Handshake could be a Uhuru and Raila affair
SEE ALSO :Obado and Ruto throw jab at Raila“I support the referendum and urge Kenyans to go back to the Bomas Draft which had recommended a hybrid system of presidential and parliamentary mix. This will allow for an expanded executive,” Nyagah said. Orange Democratic Movement Chairman John Mbadi said those who imagined Raila would die politically lived in utopia. “Raila stands for ideals and he was naturally born a politician. His strong political ideals make him a frontrunner in 2022. There is no leader in Kenya likely to get support across Kenya, regionally and internationally,” the Suba South MP said. National Assembly Public Accounts Committee Chairman Opiyo Wandayi described Raila as a phenomenon, with or without the handshake. “Those who have wished him away in the past have invariably been disappointed. Raila’s influence in Kenya’s politics will continue to be felt for a long time. His consistency in fighting for the rights of the downtrodden is unparalleled,” said Wandayi, who is also the Ugunja MP. Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior said succession politics will play a central role in the post-handshake scenarios. “All presidential candidates are angling for endorsement or an ear of the President. The statements made in Nyanza point to the 2022 presidential elections. The handshake and its success will largely depend on how 2022 shapes up. Everyone says it will not matter but it will,” Mr Mutula Jnr said. Former Ruto ally now turned foe Joshua Kuttuny said after the 2017 elections people thought that Raila would fizzle out. “But the handshake is now a blessing in disguise as it has given Raila a lifeline. He is now seen as a front-runner in the 2022 succession politics. Jubilee was coined out of fear so that Raila doesn’t ascend to power but now after the handshake that fear is no longer there. Even those who feared him are now warming up to him,” said Kuttuny, who is the Cherangany MP. Nyeri MP Wambugu Ngunjiri said the handshake was not about 2022 politics but was about finding a lasting solution to divisive politics. “We all agree that ‘winner takes it all’ tends to keep Kenyan politics tense before, during and after every election. That is why our elections are so divisive because only one person will win and the rest will become irrelevant for five years,” Mr Ngunjiri said. He said the handshake was a pilot on whether it was possible to create a system where the person who wins the election, and any other person who has a large support base get to work together. He said if Kenyans agreed that the peace they are witnessing now — where there is unity among all leaders — was the solution to divisive politics then they could push for a referendum to bring legislation on this. “If we agree that we want to get there then a referendum to make it part of the Constitution will be the way to go,” Ngunjiri said. Kitutu Chache MP Richard Onyonka said Raila would be at the centre of Kenya’s politics for as long as he lived. “I have always said that anyone who dismisses Raila does so at their own peril. The man is always formidable, smart, calculative and strategic. His experience has also given him an advantage. He has learnt from his mistakes and changed tack,” Onyonka said. Sitting pretty Belgut MP Nelson Koech - a Ruto ally - said the handshake had brought peace to the country but the DP’s men were watching its every move. “We are watching every step. We are not sitting pretty. We are strategising all the time so that we are not thrown off the rail if the DP is alienated from what is happening,” Mr Koech said. The MP said Raila had joined Jubilee and he was now singing the Jubilee song, though he still remained a formidable Opposition leader. “If he continues to back Jubilee, good for us because Ruto will use Jubilee scorecard to campaign in 2022. If Raila has other wishes, then let him be sure that the DP has learnt a lot from him and former President Daniel arap Moi. He is a shrewd politician and is aware of all the machinations against him,” Koech said.