By Okech Kendo
The bond that binds Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi is tearing, but they do not seem enthusiastic to visit ¡®King Solomon¡¯.
Could well be that one of them knows, or both know, something the public does not know.
To King Solomon we shall return. But for now it should be said there is more to the odium in ODM. There are those who predict the fall of ODM ¡ª pollsters¡¯ most favoured party ¡ª as its founders watch.
Pollsters have rated ODM leader as the most popular presidential aspirant. They predict if elections were called today, the PM would lead the race in the first round by about 42 per cent ¡ª 11 percentage points shy of a decisive win.
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Pollsters also predict the PM could win in a run-off, with an even higher margin. Opinions polls may not be 100 per cent accurate, but they are the most scientific measure of the possible.
But these were the predictions that were ¡ª a lot of worms have since crawled into and coiled inside the Orange. Pollsters shall have to revise their predictions, considering other likely alliances.
But some ODM insiders see only the party¡¯s resilience. To every exit, they say, there have been new intakes. There is also gloom among ODM supporters that the ¡®friendly¡¯ match is getting out of control.
Mudavadi, who was initially cautious, is now putting Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale¡¯s prize bull ¡ª Osama ¡ª to shame.
But the possibility of ODM surviving the latest jolt is not good news for its rivals. The main campaign plank of the rivals, so far, is to ensure Raila does not get anywhere near State House when President Kibaki quits on December 30, when his official tenure expires.
Some ODM rivals are even seeking to control opinion polls because they do not like the message. One presidential aspirant confronted a pollster ¡ª in a know-people-kind-of-way ¡ª at the Serena Hotel recently in the presence of a top City Hall officer, and in the hearing of hotel staff. He wanted to know why opinion pollsters underrate his seniority.
The people in glee would do anything to ensure the Prime Minister is blocked from State power. They do not want Raila and Mudavadi to hunt together, so that they can be haunted separately. The G-7 is particularly vocal in its glee. Some have even asked Mudavadi, a former Vice-President, who served the shortest time in the plot next to State House on the eve of the 2002 elections, to gore Raila like a bull on steroids.
The lot in glee was the Kanu cast during the 2002 General Election. Mudavadi was Uhuru Kenyatta¡¯s running mate, with Eldoret North MP William Ruto as Uhuru¡¯s chief campaigner. If Uhuru had won (he lost to President Kibaki), Mudavadi would have been the VP, with Ruto as Prime Minister .
If Mudavadi joins G-7 now or during a run-off, it would complete the ¡®Project Uhuru¡¯ team of 2002. The reunion would make Mudavadi a quisling of the G-7. The Sabatia MP has denied this, and there is no reason to doubt his word ¡ª until time proves otherwise.
Cut him in two!
And now back to Sage Solomon. The Good Book says: "Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him. One of them said, "Pardon me, my lord. This woman and I live in the same house, and I had a baby while she was there with me. The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house, but the two of us."
"During the night this woman¡¯s son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I, your servant, was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son ¡ª and he was dead. But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn¡¯t the son I had borne."
The other woman said, "No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours."
But the first one insisted, "No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine." And so they argued before the king.
The king said, "This one says, ¡®my son is alive and your son is dead,¡¯ while that one says, ¡®No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.¡¯"
Then the king said, "Bring me a sword." So they brought a sword for the king. He then gave an order: "Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other."
The woman whose son was alive was deeply moved out of love for her son and said to the king, "Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don¡¯t kill him!"
But the other screamed back: "Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!"
Then the king gave his ruling: "Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother."
When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice."
Writer is The Standard¡¯s Managing Editor Quality and Production.