In Kanu, acolytes of Baringo Senator Gideon Moi are smelling power for the first time since the independence party was bundled out in the Narc wave 16 years ago.
Kanu has embraced the warming relations between Mr Moi and opposition leader Raila Odinga, seeing a union between the two as their surest ticket to State House — or at least its neighbourhood.
And it is Tiaty MP William Kamket who, albeit unwittingly, framed the contest in 2022 in the starkest and most memorable way.
“The partnership between Raila and Gideon is real. It will be dynasties versus hustlers,” Mr Kamket, who has been leading an onslaught against Deputy President William Ruto, said.
He added that the pact between Mr Moi and Mr Odinga was no longer a secret.
The MP was referring to groupings of the political elite coalescing around the families of independence leaders and their advantages in wealth — often accumulated through the acquisition of public land and access to the National Treasury — and experience in power, with the hustlers being politicians from more humble backgrounds perceived to be plundering their way to power.
Mr Kamket has brought a constitutional amendment motion to the National Assembly, which seeks to expand the Executive to include a prime minister, with executive powers and two deputies as well as a largely ceremonial president and deputy president.
At the time, Mr Kamket dismissed the current presidential system as a dining table with only two chairs, referring to the positions of president and the deputy. He argued that his amendment would increase sitting space at the table.
Again, with uncanny accuracy, Mr Kamket captured the subtext of Kenyan leadership where many politicians seek office not to serve but to plunder the State.
Yesterday, Mr Moi’s allies said their chairman would be making more tours to Mr Odinga’s turf to solidify what was a warm reception in Homa Bay ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Kanu Secretary-General Nick Salat told the Nation that the partnership between Mr Moi and Mr Odinga would deliver the country to the promised “Canaan”.
“Anybody not walking with Raila is lost. Those who think he will retire from politics because of his new appointment at the African Union only fear him and his influence. He is an enigma and Kenya is still dear to him,” Mr Salat said.
Mr Odinga is the son of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Kenya’s first Vice President while Gideon’s father was the second President after President Uhuru Kenyatta’s father, Jomo died.
The two families and the Kenyattas have influenced Kenya’s politics since independence and are keen to continue doing so after the expiry of Mr Kenyatta’s second and final term in 2022.
There has been speculation that the March 9 handshake between Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta, a union the President recently described as being borne out of a “much, much deeper understanding” is calculated to impede Mr Ruto from becoming the country’s fifth President.
Mr Ruto often calls himself a “hustler” in reference to his humble beginnings, being a self-made man and not being a member of a big political family.
Allies of the DP feel that the Building Bridges Initiative was only aimed at derailing his journey for the top seat.
Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen, a close ally of Mr Ruto, said the Moi-Odinga alliance “only confirms that Senator Moi will not be a presidential candidate”.
“We wish them the best. We always knew that Gideon Moi could only support William Ruto, or Raila Odinga and it is his constitutional right to back Mr Odinga. He is certainly not a presidential candidate, nor a running mate,” Mr Murkomen said.
“And really, this is not the first time Gideon has gone against Ruto. He did so in 2013 and he lost with Musalia Mudavadi. Nothing new here.”
Mr Moi is planning to bolster his partnership with Mr Odinga and at the same time boost his national profile by visiting many counties, before concentrating in Rift Valley in an effort to neutralise Mr Ruto’s influence, the leaders said.
Mr Salat said Mr Moi is expected in Kakamega, Busia, Kisumu, Kajiado and the northeast before the year ends.
The Baringo senator on Saturday gave the strongest indication of a pact with ODM.
“After the handshake, Raila and I are one thing. The friendship between my father and him will continue. We will work together to lay a roadmap to get to Canaan,” Mr Moi said at the home of politician Elisha Aketch Chieng'.
After the handshake, speculation was rife of a possible Moi-Raila deal for 2022, with many analysts saying President Kenyatta might feel “safer” with an Odinga-Gideon Moi team against Mr Ruto than one with the DP marshalling troops, and possibly government machinery if he wins, against Kenya’s biggest political families.
In his tour of Nyanza, Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang, Woman Rep Gladys Wanga, MPs Lillian Gogo (Rangwe), Adipo Okuome (Karachuonyo) Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja), Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga), Charles Were (Kasipul), Gladwell Cheruiyot (Baringo Woman Rep) and Nominated Senator Abshiro Halake asked him to partner with Mr Odinga and go for the top job.
“In the countdown to Uhuru succession, people will jostle for space in different ways. Formations and alliances will emerge and mutate,” Mr Wandayi said.
Mr Atandi and his Uriri counterpart Mark Nyamita said Mr Odinga is firmly in the 2022 race, calling on those yearning to take the mantle from him to hold their horses.
“We want to cement national integration and Gideon is key to this end,” Mr Atandi said.
Said Ms Wanga: “Those who have started early campaigns should be on the lookout. They are dancing to a guitarist who is only testing his equipment. By the time the main dance starts, they will have gotten tired and gone to sleep.”
Mr Were described the younger Moi as a respectful leader “who has not stolen any public funds like some people we know”.