The Kenya Forum | Handing Over The Baton - The Kenya Forum

April 3, 2022


It is apparent that President Uhuru Kenyatta is hellbent on seeing his legacy continued and has set his eyes on Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga to succeed him as the 5th President of the Republic of Kenya

More by Rieko Mwenyewe

Handing Over The Baton

Handing Over The Baton

On March 2002, Raila Amolo Odinga came up with the slogan, ‘Kibaki Tosha!’ The journey started when Raila broke up with President Daniel Arap Moi who choose the young Uhuru Kenyatta to take over from him. This came as a shock to Raila, who had been given the impression that he was next in line. Little did Raila know that the First President, Jomo Kenyatta, had made a deal with Daniel Arap Moi to remember his son.

Breaking away from Moi, however, was one of the best decisions Raila made, as evidenced by the results. The Kibaki Tosha team comprised of Professor George Saitoti, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Mudi Awuori, Mwai Kibaki and a horde of other dignitaries. Mwai Kibaki was the party leader of the Democratic Party of Kenya with William Kijana Wamalwa as his Deputy. He however, had to earn this nomination from the party in order to represent the team, dubbed the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC). Three times internal suggestions named Kalonzo Musyoka as the leader of NARC, but Raila shut down this suggestion, championing Kibaki with his iconic slogan, Kibaki Tosha. NARC went ahead and formed the government. President Daniel Arap Moi, also making history, handed over power peacefully. It was the first time, in the history of many countries that an Incumbent President stepped down without legal wrangles or violence. Emilio Mwaki Kibaki became Number 3; the third president of Kenya.

The Kibaki Government

The government of Kibaki started very well and brought in free primary education in all public schools. He also put in place major transport network projects, such as Isebania-Ahero-Kisumu Road passing through Kisii, Kisumu-Kakamega Road, Standard Gage Railway transport network serving the Mombasa – Nairobi – Kisumu – Kampala Railway route.

The economy of Kenya moved up from 0.7% in 2002 to 5.6% by the time he was leaving office in 2013. Kibaki’s government was instrumental in amending the Kenya Constitution which had remained stagnant since the inception of the Independent State in 1963. There had been an earlier attempt to amend the constitution in 2005 but due to differences in the formation of the constitution’s parliamentary and presidential system, it failed to go through.

The second attempt fixed the issues that had the most contention. In fact, the 2010 Kenya Constitution was touted as one of the best in the Continent if not the whole world. It was a great hallmark for the President Kibaki.

Kenyatta and Ruto

He left the Country in the hands of two green horns, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. They kicked off their government by sharing the benefits of all nominative positions. Whereas Uhuru spread his portion to all residents of Kenya, Ruto offered most of his share to people of his ethnicity. Naturally wrangles started, and corruption became rampant. Kenya’s loans also climbed to the highest it’s ever been, reaching Ksh1.7 Trillion. Despite this high-level borrowing, ostensibly to ‘build Kenya’, unemployment shot up too and the economy nearly came to a standstill.

Though the team, credibly appeared to be working together during their first term, 2013 – 2017, many argue that there was little to be said for effective development. Though, they did see Kibaki’s projects, like the road network through to completion. An endeavor that is rigorously being carried out to date. Some deem that this will now be Uhuru’s legacy.

The 2017 Elections

However, because of the highly contested elections of 2017, which saw crucial players in the electoral process like the IT Electoral head, Chris Msando killed, Uhuru and Ruto will always be known as the team that prompted the Supreme Court to overturn the elections. A country that was headed for perhaps another round of violence, as per 2007, was rescued by this decision. It put Kenya on the map globally, once again. We had an incumbent President peacefully stepping down in 2002, and now, we had an election overturned by the Supreme Court.

In the end, Raila Odinga and NASA Party boycotted the elections, with half the country, their followers, obeying the directive; Do Not Vote. Multitudes stayed home. Though Uhuru Kenyatta’s government took the win, Raila had shown his power and sway in the country, once more. Half of it appeared to ‘belong’ to him.

The Handshake

It was in this vein and in the interest of uniting a country divided in half, that Raila and Uhuru came together in a ‘Handshake’ in March 2018. The last Handshake witnessed had been between Raila and Kibaki, calling a truce to the post-election violence of 2007 – 2008. It quelled the fighting and Kenya rebuilt under the agreement of an equal share of power between the President Kibaki and the appointed Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Since the second Handshake, Kenya has attempted the same regrowth. Uhuru fulfilled a number of projects promised on their Manifesto. But the Deputy President William Samoe Ruto had different ideas and started to run away from working with Uhuru Kenyatta. Incidentally government projects went on, despite the rebellion by Ruto who started to campaign for 2022 General Elections.

Uhuru Kenyatta’s Legacy

It is apparent that President Uhuru Kenyatta is hellbent on seeing his legacy continued and has set his eyes on Rt. Hon. Raila Amolo Odinga to succeed him as the 5th President of the Republic of Kenya. A decision which has gone sore with his deputy William Ruto.

Raila Odinga President at Last?

All signs show that Raila Amolo Odinga will win the General Elections of 2022. His main agenda will be to put the money in the pockets of the lowly people, with initiates like paying out a total sum of Ksh6 million per month to those in greatest need. He promises to create employment by providing a viable environment to small and medium mnterprises. He will grant a tax exemption to young people starting business for up to seven years and the same to those repaying Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) loans. He will revive the ailing Sugar Industries by giving financial and other assistance.

Being a mature citizen and highly popular with the youth, Raila stands to provide a mixed grill of managing the government for all; the young, old and the in between.

Judging from the trend now prevailing, Raila Amolo Odinga will emerge the 5th President of the Republic of Kenya come 12th August 2022.

Watch this Space.


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