By Kipkoech Tanui
We can now say with certainty elections are seven months away. It is also definite there might not be any other Presidential candidate joining the line-up.
As things are, we can also say five or six of the cast currently warming up stand a chance to get to State House, especially if they play the ethnic card well and blindfold their ‘people’ long enough to just elect them on the basis of the shared bloodlines, and top-up with votes they will collect out there.
Their chances would be more assured if they decide to team up, one as running mate of the other. However, I am aware this possibility is remote because they first of all seem to want to run to ensure they force a run-off, and the target of course is Prime
Minister Raila Odinga, and there is no guarantee they will stick together in the next round.
Three unrelated incidences have conspired to remove all uncertainties we have been grappling with. The first is the unfortunate death of one contender, Prof George Saitoti. I do not for once believe the pedestrian verdict that Saitoti was already past his sell-by date, and therefore an expired political pastry on Kenya’s dusty shelves.
On the contrary, as my little inquiry has found out, Prof Saitoti could have been the ‘project’ of someone powerful, waiting to be unleashed at an appropriate time, when the katengwa kaninis (in Agikuyu this means small bulls) stomping and gamboling around us will have sung themselves hoarse and burnt themselves out.
Even if I were not going to vote for him, and with due respect to his memory and family, I still believe his death took away some flavour from the big race and sealed the question we had on what impact he was likely to make.
The other uncertainty removed is that when do we actually vote. That was set this week when on the strength of 4-1 the
Appellate judges decided it is on March 4 next year.
The final uncertainty removed is on whether Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr William Ruto will be able to run because of their crimes against humanity charges at The Hague. Luckily for them, ICC picked on a date for the start of hearing that is outside the election circle and March 4 orbit.
However, in case of a run-off forced by failure of either of the candidates to garner the 50-per cent-plus-one rule, there might be more drama awaiting us in the second round, especially if either of those gentlemen who will be physically required at The