By Kipkoech Tanui
It was predictable this so-called G7 Alliance was what PLO Lumumba would have described as a giant on mosquito’s feet. All along it was clear it was first glued together by anti- Raila Odinga venom, but what was always doubtful was whether its top leaders would in the end step down for the other.
Secondly, it was held together by the conviction among its principal shareholders – Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr William Ruto – it would give them leverage against the International Criminal Court (ICC). The thinking could be that it would cast them as serious and influential personalities whose fate is tied to the country’s peace.
Beneath this veneer also lay the other thinking; that bad as the ICC’s charges are, at least it could provide opportunity to whip up sympathy votes across the country, cast Raila’s as the evil one behind the crimes against humanity charges, and finally afford them that seat in the sky which made Omar Al-Bashir untouchable by ICC.
It must have been with this in mind that The Economist first referred to Uhuru-Ruto alliance as ‘Coalition of The Accused’.
Now you do not have to like Raila to appreciate the political reality that whereas he may be the commonly hated man – because of perception he is the top contender, going by opinion polls – it is one thing to have common and ferocious hate for him, and another thing to use it as the glue to hold together an alliance of communities that could as well be as immiscible as oil and water because of certain painful historical realities.
What however surprised some of us is how long it took before the cat jumped out of the G7 bag, despite the blanket of denials and pretensions woven around it by its principal shareholders.
We also need to ask ourselves why Uhuru and Ruto – despite their substantial shares in it – are quiet about what is happening with this alliance and it is the distrusted minority shareholder Mr Kalonzo Musyoka who is shouting the most about its “good health”. On the other hand we know the two have always seen Kalonzo as the angry hyena, according to Uhuru’s analogy, following a man hoping his swinging hands could fall, heralding a feast.
Three things indicate why Kalonzo does not want to stay off the G7 radar completely even as he rebuilds Wiper. First, the ICC has made it possible for Ruto and Uhuru to run by setting the court case hearing after next March’s election.
So just in case there will be a run-off and by then Uhuru and Ruto bogged down by ICC cases for which they must be physically present in court, it is understandable why Kalonzo, would not want to stay off completely as another opportunity to pitia katikati yao (squeeze through the middle) may present itself.
But do not be fooled, Kalonzo just like Uhuru and Ruto sing the G7 gospel in the day, probably as a scaremonger tactic against Raila, but are busy building their own individual parties and cutting other deals on the sidelines.
There is also the other factor that could complicate the running of the two odd G7 ‘brothers’, which is in the form of the court case challenging their eligibility to run in the wake commitment to full trial by ICC.