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Mergers and takeovers; a turning point in Kenya’s political process

By Mohamed Wato | December 3rd 2012

By Mohamed Wato

It is injury time for politicians yet Kenyans are owners of the initiative, with ample time before elections on 4th March, to make a decisive choice and pick their leader.

The news of a merger between Uhuru and Ruto ticket is a decision point in a political scheme of maneuvers unfolding at a rapid pace.

Some players like those in the wiper party seem overwhelmed by the rate of political transition. But the significance point in these realignments is it deals a big blow to the voter apathy reviving interest for people to reassess their political positions in preparation for the March ballot date.

It is time for the undecided voters to make their choice.

In crafting their latest pacts, our politicos have openly justified their team spirit as a coalition arrangement of like-minded parties.

Indeed the interest of TNA and URP leadership is at a rendezvous point; they are similarly before the same court, the ICC. Again the two have in common a strong ethnic political base, and a rival in the name of one Raila Odinga.

Their ultimate objective remains to win election, to take over executive control and influence, in order to deal proactively with challenges before them.

It is not strange some pundits have branded this alliance as a coalition of suspects.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with Uhuru – Ruto merger in their quest to survive during their time of difficulties, given that animals have a penchant to revert naturally to survival skills when they are threatened or they are the endangered species.

For ODM, the story is no different, they have no alternative manifesto to differentiate them from their competitors, they are simply bogged down in power struggles and have actually perfected a survival strategy, reloading themselves with plans to hoodwink the voter by maligning political competitors, when in fact, they are known as associates, comrade in arms with their rivals in terms of the ills that have dodged Kenya over the years.

Talking of like mindedness, the remainder of presidential candidates can easily take advantage from the present political realignment.

They are no doubt, like minded to a big extent. They are not tribal chiefs; they are not wealthy, or party to official corruption. Although they are considered second tier candidates, they can easily coalesce at this critical point, if they care anyway, to fill in the vacuum and provide alternative leadership for Kenyans.

They have to put aside their ego, put Kenya first, and work together to succeed. 

There is no way Martha Karua, Prof. Olekiyiapi, Peter Kenneth or Raphael Tuju can go it alone to make it to the state house; you do not need a political scientist to make this point a deductive reason.

The bottom line is that such coalition can easily change the course of Kenya’s politics – in defeating ethnicity and to introduce issues as the basis for political competition.

The plot is now getting clearer. There are only two key factors central to the outcomes of March 2013 elections.

First, the hangovers of 2007 post-election violence and the ICC question are outright criteria to shape Kenya’s governance beyond Kibaki regime.

Secondly, voting decision taken by the Rift valley and Central Kenya depending on political contracts entered by leaders before the general election will decide Kenya’s president in March, 2013. 

Today is Monday, 3rd December 2012 and in a day’s time, Kenyans will be able to differentiate horses from donkeys.

Mohamed Wato is a former Military officer and analyst. He can be reached @ [email protected] 

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