The Raila Odinga factor in the New Kenya Alliance’s 2022 presidential contest

Mr Raila Odinga

President Uhuru Kenyatta is said to favour a Raila Odinga candidacy, but his suggestion has faced major resistance with Raila Odinga’s former allies Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (WIPER), and Moses Wetangula FORD Kenya refusing to yield

By The Weekly Vision Online

Former NASA co-principals seem to have failed to agree on who to pick as a presidential candidate to face DP William Ruto in next year’s contest despite enjoying unqualified support from outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta. The president has on several occasions hosted the group at State House urging them to agree on a candidate.

The president is said to favour a Raila Odinga candidacy, but his suggestion has faced major resistance. Former allies Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (WIPER), and Moses Wetangula FORD Kenya, have refused to yield. The four claim they have backed Mr Odinga “enough” and that it is his time to reciprocate by supporting one of them.

On his part, Mr Odinga dismissed his former allies saying the MOU signed with them then was premised on the assumption that he would become president after the 2017 poll. This Mr Odinga says did not happen and flatly refuses to back any of his former NASA allies. He has already hit the road campaigning, he only recently unveiled branded campaign trucks “donated” by an ODM supporter.

Indeed, the former NASA principals have not held a single national rally, apart from Raila Odinga, and their perceived “political following” many people say may be nothing but a figment of their imaginations

Mr Odinga says NASA is “dead” and that he would be part of a “new emerging political alliance”. The question many are asking is, are the anti-Odinga former NASA kingpins only playing hard to get? Political watchers are keen to point out that since Mr Odinga 2018 truce with President Uhuru Kenyatta, the opposition has been virtually “dead” in Kenya.

The New Kenya Alliance principals, Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (WIPER), Gideon Moi KANU and Moses Wetangula FORD Kenya

The Odinga family has for decades become the symbol of political opposition in Kenya, rallying masses against the establishment. But since the 2018 “handshake”, there is not a murmur anywhere against excesses or failures of the ruling Jubilee regime in Nairobi.

Indeed, the former NASA principals have not held a single national rally, apart from Raila Odinga, and their perceived “political following” many people say may be nothing but a figment of their imagination. Without Mr Odinga facing DP Ruto in 2022, analysts say, OKA is still-born and dead-on-arrival.

But others beg to differ, claiming a Musalia Mudavadi (read Macharia) candidacy could easily galvanize the 6m plus votes in Mount Kenya. They say Mr Mudavadi could defeat Ruto more easily than Odinga who some say lost his “huge clout” when he threw in the towel in 2018.

By submitting to Uhuru, watchers say, Raila did the unthinkable like a boxer whose coach throws in the towel to avoid a KO. They say Raila virtually trashed his reputation as a radical political reformer who took the “bull by the horns.”

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