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December 14, 2019 - 03:35
Cyprian Is Nyakundi
Politics

READ WHY RAILA ODINGA IS BACKING ONE-TERM ROTATIONAL PRESIDENCY

RAILA-WITH-SUMRA

Citizen

If you had given up hope that your tribe being small as it is will never produce a head of state of Kenya given its numeral frailty, take heart. A cure has been invented; that is, if a scheme by Cord political strategists comes to fruition. Cord, it is emerging, is working on a memorandum of understanding that will see presidency rotate among all regions. To achieve this, a president will only occupy State House for one term.
According to the plan, rotational presidency system will address the tribal factor in Kenyan politics for each region will be sure of ruling the country at one given time. It is by all designs and purposes a political merry-go-round. Constitutional lawyers are said to have been tasked to work on the proposal and see to it the envisioned stratagem becomes a political reality for decades to come. The idea is to shift from the current political racketeering where a person uses a region to get power using his wealth. Instead, it will be the region picking a saleable candidate. Furthermore, it will checkmate those in power out to amass wealth in order to facilitate their future political ambitions.
The move will eradicate so called prominent families control of Kenyan politics.
Cord is now planning to convince Kenyans that a rotational presidency will provide sanity and political stability in the country especially now when Kenyans are being pushed into tribal alliances by the politicians. Cord feels that from the post-election violence of 2007-8, Kenya needs a system of governance which provides opportunities for all Kenyans to participate equally without being discriminated against or manipulated and classified as majority or minority.
According to the opposition, the presidency of Kenya has always rotated between two tribes, the Kikuyu and the Kalenjins and only a deliberate and drastic departure from the norm can end this nautiating state of affairs.
Those working on the new system argue that the rotational presidential system will also be democratic in the sense that it will eliminate tribal alliances whereby two-three major tribes gang up to deny other minority tribes the opportunity to gain the presidency.
As things stand, the URP/TNA alliance is being seen as a Kikuyu-Kalenjin affair leaving out other tribes in the arrangement which have Kikuyus rule for 10 years then pass over the leadership mantle to the Kalenjins for another 10 years before giving it back to the Kikuyu for another 10 years and the game continues in the same format until kingdom come.
Cord belives that if its strategy is well implemented, it will bring together those bloc votes which have not tasted the seat of power.
To further sell the idea, they say, the formation of Jap is aimed at having William Ruto succeed Uhuru Kenyatta hence relegating other tribes to spectatorship for decades.
To them, it started in 1963 when Jomo Kenyatta served for 15 years. Upon his demise in office, Daniel Moi had a 24-year-long tenure at State House. Although Kenyatta was not succeeded by a Kikuyu, Moi took the greatest care to retain only Kikuyu VPs until his final three months in power, when he dropped George Saitoti and appointed Musalia Mudavadi.
The Moi succession resulted in two Kikuyu candidates facing off, Kibaki and Uhuru. Although Kibaki was thought to be a one term president, he got himself the full two-term treat.
Come 2013, Uhuru succeeded Kibaki and going by the TNA/URP MoU, Uhuru is to serve for two terms and his deputy two terms.
It is against this arrangement that Cord is now plotting on how to ensure the presidency rotates regionally and not between two tribes. According to Cord, Jubilee’s power plan, after Ruto, the next president will again come from the Kikuyu community.
Cord is now plotting to campaign on the platform of rotational presidency in which Raila will fly Cord presidential flag in 2017 with Kalonzo as running mate. Cord believes with good marketers of their gameplan, they can wrestle power from Jubilee in the first round.
According to the plot, once a region is designated a specific year when they will produce the presidential candidate or running mate, it will be up to the region to propose names of the leaders best suited for those positions.
The strategists have also ensured that the three Cord principals are given top priorities to fly the regional flags but in the event that either of them is not able to fly the flag, then it will be upon the region to give Cord the name of most suited candidate. That is to say, in the absence of Raila, Nyanza region will give an alternative leader same as Kalonzo and Wetangula.
Already Cord believes that Jubilee has lost support in North Eastern and Coast region due to what leaders from the region describe as harassment of their people in the name of fighting terrorism.
With the two regions out of Jubilee’s political grip, Cord believes that with Raila serving for a term will convince other regions to vote for Cord as they wait for their turn.
Those pushing for the rotational presidency are said to have carried a survey and concluded that with Raila campaigning as a one-term president, he is likely to get the Nyanza region votes and at least 60pc of the Western Kenya votes.
