshake duo’s noses, embarrassing the president who had even appeared with the ODM candidate in public.
Since then, Uhuru’s camp has become fearful of entrusting their faith in Raila. The worry is that Raila’s strongholds probably aren’t as impenetrable as earlier thought.
As we move forward, we are bound to see more and more of what we witnessed in Matungu, and currently witnessing in Bonchari. The president will widen his scope to avoid limiting himself to a single option that Ruto might breach, and as is the case in Bonchari, Jubilee might go for some seats themselves if they feel they are strong enough to stop Ruto, rather than risk another Msambweni.