The march 9th handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Opposition chief Raila Odinga changed the political landscape. It sort of created cracks between the president and his deputy, Dr. William Ruto.
‘The handshake’ got the president working closer with opposition leader, a move his deputy is not comfortable with. But the president feels the handshake will help build his legacy. He wants to leave behind a united country when his term expires in 2022 and believes the handshake coupled with a number of projects is how. He does not care about the bulging wage debt.
‘The handshake’ gave birth to the BBI, Building Bridges Initiative, a task force that has had public seatings and compiled a report with recommendations on to fashion then country’s leadership and maintain unity after electoral cycle.
Politics around handshake has seen politicians like William Ruto flexing muscles with schemes to succeed the president in 2022. Ruto is opposed to the handshake and possibility of BBI report altering the design of the executive.
Odinga supports ‘The handshake’ and BBI, especially if it ends to referendum that he wants to hault the executive from presidency to a parliamentary system of government. Ruto doesn’t want that, the president is not vocal on it but his Mt Kenya backyard has given demands that must be met for them to back it.
They are concerns about presentation in parliament. They feel underrepresented and status quo works to their advantage.
The president must be avoiding to ‘heartbreak’ Mr. Odinga, the two seem to have knowledge on the contents of the BBI report that has not been released months after its completion.
May be it is reducing the constituencies, maintaining the counties and altering the executive. Leaders from the president’s backyard have given their stand on this and over forty of them are on the same page with the deputy president on this one.
The president cancelled his meeting in Murang’a last Sunday after he learnt that the deputy president would be attending a fundraiser in the region. The two top leaders cancelled their meetings in the last minute.
May be the president was going to ask the locals and elective leaders from the region to embrace BBI report for whatever it recommends. Ruto has declared his opposition to the BBI and he enjoys massive support from politicians from the president’s backyard.
That would have sent wrong signals to the public because the President has a responsibility to show support for the products of his handshake with Raila, BBI and its report.
After the cancellation of last Sunday’s meeting in Murang’a, the president met Governors, Senators, Mps and Members of County Assemblies from Mount Kenya region to cleverly lure them to embrace BBI report. The region is already facing Ruto’s direction say for a few nominated lawmakers and losers in the 2017 polls.
President Kenyatta begged almost 4000 members of the GEMA community at the Sagana State Lodge not to bury him alive. He pleaded for their support to push his unity and development agenda. The president who hinted that he doesn’t mind the PM position also stated that he has not promised Raila any position and he has not abandoned his deputy, William Ruto either.
It is widely seen that through the BBI recommendations, Odinga and Kenyatta may expand the executive to create themselves positions.
Concerns over widening wage bill and poor management of the state have been raised by leaders from the region. Some politicians like the President’s area Mp. Hon. Moses Kuria have accused the president’s administration of neglecting the area in terms of development. This is a brewing defiance that the president is desperate to calm.