With five years to go before the due date of the next presidential elections in Kenya, Rieko Mwenyewe gives his personal view that the election campaign is already under way… heaven help us!
Whereas the campaign for the 2022 General Election started around three years before polling day, albeit quietly by the current President William Samoe Arap Ruto when he was the Deputy President, this time around interested candidates have already hit the political road running, or at least jogging, five years to the next presidential elections due in 2027.
President William Ruto, UDA
One of the first indications that President William Ruto’s campaign for the 2027 elections was already on the road is when he appointed the six judges who had been previously denied a chance of office by President Uhuru Kenyatta, followed closely with the increase of the budget for the Judiciary by KSh 3 billion per year. This was to strengthen the performance of the Judiciary. In addition, the President appointed a further 21 more judges to the High Court of Kenya.
The appointment of Cabinet Secretaries and Principal Secretaries who were mainly politicians who were flowered during the last General Election and spread all over the regions, with minimal touch on Nyanza and some parts which did not vote for Ruto in 2022, suggests that the President wants to consolidate votes in those areas come the 2027 General Elections.
The idea of registering farmers across the country for the purposes of offering farm inputs, cynics might say, is to put the President in front line to show that he is caring for the people and if this succeeds, votes will follow.
The President has also traversed the international scene with visits to countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia to name just a few.
And all this in only 100 Days!
Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua
The Deputy President, Rigadhi Gachagua started his first term in office by ensuring that he consolidates his area of operation in Mt. Kenya by reminding voters that they were in front line to repeat what they did in 2022.
The act of telling the Governor of Nairobi, Johnson Sakaja, not to remove the matatus from the CBD just because they are mainly Kikuyus who he ordered to vote for the Governor counts a lot.
Gachagwa has also shown indications that he is a partisan general leader by constantly reminding Kenyans that they won election squarely by the support of mainly two sectors of Kenya and thus will continue in the future.
The Prime Cabinet Secretary Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, has started in a low key but of late he is seen consolidating support among the Luhya community by informing them that they must gather together with a hope of forming one huge political party to be ready for 2027 General Elections. This is informed by the fact that the three major parties in Western Region, that is the ANC, Ford Kenya and Democratic Action Party are made into one great party to be fronted for the 2027 General Elections.
It is perceived that the Western Region are slowly walking out of the ODM Party. Whether this will be realised is still to be seen. The support of Moses Wetangula as the Speaker of National Assembly and Kenneth Lusaka as the Governor of Bungoma will work towards uniting the region politically.
Eliud Owalo (CS ICT)
The appointment of Eliud Owalo from Nyanza Region as the Cabinet Secretary of ICT was a big catch for President Ruto. Mr. Owalo has started running as a sprinter by offering food to the people of Nyanza even though the bulk of Luo Nyanza does not need food donations.
Migori County specifically mentioned the fact that they need employment for the youth and not food but it is seen as a major early campaign win for both Cabinet Secretary Owalo and the President William Arap Ruto. It is still to be seen if this will draw some water come 2027.
The former running mate of Raila Amolo Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka has been quiet of late but even in his silent mood, the Wiper Party stalwart is also grooming the Kambas and like -minded people to look at the General Election in 2027 with bright eyes and hope to lead this country.
Raila Amolo Odinga
Raila Amolo Odinga has not accepted that he lost the General Election on 9th August 2022 and is talking about that publicly whenever he has time to do so.
As a means of campaigning for the 2027 General Elections Odinga has set in motion public meetings with the people mostly those who voted for him to be prepared for 2027 General Elections.
At the top of the agenda is the idea of starting to form meetings and public participations for the beginning of a new year to start Referendum talks where the bulk of the issue will be the Amendment of the Constitution to begin possibly early in the year 2023.
The main area of interest will be to amend the Constititution starting with the Building Bridges Initiative which was arborted in 2022 and to look into means and ways of putting up a robust Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission which is non partisan to midwife the 2027 General Elections.
The issue of stolen General Elections in 2022 will also be used as a campaign tool for 2027 General Elections.
The Purge of the IEBC
The current purge of IECB where three Commissioners, Chairman Wafuka Chebukati, Commissioner Boya Gulo and Abdi Guliye are retiring early 2023, in addition to hunting out the ‘Cherera Four’ suggests clearly that the process is under way to appoint a Commission which will more often than not favour the current regime come 2027 General Elections.