The Dilemma with One Kenya Alliance

Usenge, Wed 21 July – On Tuesday 20 July, pictures of an amorphous group calling itself One Kenya Alliance (OKA) emerged with Gideon Moi, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula busy on phones, with only Musalia Mudavadi standing, seemingly lost in thoughts.

It brought memories of the events that proceeded on January 30, 2018, when the Orange numero uno Raila Odinga swore himself in as the People’s President at Uhuru Park, Nairobi.

Raila’s NASA’s principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula were nowhere to be seen. They had abandoned their commander alone in the field. And, to date, they wished they attended the event.

Later the trio claimed that it could not reach Raila, who had given them a Nigerian line, through which they could call him. However, it would emerge that the three were at their comfort zones watching the events at Uhuru Park from their homes.

They did not join Raila because they feared an arrest. They were advised that Raila’s swearing-in was tantamount to treason.  

OKA is an amalgamation of headless chickens. If we were to link it to a dog, then it would be a toothless dog, barking so loudly, but cannot bite. Soon, the alliance shall coil its tail and bow down to join Raila Odinga, or where Uhuru Kenyatta will direct it.

The quod cannot disagree to agree on who to lead it into the 2022 presidential election. And for this, they meet to discuss Raila Odinga.

OKA faces a number of challenges and it is a question of when and not if, the alliance will break because its members cannot tame their egos or insufficient bravery.

For start, in the presidential bargaining table, two factors precede any other: capital and tribal support.

Yes, how much are you willing to contribute?

Presidential campaigns in Kenya are not a mean man’s fantasies. Okay, generally, elections at all levels in this country are very expensive; no wonder only the rich runs for the political seats.

Then, there is the question of the tyranny of tribal support. Yes, you may not like it, but we should never let our imagination of perfect democracy erode the reality and facts on the ground. How many people are supporting you? What is your command at the national level?

The question on numbers is so serious that Kalonzo Musyoka, writing in Against All Odds claims that in 2013, Uhuru Kenyatta, telling him how unelectable he was, compared his votes (Kalonzo’s) to the shrubs around Mtito Andei.

First, I have never fathomed why KANU’s Gideon Moi is in the alliance. He appears not to be so keen on the affairs of the alliance. Perhaps he is Uhuru’s spy in the alliance, we should not lose tab that KANU is a department of the Jubilee Party.

Gideon is moneyed and has resources – most of which he inherited from his father. Undoubtedly, he can successfully finance any presidential campaign. But, his support, unfortunately, may not go beyond Baringo County.

He will struggle to get 10, 000 votes beyond Baringo County. He may be moneyed, but he has no political acumen to win anything beyond his county. He may look presidential because he has been close to the presidency, all through his life, but that is not political bonga points enough to make him electable. 

Secondly, there seems to be a silent but precarious competition between Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka.

For start, the two are KANU orphans. I don’t think they have ever recovered since Nyayo left power in 2002.

For the 24 years that Nyayo was in power, without an iota of doubt, Kalonzo and Musyoka were the biggest beneficiaries, so much so, that Mudavadi made a little history serving for two months as Moi’s deputy.

History reports that when Mudavadi was asked to leave KANU and join the magnificent Rainbow Coalition, he chose to stick with Moi citing “their family allegiances” and “long history” with the Moi’s. It was a betrayal of the history of revolution in this country.

From there, Mudavadi was in the political cold. He was nowhere close to Kijana Wamalwa.

It was until 2007 when Raila Odinga picked him from his slumber to make him one of the ODM Pentagon members. Raila literally breathed life into Mudavadi’s lifeless politics.

Mudavadi became an important member of the ODM and was awarded the Deputy Premiership when PNU and ODM from the Grand Coalition government followed the bloodletting post-election violence of 2007.

But, the ungrateful Mudavadi, once again proved his loyalty to the Moi’s was undivided when he decided to run for the presidency in 2013 with financial support from the Moi’s, against Raila Odinga, and the Uhuruto wave.

But the decision to run was not an outright thought. It came after Uhuru Kenyatta had snookered him, with the imagination that he would support him, but later challenging. Uhuru says he blamed the madimoni (dark spirits) that tricked him into trying to support Mudavadi for president.

Mudavadi argued that he was a better, non-divisive candidate, at the time that Uhuru and Ruto were facing the ICC axe.

Mudavadi ran, in the hope that there would be a run-off between Raila and Uhuru and that is where his actual importance could surface. We all know how it ended.

As for Kalonzo Musyoka, he chickened out of the then giant ODM in the run-up to the 2007 presidential election.

It was obvious that were he to stick with Raila, ODM could have won on a clean sheet and Kibaki wouldn’t have had a platform to rig the elections.

And then chaos erupted, but even before the birds could retire to their nests, Kalonzo had signed a pact with Kibaki making the vice-president.

Kalonzo’s vice presidency, and so is that of Mudavadi’s, is the least talked about in Kenyan politics.

For Musalia’s, it was too short to remember, and as for Kalonzo – because of greed – he was overshadowed by Raila Odinga, who served as the Prime Minister. 

Kalonzo ran shuttle diplomacy across Africa for Uhuru and Ruto against the ICC with the hope that in the event that the two would be jailed at The Hague, he would automatically inherit their community’s sympathetic vote for the presidency in 2013. But as events would have it, that didn’t happen.

It is my submission, that the two – Kalonzo and Mudavadi – have not, in full time, run a presidential campaign.

The two lack the charisma, the bravery, strategy – and generally, what it takes to be the presidents in this country. If anything, they have only been relevant in the Kenyan political scene for threatening to run for the presidency.

They owe so much to Raila, no wonder they meet to disagree to agree on the role of Raila Odinga, and always demand that Raila should support their bid.

Instead of facing the electorates mano-a-mano, the duo is salivating at Uhuru’s or Raila’s support. And I have bad news for them: the support is not coming.

Omogambi Nyachae summarises as follows:

The jokers in One Kenya Alliance can hold meetings until the cows come home.When the dust settles, it will be Raila Odinga versus William Samoei Ruto in 2022, and all of them will be scrambling to be mated as running mates.

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