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Politics
The VAT and the Handshake: It's now a litmus test
By Joseph Kangola | Updated Sep 24, 2018 at 09:03 EAT
the-vat-and-the-handshake-it-s-now-a-litmus-test
President Kenyatta and Hon. Odinga on March 9
SUMMARY

When President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Hon. Raila Odinga shook hands on March 9, 2018, it caught many of us by surprise

After Raila had been 'sworn in' as the People's president, nobody thought he would work with President Kenyatta that soon

When President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Hon. Raila Odinga shook hands on March 9, 2018, it caught many of us by surprise.

After Raila had been 'sworn in' as the People's president, nobody thought he would work with President Kenyatta that soon. But yes, it happened.

However, the reason as to why has been a subject of speculations in all quarters. Whereas NASA co-principals felt shortchanged, NASA supporters felt abandoned in their quest for justice.

In the Jubilee camp, some see him as a good friend, others see him as someone coming to rock the boat from within, to spoil the party for William Ruto's 2022 presidential ambitions.

With the new ranges of VAT we have begun paying, majority of Kenyans are not happy with the rising cost of living. Whereas there is short-term outbursts of rage, when the dust settles, the next four years will be a litmus test for the handshake.

In the past, Hon. Odinga has been known to oppose the government in matters affecting Kenyans, but this time round he supports the government on the VAT proposals, against the wishes of the many.

All our eyes are now fixed on the long term gain versus the short term pain. It's a litmus test for Kenyatta and Odinga. For the president, the war on corruption is taking the right direction and what will be achieved out of all this is what will constitute his legacy.

For Hon. Odinga, we might say there is something he saw that right now we can't see; and we look forward to see it someday.

If Kenyans feel the benefit of the excess taxation, he will have the legacy of defending Wanjiku through working with the government. That will determine the weight of his political voice in 2022.

If he plans to contest for the presidency again in 2022, the success of the handshake deal will determine his chances.

Kenyans are following, Kenyans are watching.

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