Kibaki 2012 Succession Politics Gains Fervent Pitch: Is there more than meets the eye?

There is too much heat too early regarding the Kibaki 2012 succession politics. Just today President Mwai Kibaki convened a PNU parliamentary meeting. Unexpectedly, the President’s main agenda was to convince PNU parliamentarians to dissolve the small parties and join PNU as a main vehicle to counter their rivals, namely ODM. The move was immediately rejected by hot-air newly elected Narc-Kenya chairperson and Kenya’s iron lady, Justice, Constitutional Affairs and National Cohesion Minister Martha Karua and the laid back, nominated MP and Ford Kenya Chairman Musikari Kombo and inconsequential Joseph Munyao, DP’s Secretary General.

There is more than meets the eye in this move.

First, it is uncharacteristic of Kibaki’s mode of playing politics. Other than his early years in DP and when he was forced to get a campaign vehicle just days before the 2007 presidential elections, the president does not entangle himself in party politics. Not in a consultative manner. Ask Charity Ngilu who was once a member of DP or Agnes Ndetei who was once a vice chairperson of the DP movement.

Why would Kibaki want to consolidate PNU as an election vehicle at this juncture? Is the grand coalition with Raila as his principal assistant not enough? Kibaki ignored strong party politics during his first term, why the change of tact? Is he having a brief for some “project”, a potential heir? Why did he not seek to consolidate the coalition with ODM-Kenya? Why the renewed obsession with PNU as a strong party, it didn’t matter last year in October when it was a matter of life and death.

Secondly, there is a lot of Kibaki succession politics from credible telling quarters barely six months after Emilio Mwai Kibaki earned his second term through controversial means. Close observation on the gear engaged by Raila Odinga, Martha Karua, Kalonzo Musyoka and Uhuru Kenyatta the potential heirs to the throne leaves a lot of room for speculation. Are we about to have another presidential election, this soon?

Martha Karua has saved president Kibaki’s skin twice. Once after the tribally divisive 2005 constitutional referendum and twice after the blood-spilling 2007 general election. She has earned her say in Kibaki’s kitchen cabinet and has by far been the closest presidential consultant whose views are taken seriously outside the mafia lineage. Just two weeks ago, her meeting with the president sent the haughty Kimunya scuttling to step aside.

Incidentally, she has all of a sudden taken a sharp diversion from “toeing” Kibaki’s line to the extent that she earned a roadside snide remark from Kibaki when he toured his hometown Nyeri last weekend. She has gone full throttle in a campaign mode, slashing off a Muthaiga-club anointed heir, acquiring a campaign vehicle Narc-Kenya and declared her desire to be Kenya’s fourth president. She is literally sprinting to state house, affronting the president in a manner that could lead to the saga that Ruto had with Rift Valley kingpin former president Daniel arap Moi and in a momentum that cannot reach 2012 without her panting off her heart by the roadside. This is unlike Martha, unless she knows more or has come across some pointers that the rest of Kenya has not.

Raila Odinga is by far the most calculating potential president. At one moment he is breathing fire and brimstone oblivious of the blood being spilled in so called peaceful mass demonstration. The next moment he is at the foot of Mwenenyaga Mountain having a tete-a-tete with his archenemy “illegally” sworn in President Kibaki. Before he could say “thai thathaiya Gai” he has accepted a NON-EXECUTIVE premier and a shadow of his claim to portfolio balance. For the peace of Kenya? Maybe, maybe not. It could be just a matter of months before he gets what is “rightly” his. Raila is still set to be anointed a Kikuyu elder next month in the hallowed Ruring’u stadium grounds.

Why the obsession with him being the principal assistant to the president and not Kalonzo Musyoka? Why train Kenya’s mind that he is second to the president and no other. Is he preparing the Kenyan psyche for what may eventually happen? Why abandon the clamour for constitutional review and establishment of an executive premier? Why settle for a presidential system when there is more than four years to the next general election? Why have a lynch squad in parliament to deal with other rivals for the 2012 politics?

No need discussing the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka who is the closest to the throne with a potential constitutional guarantee of ruling for 90 days.

Unless he denounces it, Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kanu chairman and a member of the PNU arrangement looks okay with dissolution of political parties in PNU, including KANU. Or has Kanu become a baggage to the son of the founding president and a contender to the throne. Earlier in the year, there was talk of 2007 losing Kalenjin parliamentary contenders, led by Gideon Moi, of kicking Uhuru out of Kanu.

And I can go on and on.

In the coming days Kenya the Kibaki succession will get hellish hot as leading contenders scram for some meaningful space in the ballot for they know 2012 is factually far but could be so near.

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