BY JAMES WAFULA POLITICAL ANALYST WORKERS EYE IN NAIROBI.
Kenya’s fifth transition General elections for the Kenyatta succession slated for August 9 2022 is proving to be a tightly fought race that is likely to snowball into a re-run as none of the front runners has edged past the 50 percent constitutional threshold.
The main front runners have embarked on a fierce no holds barred campaign that has also sucked in retiring President Uhuru Kenyatta, 62 into a slanging match with his deputy who he keeps accusing of brazen lies and political treachery. Ruto has in turn fired back strongly telling the president to leave him alone and concentrate on packing his bags to vacate state house in a weeks time!
Kenyatta has spent a busy week in his twilight hours at the peak of power that has only been occupied by three other men in 60 years of independence from colonial Britain. Kenyatta addressed rallies in Nakuru and was alter hosted to a farewell guard of honour parade by KDF troops where he cut a cake alongside his wife to signal the imminent change of guard in Nairobi.
As the curtains begin to fall on the 10-year ruling Jubilee party adminstration, Uganda’s long leading strong man President Yoweri Museveni is keeping fingers crossed praying for his close ally and business associate Dr. Ruto, 57.
Kenyatta has broken with tradition to front his former fierce rival in the 2013-2017 elections former Prime Minister Hon. Raila Odinga, 78, as his preferred heir trashing his deputy as a temperamental man not suitable for high office. Kenyatta says despite his advanced age, Raila alongside female running-mate MS Martha Karua, offers the best choice of leadership as opposed to his deputy of 10 years he accuses of spending most of it bickering and back stabbing.
A new survey by Trends and Insights for Africa (TIFA) is predicting that Azimio Presidential candidate Raila Odinga would win with 46.7 percent if elections were held today followed closely by his main competitor Deputy President William Ruto at 44.4 per cent. The survey alongside others is predicting a race that is likely to be too close to call and leading to a repeat poll within 60 days, a scary possibility for IEBC that has kept declaring it has no money bankroll one of Africa’s most complex and expensive elections.
The survey released this weekend by TIFA Lead Researcher Tom Wolf polled George Wajackoyah of Roots party at 1.8 per cent while David Mwaure of Agano party trailed at 0.1 per cent.This could be the last pre election poll before the August election with a possible exit poll conducted on voting day that however appears to suggest Kenyans must prepare for repeat elections.The poll indicated that 5.2 per cent of the respondents were still undecided.
According to Wolf despite Odinga having more national support there is a possibility that there wouldn’t be an outright winner in the first round.
“The presence of Wajackoyah and Mwaure raises the possibility that neither Odinga nor Ruto will be able to secure a first-round win,” he stated.
The poll conducted between 21st and July 26, 2022, also revealed that Odinga – Karua ticket is supported by more men than women at (51 per cent and 42 per cent respectively).“Ruto-Gachagua ticket doesn’t have a much gender gap,” Wolf noted.The survey further revealed that Azimio is the most preferred coalition at 47 per cent, followed by Kenya Kwanza at 42 per cent while 11 per cent of respondents were still undecided.“Kenya Kwanza dominates in Central Rift and Mt.Kenya,” he stated.