Talks of a new political alliance ahead of the 2022 general election are heightening after a section of Jubilee Party leaders hinted at a major realignment in readiness for the next polls.
The calls started with the campaigns for the November 7 Kibra by-election that saw leaders from the ruling party openly supporting Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) candidate Bernard Imran Okoth.
The leaders, mostly allied to Jubilee’s Kieleweke faction led by nominated MP Maina Kamanda, rallied their troops in support of Mr Okoth, calling him a “handshake” candidate.
During a thanksgiving rally on Sunday for Mr Okoth at DC grounds in Kibra, leaders from both ODM and Jubilee revisited the call, saying, they are ready to support President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Raila Odinga, the architects of the March 9, 2018 handshake that pacified the nation after a bruising election the previous year.
“The way Baba's bedroom has been a no-go-zone, 2022 will also be the same. I'm ready to support Raila [and] Uhuru in 2022. Kibra was handshake number one and we are done with it. Now give us the BBI [report] to see where to correct or add,” Cherangany MP Joshua Kutuny said.
This came after Makadara MP George Aladwa set the tone, calling on Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua to stick with Mr Odinga ahead of 2022.
He hinted at a new alliance that will also involve governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Anne Waiguru (Kirinyaga) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni).
“Let Uhuru not renege on the handshake deal and support Raila in 2022. If Uhuru is enjoying you, you also enjoy him. If you say handshake is done with we will quickly make an about turn,” Mr Aladwa said.
When his time came, Dr Mutua, the Maendeleo Chap Chap party leader, said he is ready to work Mr Odinga to unite the country as well as uplift the lives of Kenyans.
“Kibra people showed us that Kenyans can unite. You also showed that we cannot be bought with money. Kenyan politics has matured. I have joined this team to work for Kenyans. We want to uplift their lives and let BBI report also be the same,” said Dr Mutua.
He also hurled a veiled attack at former vice-president Kalonzo Musyoka, ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula, calling them “two-faced” politicians with no political stand.
“You brought them together but they have shown they do not have a stand. They work with you in the morning and with others at night,” Governor Mutua said.
LOCK OUT TANGATANGA
Taking the cue, former Dagoretti South MP Dennis Waweru did not mince his words. He asked President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga to lock the Tangatanga team out of the 2022 race.
“We will pass BBI when it comes as we have done in Kibra. We now want Uhuru and Raila to lock them out of 2022 as we have done in Kibra. Let the new-found unity continue to 2022 and let us also use it to clean Nairobi,” Mr Waweru said.
Kiambu Deputy Governor James Nyoro took it a notch higher saying: “Kiambu is in the handshake. We are ready for Baba. We are waiting for BBI. Bring it tomorrow, we look at it and then forge ahead.”
STICK WITH RAILA
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya also promised to rally the Luhya community around the handshake, vowing to stick with Mr Odinga to the end.
“Continue working with Uhuru to [end] corruption and tribalism. We also need more money to the counties. We want to make sure that in 2022, we have a united nation. I will make sure all Luhyas are in the handshake and I am also ready to stick with Baba all the way because he has made me who I am today,” Mr Oparanya said.
Mr Kamanda called Mr Okoth “handshake's first born”.
“Kibra by-election served to unite all Kenyans as Uhuru and Raila started through the handshake,” he said.
Former MP Kilemi Mwiria said, “Kibra was just the start. We will vote hand-shake and not Tangatanga.”