Former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo wants President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga out of the 2022 political equation to save Kenya from a possible acrimonious contest.
Mr Kabogo said the involvement of the two leaders in the next polls would negate their push to unite the country through the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) as the nation would be plunged into a contest of tribal groupings.
Deputy President William Ruto should also reconsider running for the top seat as part of the country’s efforts to heal, he added.
In an exclusive interview with KTN’s Point Blank, the former governor said there was a suspicion that Uhuru and Raila were seeking to use the BBI to create for themselves positions in the Executive.
Several memoranda to the team formed by the two leaders after March 9, 2018 handshake have proposed the creation of a Prime Minister post and two deputies.
And although Uhuru is serving his second and final term, some leaders, particularly Central Organisation of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General Francis Atwoli, have asked him not to retire, as he is “still young”.
“We may be pushed to put pressure on them to build bridges, but not participate in the 2022 election. Let them be the country’s fathers. Hata yule jamaa mwingine (even that other guy- in reference to Dr Ruto),” said Kabogo.
“There is suspicion out there that these people are out to create positions for themselves,” he added.
He further asked Uhuru and Raila to skip campaigns in Kibra.
“If Raila and Uhuru go to Kibra to campaign it would jeopardise the handshake. When I saw Uhuru endorse footballer McDonald Mariga for the race, I thought the handshake was dead. The two need to keep off Kibra because if they go they will end up exchanging (words),” he said.
It is instructive to note that some Jubilee MPs, led by nominated MP Maina Kamanda, have declared their support for ODM’s Okoth Imran, who he has labelled “handshake candidate”.
Kabogo further took a swipe at certain politicians who he accused of beating drums of war ahead of the poll, warning that making remarks could push the country down a dangerous path.
“If we don’t study and understand our problems, we will be in a bigger problem. We are hearing drums of war all over. When you say tutawanyorosha (we will deal with you) what do you mean?” he posed.
Nandi Senator Samson Cherargei was recently arrested over utterances he made.
Kabogo further claimed there was a concerted effort by certain political figures to divide Mt Kenya region ahead of the polls, stating that some people wanted the region to believe there would be leadership vacuum when Uhuru exits. MPs from the region are split into rival camps either allied to Uhuru or Ruto. “It is the fear of Mt Kenya sitting together. I want to tell Mt Kenya people that if we don’t sit together we will have problems in the next 15 years,” he said.
Kabogo also recounted the dramatic U-turn by Uhuru to run for president in 2013 after he had decided to back Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi for the top seat.
He claimed he confronted Ruto for misleading Uhuru to give up his presidential candidacy when he maintained his running-mate slot.
Kabogo said the pressure to have Uhuru out of the race was mainly because of the cases against them at the International Criminal Court, which was touching the two.
He wondered why Ruto was not ready to opt out of the race but backed Uhuru’s decision to back Mudavadi instead. “I believe Kenyatta was put under immense pressure by interested parties. We went to his place and spent 10 to 15 hours talking with him,” he said. “Ruto came and I was offended with him because he had agreed to give out Uhuru’s candidacy but maintained his.”