BY JAMES WAFULA IN NAIROBI.
Outgoing Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has said he is confident former Prime Minister Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga will win Tuesday’s (August 9) Presidential elections.
Kenyatta, 62 whose two term tenure is drawing to a close said Odinga was best suited to take the country to the next level , warning against voting for “thieves and self – seekers”.
Addressing a series of huge pro-Odinga rallies at the coast where he lost in 2017 elections to Raila Odinga by a wide margin, a buoyant Kenyatta urged the coast to vote overwhelmingly for Raila of the Azmio coalition.
But a defiant Deputy President Dr. William Ruto has dug in for a bitter fight to the finish as official campaigns ended on Saturday August 6. This is just three days to the epic duel in which Kenya will elect its fifth President in 60 years of independence from colonial Britain.
Ruto has branded himself a ” son of nobody” in a 10 minute national TV commercial clip that went on air as the Kenya Kwanza Presidential aspirant addressed his final rally at Nyayo stadium.
In the TV commercial dubbed “Freedom is coming” almost like the slogan of South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) as Nelson Mandela remained behind bars in the 1990’s.
A calm and condescending Ruto fashions himself as the champion of the poor, down trodden poor Kenyans unable to afford food and other essential necessities with thousands others abandoned to sleep in the cold mean streets of Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and other urban centers.
But Ruto’s detractors have dismissed him as a “masqarader” and conman, who has been Vice President for 10 years and did not help the same poor people in the slams that he is now claiming to represent and fight for their welfare.
The immensely wealthy Ruto who owns 11 aircraft parked at his vast Sugoi ranch farm, is urging poor Kenyans to vote for him to redeem their pathetic life of daily hopeless struggle and squalor saying as a son of a “non-entity” with no past political history he is best suited to deliver hopeless wananchi to the biblical “Canaan”.
Ruto has sort to sell the narrative that the Uhuru-Odinga alliance is a constellation of post – independence dynasties that have held the country at ransom since independence from Britain in 1963 through “state capture”.
Uhuru’ father the late Jomo Kenyatta was the founding President while the dad to Raila was the country’s first Vice President Jaramogi Oginga Odinga who died in 1994.
Both men fell out bitterly barely three years after the first post government took over from colonial Governor Sir Andrew Cohen at a colourful ceremony at Uhuru Park grounds in Nairobi,
The new alliance that has seen Kenyatta anoint Odinga as heir apparent and snub Ruto twice a close ally in the 13-2017 elections, is seen as a replay of the pre-independence Kikuyu-Luo alliance that formed the first government.
Although Kenyatta is retiring, he remains Chairman of the Azmio coalition and is likely to play a hand in the government if Raila prevails after Tuesday election with his running-mate Ms Martha Karua. The Kikuyu have been assured that Karua who was recently made a Kikuyu elder and given a symbolic spear and shield, will safeguard their interests after Kenyatta steps down.
But as to whether this alliance will hold and survive the test of time unlike that of their fathers who caused decades of bad blood between Kikuyu – Luo, remains to be seen.