Why the 2022 Race to State House is Choiceless for Kenyans

Like all humans, the two presidential candidates with the highest likelihood to be elected have their strengths peppered with flaws. Of whom between the two can Kenyans say, “He may be flawed but his strengths surely outweigh his shortcomings”?

Ruto is good… At talking. His words will draw a snake out of a cave. He will make you see the angel in him and the demoniac in his opponents. The monikers “mtu wa kitendawili” and “jamaa wa risasi moja” are successful dismissive attempts for Odinga’s manner of speech and age respectively. Because of these two phrases, many ridicule the former PM’s way of talking and even more see his age as a stumbling block for his ascent to power. Ruto’s talking was certainly a major factor that contributed to Jubilee’s clinch of power in the last two elections. Never mind whether what he said was backed by action or not.

The DP does not only talk though. He can work too. However, paying him is dear. He has to get a fat cut out of everything he delivers. The Kenya Kwanza MOU that leaked a while ago is a good testament to this. According to the document, Musalia Mudavadi will be Chief Cabinet Secretary and Moses Wetangula speaker of the National Assembly on the condition that the duo delivers 70% of the Luyhia vote. Thus, in matters economy, one can’t help but wonder – at what cost will it improve (if it does) in the DP’s steering? On top of this cost the DP isn’t the most democratic politician. Under his leadership our constitution will be tested twice as much as it has been under Uhuru Kenyatta.

Former PM, Raila Odinga. Photo courtesy of Nairobi News.

On his part, Raila is a reformist. His personal loss and suffering for Kenya cannot be repaid. Not even by making him president. Moreover, his advisers often include brilliant politicians and technocrats. There’s however, a gaping crack in Raila’s impeccable leadership. He is more interested in the political wellbeing of the people that he easily forgets the economic aspects. His fight is for the rule of law. He fights for a good constitution and for it to be upheld and defended. That’s what explains his national political stature even as the constituency he served for decades as an MP still reels in poverty. People who came after him have done ten times more than he did in Kibra for all those years. Moreover, the moment Raila’s smart advisors point to his faults, they seem to fade to the background and their place taken by others who tell him what he likes hearing.

But the bigger problem with Baba is his most astonishing turnaround after the handshake. The position of High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa was like a bone being dangled in front of a hungry dog if you think about it. Just like that, Uhuru’s fiercest critic became his most loyal, even sycophantic mouthpiece! In hindsight, the position must have been a promise for bigger things to come. And the things are here – Has Uhuru spared any resource or effort to make Raila the most alluring candidate?

But one must wonder – what is Uhuru’s “nipe” in this obviously “nipe nikupe” game? Whatever it is, I’m afraid Kenya might be headed into really dark times. I don’t think Raila has insured his end of the bargain. He’s too focused on the end game. But his deal partner has proven to be so cunning especially in his presidential years that you can be sure it will be next to impossible to thwart him. Yet if elected, it is only in thwarting the president that Raila will rescue this country from the jaws of the hungry salivating crocodile that now ogles at Kenya.

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