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Ending Gema? Ruto-Raila truce loading

Opinion
 President William Ruto (left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga. [File, Standard]

This week a UDA MP told the country that UDA "will draft a motion to remove term limits". I'd like to remind the MP, if President William Ruto wanted to remove term limits, he would use a more fashionable path than parliament.

But before I tell you the path Ruto would take in expunging term limits, allow me to tell you a story.

On July 15th 2016 in Istanbul Turkey, a faction of Turkey's military launched a coordinated attempt to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government. Military tanks hit the street as fighter jets bombed parliament. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Hulusi Akar-the equivalent of Kenya's CDF Robert Kibochi was taken captive by his own security detail. The rebel soldiers then went to media stations and announced that Turkey was under martial law.

But in just three hours pro Erdogan troops and police countered the coup plotters and re-took back the State. Out of nowhere, Erdogan was back in power. And when Erdogan came out to address the country he said that, "the Coup was a gift from God". Shortly after, Erdogan suspended the Constitution and declared a State of Emergency.

 President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. [AP photo]

The State of Emergency allowed President Erdogan and his Cabinet to pass laws by-passing parliament. And because the Constitution was suspended, the constitutional court could not adjudicate on whether the laws passed by the Executive were constitutional or unconstitutional. He in effect ruled by decree!

Almost a year later he called for a referendum to extend his powers and term limits. And voila just like that his term that was to end in 2024 is now set for 2029. Question is who was the beneficiary of the coup in Turkey? And the answer was Erdogan. Why did Erdogan call the "coup" a gift from God? My hypothesis is Erdogan did a coup on himself.

Now, am I in any way suggesting that Ruto is capable of doing a coup on himself? And the answer is a resounding yes! And my premise here is the 1982 coup. If President Moi knew the 1982 coup was going to happen and let it happen it is because he needed the coup to establish hegemony. But I have another thought.

If it is true Ruto wants term limits removed, why has Raila not said a word? How sure are we that Raila is not part of the plan? What if there is a plan to make Raila Ceremonial President and Ruto an executive Prime Minister?

My hypothesis is that Ruto and Raila will soon do a handshake. And the handshake will happen not because the two love each other. But because both have always had a common political enemy-Gema! And the logic is simple. Gema is the only reason why Raila has never been President. But Gema is the only reason why Ruto is President.

 Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga's 'handshake' at Harambee House, Nairobi, 2018. [PSC]

Put differently, if 50 per cent of Ruto's vote was Gema, then it means Gema made Ruto President. And if they made him President, they can also unseat him as President and make Raila President. But there is more.

Raila has a history 21-year history of politically sleeping with the Government of the day. Under Moi, he allowed the Jogoo to swallow Tinga. Under Kibaki he did 'nusu mkate'. Under Uhuru he did handshake. And if history is faithful to us, then it means Raila will join Ruto at some point. And this time round, it will be to finally slay the political hegemony of Gema!

And we don't have to wait for 2027 if Raila and Ruto were to pair up. If Ruto wants to change the Constitution all he needs is Raila. And I say this because Raila has never lost a referendum. In 2005, Raila, Ruto and Uhuru opposed the Wako draft and defeated Kibaki and the State. In 2010, Raila joined Kibaki and beat Ruto and his "NO" campaign.-Writer is Research Fellow & Political Risk consultant at The Consulting House.

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