In Nairobi Cord believes Raila is assured of 50pc of the presidential votes while in Coast which in 2013 voted as a block for Raila and so again in 2017 Cord calculates that the Coast vote remains in its basket. It is hoped in Cord quarters that in 2017, Raila is likely to garner 70pc votes in total from Luhya, Luo, Kamba, Kisii and Coast regions. Raila also hopes to get sizable votes from North Eastern region.
Once Raila finishes his term, in 2022, Kalonzo will fly the Cord flag with Bungoma senator Moses Wetangula as his deputy. According to the arrangement, Kalonzo will also serve for one term and come 2027, Wetangula will be the flagbearer with a running mate from Coast.
Here names of Mombasa senator Hassan Omar and Governor Hassan Joho are said to be possible candidates from the region. It is also said that for the position of Wetangula’s running mate is open and should a more reliable candidate emerge from Coast apart from the three mentioned then the party will agree on the best candidate. Wetangula will also serve for only one term.
If Raila finds the political game impossible to be initiated and if the political terrain will not favour his final presidential bid, he is said to willing to back Kalonzo with Wetangula as his running mate.
Kalonzo lieutenants have been whispering that according to an MoU he signed with Raila and Wetangula, Raila was to fly the flag once and support Kalonzo in 2017.
It is on these grounds Kalonzo has been holding activities that could culminate into launching his 2017 presidential bid with Raila blessings as he did to Kibaki in 2002.
It all began with the WDM’s national executive council meeting which endorsed Kalonzo as its presidential candidate for 2017. Exuding confidence, Wiper boldly urged Kalonzo to pick his running mate from his two Cord principals.
Kalonzo also reorganised his party structures where new names were brought on board to help him build the party ahead of 2017 elections. Senator Omar was named the new secretary general to replace the late Mutula Kilonzo. Omar is a key Raila ally at the Coast.
If the power sharing deal is anything to go by then the Luhya community will march to State House through Wetangula although there are a number of prominent Luhya politicians with burning presidential ambitions.
Musalia Mudavadi’s new political party Amani National Congress has now been officially registered by the Registrar of Political Parties.
It will be seen how the community will receive the rotational deal putting in consideration even if Mudavadi does not win 2017, come 2022 he will be a frontrunner.
Back to the rotational presidency, whoever will be nominated from the Coast region to deputise Wetangula will then fly the presidential flag in 2032 and will have a running mate from Kisii region. The presidency will then be preserved for the Kisii in 2037 with a candidate from Rift Valley as running mate.
Sources now say the running mate though from Rift Valley should not be a Kalenjin but a Maasai. Of late Cord is believed to be enjoying good following in the two counties of Kajiado and Narok.
Cord is said to be capitalising on a number of factors to win the Maasai votes. First, the fallout between the government and county government of Narok created an avenue for Raila and his team to cast Uhuru and Ruto in unpleasant light.
The arrests of Narok senator Stephen ole Ntutu and four MPs worked perfectly well for ODM during the Kajiado Central by-elections. What Jubilee did not know is that the politics of Narok and Kajiado counties is intertwined. They are members of the same family. So when Narok burns Kajiado also feels the heat.
The new power game being discussed within Cord’s ranks is said to have received support with top Cord leaders saying that the new arrangement will give room for every region to produce a president, so that even the small tribes can get a chance at the big chair.
Cord says that rotational presidency has worked in Tanzania at party level. In Nigeria, the presidency is rotational between the South and the North are represented effectively in the government as president and vice president respectively.
According to Cord’s proposal, Kenya will be divided into eight presidential electoral regions along the lines of the former provinces where no presidential electoral region will succeed itself in electing a president.
For example now that Uhuru is from Central province, the election in 2017 will be open only to candidates from the other seven regions and not Central. If in 2017 the president is from Eastern, in 2022, no party shall nominate a candidate from Central and Eastern regions. The short waiting time of five years per tribe is what Cord hopes will help sell the plan which is unlike Jap where a tribe will wait for a long 10 years.
The issue of rotational presidency has also been successfully applied in Malaysia.
Sources say Cord is working on a serious lobbying in their strongholds that will see the team embark on massive ID registration campaign. This is to counter and overturn the so called “tyranny of numbers” associated with the ruling Jubilee coalition.
According to Cord’s strategy, they will be targeting school leavers and other eligible persons who do not have the crucial identification documents in Western, Nyanza and Coast. The coalition feels that majority of supporters from its strongholds do not register as voters because they do not hold IDs.
Coed also plans to mobilise ID holders especially in their strongholds to register as voters in readiness for 2017. To this end, sources say, Cord is developing a strategy to intensify civic education.



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