Since the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga, opinion has remained divided on whether the latter will contest for the presidency in 2022. But for team tangatanga, which is fronting the candidature of Deputy President William Ruto, Raila's name will be on the ballot.
Raila is known to be an experienced, shrewd and cunning politician. During and in the aftermath of the twin 2017 presidential elections, he had taken a hardline position. The situation worsened when he was sworn-in as the "people’s president" in a mock ceremony held at Uhuru Park. Many Kenyans viewed this as the spark that would trigger another wave of election violence, with the heartbreaking memories of 2007 post-election violence still fresh in their minds.
During the campaigns, President Kenyatta had assured citizens that he was committed to ensure no more loss of lives would be witnessed due to election contests. This explains why he agreed to swallow his pride and sign a unity deal with Raila.
Since the handshake, Raila has always dismissed those claiming that he will run for president. I am persuaded to believe that he will instead play the role of kingmaker. So, who is likely to be his candidate of choice? Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i tops the list.
Lately, Raila has been making forays into Gusiiland, the CS's backyard, and showering him with praise. He is Uhuru's close and trusted ally because he completes his assignments on time and does a thorough job. During the burial of former assistant minister Hezron Manduku, Raila fell short of endorsing Matiangi’s presidential bid. Notably, the CS has always avoided this issue.