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Here is my 2027 prediction and it's not good for Raila, Kalonzo

 ODM leader Raila Odinga and his Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka. [Denis Kavisu, Standard]

Kenya is awaiting a political ‘Ruto rush’ in 2027. We have learnt through experience and history that in Africa, it is complex to oust even the weakest incumbent from the presidency.

Given that politicians like associating themselves with a prospective presidential winner, there is no doubt that top politicians like Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga will compete to please William Ruto. Let me explain!

President Ruto is not and will not be a weaker incumbent in 2027. Ousting him will be a high-hill task, especially now that Kalozo and Raila - the two opposition heavyweights are each threatening to contest separately.

This week, Wiper Democratic Party leader traversed the former Eastern Province to drum up support for his 2027 presidential dream. Alongside this, Kalonzo and his allies have been asking Raila to down his presidential dream and support him.

However, from what we hear from Oburu Odinga and top ODM politicians, Baba will not bow to the Ukambani political kingpin. Therefore, the 2027 elections could be a contest between number two and number three - Raila or Kalonzo.

Call me a political pessimist, but if Raila and Kalonzo combined could not beat Uhuru and Ruto in 2013 and 2017, and Raila, Uhuru and Kalonzo combined could not beat Ruto in 2022, how on Earth can they beat Ruto separately in 2027?

To explain my thesis, let us equate Kenya's 2027 political 'Ruto rush' with that of the California Gold Rush between 1848 and 1855. History has it that upon discovering gold in California, hundreds and thousands of people worldwide went there to try their luck.

Later, gold rushes became the order of the 19th century, albeit with positive and negative impacts. For instance, the then gold rush population busts birthed modern-day San Francisco in California, Melbourne in Australia, and Dawson City in Canada, among others.

The biggest challenge is that if Kalonzo contests in 2027, he will not do so to beat Ruto but to spoil for Raila. Raila, on the other side, if he runs in 2027, will not do so to win  - he will be interested in keeping his political influence and spoiling Nyanza's votes for Ruto to succeed without struggle.

Raila will run in 2027 to prove a point to political ageists - that is why his elder brother, Oburu has come out early to caution that Raila is not retiring from politics and that he (Raila) is still young and strong. Therefore, Raila's 2027 presidential candidacy will have nothing to do with winning the presidency.

Either way, Raila and Kalonzo will be working to ensure Ruto becomes president - consciously or unconsciously. Therefore, both will aim to endear Ruto for a pre-election or post-election deal, whichever will be convenient. That does not mean Kalonzo and Raila are selfish; it just means their fight against Ruto ended in 2022.

Just like the gold rushes of the 19th century, where miners faced violence and harsh conditions, the Ruto rush came with political rejection and a feeling of betrayal. Thus, the 2027 general elections are likely to face unprecedented voter apathy.

Ruto rush will destroy Kenyan political parties with politicians folding up their political parties to please the ‘mighty’ Ruto and the democratic political scene will face imminent shrinkage, safe for the younger politicians who will eye long-term political investment.

The worst of all impacts will be this -  there will be increased tension between Mount Kenya on one side and Rift Valley and other parts of the country on the other side. This is what will divide and scatter UDA and toss its carcass to the birds - those who will grab its remains will build themselves politically for the future.

Such an inheritance will be for the millennials and Gen Z politicians like Ndindi Nyoro, Mutula Kilonzo Jr., Kipchumba Murkomen, and Babu Owino, to mention but a few. As we prepare for the 2027 general elections, think about these things.

-Dr Ndonye is a senior lecturer, Department of Mass Communication, Kabarak University

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