Uhuru set to quit ODM-Kenya

Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta is all set to leave ODM-Kenya, a special delegates conference is in the works,a nd the future of 44 year old party – Kanu is in yet another deep crisis, one which will underscore and stretch the political muscle of its current leaders to the ultimate limits.

His crisis is deepened by the fact that Raila Odinga, the man who had shown indications that he would not mind a loose coalition with him was no longer showing interest in the formation of what was said to be a third force and had instead gone ahead to register a political party as a fallback plan, his denials in public recently notwithstanding.

Though in public Raila was putting a hardline stance on Uhuru issue, sources indicate that he was actually planning to seek a deal with Uhuru ahead of the general elections. During the plenary meeting held at Panafric hotel, two weeks ago, Raila was on Uhuru’s side as he made his demands, engineering the formation of a committee to look into what he termed as “legitimate demands”.

Uhuru, we have learnt from his close aides was piecing together what will be the toughest political fight, by calling yet another National Delegates Conference, the second in two months, to chart the way forward.

“However, there is something we are trying to fix in the power that NEC holds in such a meeting. The last time they spoilt our plans, this time we have to be a little smarter and we are working on a surprise. I am sure you are not waiting for me to give my enemies a piece of pie on the media by telling you all about our battle plan,” a former legislator involved with the Uhuru camp said in an interview.

Uhuru, who has undergone an almost complete political metamorphosis, from the young naïve politician who lost the 1997 parliamentary elections to Moi political project that was rejected by voters in the 2002 general elections, is now faced with a tough choice; balancing his own and the interest of the very people who have chartered his political career.

Already the party is prepared for a split within its ranks, with possible scenarios already presenting themselves. One of them is the possible unity of the Uhuru faction and the Biwott splinter group. Signs are already there as the two held a meeting in a Nairobi Hotel on Wednesday.

Top on the chart is the exit of Secretary General William Ruto, alongside key Rift valley legislators allied o both Kanu and ODM-Kenya, including chairman Henry Kosgey. The fate of others like Mutula Kilonzo who has ideally opposed Uhuru from the day of party elections and more recently in the June delegates conference.

“Lets not make the same mistakes we made in the past, let’s stick on ODM-Kenya and push for our course within the party,” said Kilonzo.

Reached on phone Justin Muturi the closest ally of Uhuru in Kanu, said that their position on ODM-Kenya was not going to change and that they would explore other avenues, on their political path once the deadline is over.

“I will not tell you about our next move, because you never know maybe someone is still trying to do something to address what we raised but let’s be very clear here, if the deadline comes and no word has been spoken to us formally then we will surely move out,” Muturi said.

Uhuru wants ODM-K to recognize Kanu as a corporate partner within its ranks with power to sponsor its own parliamentary candidates to parliament, Kanu also wants the 40:40:20 principle implemented in all organs of ODM-K as a way of ensuring the party does not cede its independence.

“Coalitions are best formed after elections, for now the best approach will obviously be mergers and the individual status of parties must be recognized,” Uhuru argued un the June special delegates conference.

“Let no one think Kanu is out of options, we have options, we know we cant win the elections alone, and we will surely join with other players to make sure that we are victorious in the next general elections,” said Uhuru in the same parley held at the traditional venue, Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani.

“The likely scenario is that Kanu will move out of ODM-L,” explained James Mumo, a political scientist with a local actuarial firm, the next “is the exit of Ruto and the return of the Biwott team.”

“Depending on how you look at it, the move would have both devastating and positive effects on Uhuru,” Mumo further narrated.

“If Ruto left, then it would mean that he would be joining ODM-K as an individual, a move that would reduce his negotiation power within ODM-K ranks. However, the return of Biwott would be seen as a major victory for Uhuru especially if he returned and took an inferior position to his within the party”.

Mumo also noted, “You however must appreciate that the return of Biwott and Nick Salat to Kanu is the re-entry of former president Moi into Kanu and it would take loads of convincing for Uhuru to prove that at last he had become his own man.”

“It is however, the coalition the post-Ruto Kanu chooses to join that will either seal or add muscle to Uhuru as a political success,” Mumo said.

The scenario of Uhur joining up with Kibaki was dismissed by all political scientists we attempted to speak saying “Uhuru’s political star is not in the victory of 2007 elections but in his preparations and packaging for the 2012 general elections.”

A Uhuru prepares to bolt out of ODM-K, a coalition he has fought more than he has worked with in his short flirtation with it, the question that comes up is, what next for Uhuru?

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