Even as Uhuru Kenyatta unleashes blows on William Ruto, another silent war pitting Raila Odinga and Gideon Moi has engulfed State House, threatening to scuttle the president’s 2022 gameplan.
The war, sources told Weekly Citizen, would by now have exploded but the fact that the two of them are facing a common vicious enemy in the name of Ruto, it has kept them glued together.
The silent war saw Raila and Gideon recently meet in Karen in the home of former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma before the ODM leader proceeded to the Kitengela home of Central Organisation of Trade Unions secretary general Francis Atwoli for yet another meeting. Word has it that Uhuru trusts Gideon more than Raila.
Insiders aver that the war is about who will be the presidential torchbearer in the 2022 general election, with both laying a claim and each seeking the president’s ear and backing.
For Gideon, he has told his close associates that he is settling for nothing less than the presidency, reiterating that when he recaptured the Baringo senatorial seat in 2017, he made it abundantly clear that his win was a stepping stone to greater political achievements, which he has embarked on.
The Baringo senator’s ambition was further fired up by the role the Moi family bestowed on him when his elder brother Raymond, who is also the Rongai MP, passed their father’s leadership baton to him, signifying the commencement of his journey to State House.
Gideon, insiders noted, had remained in the shadows, playing the role of an obedient son as long as his father lived but now with the family leadership baton firmly in his hands, he has seriously started fighting for the country’s top seat, a pledge he made to his father before he passed on.
Added to his ambition is the fact that the president is more comfortable with him flying the presidential flag rather than Raila or the out of favour DP Ruto. The Kenyatta family, insiders added, are comfortable with a Gideon’s presidency even if the constitutional amendments to expand the executive are not made.
Insiders add that the Raila’s camp has started feeling jittery since the entrance of Gideon Moi in Uhuru kitchen cabinet.
Raila is suspicious of the sealed the Jubilee/Kanu pact. Those in the know revealed that the Raila camp fears that if Uhuru declares Gideon Tosha, the scion of Kenya’s second president will not deliver victory even with their backing, particularly if Ruto will be in the presidential ballot.
They avow that Gideon cannot even deliver his home county, Baringo votes to the presidential box, either as the presidential candidate or running mate, and hence they will pull out of the handshake deal once Uhuru makes the fatal mistake of anointing him as his preferred successor.
But the Baringo senator, his close allies told us, is convinced he has the resources and the political network to deliver victory if picked as the flagbearer with Raila as his running mate or taking the premier’s position if the BBI recommendations are adopted.
His argument is that the past three presidential elections Raila has contested the top seat (including the repeat presidential poll on October 26 2017) have shown that the ODM leader is a polarising figure who cannot deliver victory, and hence it is only logical for him to become his running mate or the prime minister. Gideon also believes that Raila does not have the financial muscle to mount a serious presidential campaign, and more so given the fact that he has relied on others to raise funds for him in the three presidential elections he has contested.
The scion of Kenya’s second president has reliably informed Uhuru that the Moi family will not spend a coin on Raila’s campaign if picked as the torchbearer.
On his part, the president has over time been supportive of Gideon, and by extension, the greater Moi family, having had some roots there.
Insiders add that Gideon’s eyes are firmly focused on the presidency and that explains why he has held talks with Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Mombasa governor Hassan Joho, trying to win them over.
But insiders add that there are fears at State House that if Uhuru declares Gideon Tosha, there is a possibility of Raila and Ruto teaming up out of bitterness. Raila, insiders add, believes he still commands Coast five counties (Kilifi, Kwale, Mombasa, Taita Taveta and Tana River), Nyanza, Western, Lower Eastern, North Eastern and Part of Rift Valley, Nairobi and Central, and hence should be the torchbearer.
On the contrary, Gideon cannot be relied to deliver his home county of Baringo, leave alone Rift Valley. But this has not stopped the Baringo senator from upping his presidential bid as he has been meeting leaders such as Kalonzo to form a political alliance.
Kalonzo has been a close political associate of the Moi family having worked with the former president, serving as minister from 198os until 2002. Last week, Kalonzo revealed that his party had given him the go-ahead to explore a post-election coalition with the ruling Jubilee Party and Kanu.
By hammering a pact with Uhuru and Gideon, Kalonzo has effectively pulled out of Nasa, dealing a blow to Raila as he will walk out with the more that 2 million Kamba voters who in the 2013 and 2017 general elections voted for Raila almost to a man.
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