Political Ramifications of the Ocampo List Fallout - The Winners - The Star

PRESIDENT MWAI KIBAKI: The former Defence Minister and longtime Kibaki confidante, Njenga Karume, let the cat out of the bag on the sole occasion when he and the then Leader of Official Oppostion, Mwai Kibaki, had a public falling out. This was when Karume, who had long been the patron of Kibaki's party of that time, the Democratic Party, shifted his allegiance to Uhuru Kenyatta, who had been anointed by President Daniel arap Moi to be his successor, in mid-2002. Karume announced that Kibaki was a singularly ungrateful man who never took any consideration of what others had done to help advance his political career. If there was any truth in that statement, then it is reasonable to assume that the predominant thought in the President's mind at present, is relief that he was not on that list, especially as the retaliatory attacks were reportedly planned in State House. Now he is free to focus his attention on securing his political legacy through his far-sighted public infrastructure programme which will most likely be remembered as his greatest contribution to propelling Kenya towards prosperity.

PM RAILA ODINGA: He is perhaps the biggest winner from the naming of the six key suspects, now said to be "bound for The Hague". In one move, the ICC process has crippled the presidential ambitions of two key figures from the team which is set to oppose him in the 2012 presidential race. It is reasonable to assume that any political leaders who now have The Hague to worry about, are not likely to be very effective in helping organise the anti-Raila forces. Staying out of jail tends to be a fulltime occupation when faced with accusations of "crimes against humanity" before an international tribunal. And while the accused are thus engaged, their regional political rivals will be busy making inroads into their core support groups. In this context, Gideon Moi's recent 'takeover' of Kanu is particularly serendipitous - the long-anticipated return of the Moi dynasty to the centre of Rift Valley politics is now more plausible, with Ruto having so much on his plate. And in Central province, presidential hopefuls Martha Karua and Peter Kenneth now have a clear road along which to pursue their ambitions, with reputed frontrunner from that region, Uhuru Kenyatta, being otherwise engaged.

VP KALONZO MUSYOKA: Up to now, it has been argued that the proposed 'KKK' political alliance which brought together Kalonzo, Uhuru and Ruto, faced an intractable problem when it came to deciding which one of them would in due course run against Raila in the 2012 presidential race. But now, with the release of Ocampo's list of suspects, the decision seems to have been made in favour of Kalonzo. On the one hand, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto will now - more than ever - be determined to keep Raila out of State House. And on the other hand, given the pace at which the ICC works, it is not likely that they will be free to engage in an intense and protracted grassroots political campaign anytime soon. The best they can do is to throw their weight behind their political ally, Kalonzo Musyoka, a man for whom the Ocampo list must come as an undisguised blessing, even though that is the last thing he would ever admit to.

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