Cord leader Raila Odinga’s 2017 political game plans for the presidency have leaked. According to sources close to his inner circle, Raila is working on a new power game that will see him force a run-off between him and Uhuru Kenyatta.
It is on this background that Raila badly wants serious faces in the 2017 presidential race to divide votes. He is gunning in earnest for his 2013 running mate Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi to be on the presidential ballot paper to influence a run-off. He is out to get on his side influential faces ahead of the next polls among them, Governor Isaac Ruto, Martha Karua and Charity Ngilu just to name but a few.
That Raila does not use same strategy twice is not a secret. In 2013, he used the 41 versus 1 which was meant to encircle and topple the Mount Kenya region. For 2017, Raila’s team is working on a run-off plan which is aimed at denying Uhuru a 50-plus-one percent to force a second round.
According to those working on this strategy, Raila wants WDM leader Kalonzo and Amani National Congress leader Mudavadi to run separately for the presidency in 2017. Sources say, in 2013, he had worked on a plan to tame Uhuru presidential bid by fronting George Saitoti to go for presidency and divide the Mount Kenya vote in his favour. But as fate would have it, the untimely death of Saitoti in a helicopter crash just months before elections caught him off guard.
Raila’s plan is to pull off the Kamba votes and the Luhya votes who are expected to vote to the last man for their own man in the first round. To him if not number one, the worst he can be is number two. Then come second round between him and Uhuru, both Mudavadi and Kalonzo will be out of the race. With them out, their supporters are expected to go behind Raila. The political thought is that, Kenyans are currently bitter with the Jubilee leadership and will vote for him. Two, the selling point will be that presidency was not meant for only two Kenyan communities hence a need for chance.
Raila is aware that Kalonzo’s influence stretches to parts of Coast region and North Eastern while Mudavadi enjoys some support in most parts across the country.
To divide the Rift Valley vote, he wants Governor Ruto to be his running mate. In case, of a run-off, Raila strategists say he will win the populous Kipsigis vote. They even aver that come 2017, Kalenjins bitter with William Ruto will follow the Bomet governor to offer alternative leadership.
Raila is expected to share the spoils with Uhuru in Nairobi but with Raila having slightly an upper hand. In Nyanza, Raila is expected to keep off Uhuru though Jubilee has of late been making inroads in Kisii and Nyamira counties.
In Coast province, Raila has an upper hand while Kalonzo has also sizeable following considering the big number of Kambas at the Coast while Uhuru has an upper hand in Central and the entire Mount Kenya region.
With Nyanza, Western, Lower Eastern, Coast, Nairobi and North Eastern going to Raila, Kalonzo and Mudavadi, while Central and Upper Eastern for Uhuru, the Raila team now declares Rift Valley a battleground though with Uhuru having an upper hand.
Already, the Raila team has identified Baringo, Bomet, Kericho, Narok and Kajiado counties as being friendly to Cord and will vote for him, more so, if he picks Bomet governor as his running mate if the current happenings in the political arena are anything to go by. There are also rumours that Raila would work with Gideon Moi if Uhuru sticks with his deputy as running mate in 2017.
Analysts say apart from the run-off, Raila has another ace up his sleeve that will give him more votes than Kalonzo and Mudavadi in round one. He is said to be shopping for a Kalenjin running mate. This plan is expected to bleed votes from Jubilee’s tyranny of numbers in both round one and round two and more particularly, round two.
His plan is to have Kalonzo get a Kisii running mate and Mudavadi goes to coast for his deputy. To complicate matters in Rift Valley, Raila prays Mudavadi gets Gideon as his number two in the planned Third Force Alliance which has eyes on 2022 presidency.
It is on these grounds Raila does not mind if Kalonzo divorces him since it will work in his favour.
This time, Raila is said to be working on a plot to force the political class into a run-off which has never happened in Kenya since the re-introduction of multi-party politics.
According to the plan, Raila and Kalonzo will have an MoU that they campaign separately but rally behind number two against Uhuru. Raila is aware if Kalonzo is not in the presidential race 2017, and then loses, it will be difficult for Kalonzo to win 2022 as he will be irrelevant having skipped the race for 10 years. Kalonzo knows it is easier to win 2022 than 2017 and he has to rehearse. To Kalonzo, he expected Raila’s blessings in 2017 but it seems not to be forthcoming.
What is not clear is whether a pact between Raila and a Kalenjin running mate would attract a huge following to ensure Raila gets above 30pc of the Kalenjin votes. It is for this political machination that Raila wants the 2017 polls to be a four-horse race in his final bid to beat Uhuru at the run-off in what is likely his finally stab at the presidency.
The strategy is to have both Ruto’s split the Kalenjin votes. To show how serious Raila is with this strategy, he was hosted by Isaac where he received warm support contrary to speculations that the Kalenjin voters were not keen in mending fences with Raila.
To show how Raila is pushing for the this new strategy, he has embarked on strengthening his presidential strategy team and has hired former Special Projects permanent secretary Andrew Mondoh to lead a team of administrative advisers at his private office.
Also coming on board is George Mboya. He has been hired to re-engineer operations and reorganise the Okoa Kenya Secretariat, also key to the Cord leader’s 2017 politics. Also brought on board id former PS Carey Orege who is a close Raila ally who comes from his Bondo constituency.
Sources now say that UhuRuto is already feeling the political heat and has also now engaged a propaganda team to deal with Cord and the entire opposition ahead of 2017.
Last week, the Uhuru’s propaganda team released a line-up purporting to be Cord’s power games for the 2017 elections. In the line-up, Raila is listed as the presidential candidate with Isaac Ruto as the running mate.
Moses Wetang’ula is listed as leader of majority in the senate with Bonny Khalwale as the leader of majority in the national assembly. Kalonzo is listed as the speaker. Cord has since dismissed the list as propaganda by the Jubilee. Cord says by lowering Kalonzo to the position of speaker, it is expected to annoy the Kamba voters and portray Cord as a western party where both Wetang’ula and Khalwale are the beneficiaries.