Africa-Press – Kenya. In 2002, President Uhuru Kenyatta was catapulted into the political limelight when the late President Daniel Toroitich Arap Moi picked him as his preferred successor.
Despite clearly understanding that Uhuru was a hard sell and a political novice, Moi stood by him and gave him his blessings to face off with political big wigs including the late Mwai Kibaki, who at the time enjoyed the backing of elite politicians including Raila Odinga of the famed Kibaki tosha brigade.
Moi was facing a herculean test having served as the Vice President to Uhuru’s father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. Mzee Kenyatta – the nation’s founding father – appointed Moi to his government in 1964 and then promoted him to Vice President in 1967 despite opposition from Mt Kenya elites.
Insiders close to the presidency spoke to Kenyans.co.ke, detailing how a promise made in the 1960s changed hands and hearts over decades and how plans are underway to ensure Uhuru, just like his father, nurtures Gideon Moi to ascend to power.
Uhuru – in a similar fashion to Moi’s honouring Mzee Kenyatta’s wish to see his son ascend to the presidency – is ready and willing to return the favour.
A Promise is a Debt – The Genesis
Mathira Member of Parliament, Rigathi Gachagua, served as Uhuru Kenyatta’s personal assistant.
In an interview with The Nation in March 2022, the vocal politician – now touted as a possible running mate to Deputy President, William Ruto – admitted that Uhuru was not ready to be President in 2002.
Gachagua stated that Uhuru did not have management or leadership skills, he did not have experience in governance and it would have been a very big mistake for the country.
“Looking back, I now feel Mzee Moi was paying back a debt to Mzee Kenyatta. I think they had a pact. No other reason could make President Moi pick Uhuru Kenyatta. He was spoilt for choice.
“There were very many people whom he could have picked who had served him with loyalty. They had serious public and proven track records, but he still chose Uhuru, the only reason being he was Kenyatta’s son,” Gachagua stated.
Despite that, Moi endorsed Uhuru with the hope that he would make a name for himself. As he exited the political arena, Kenya’s third President, the late Mwai Kibaki – Uhuru’s godfather – took the leadership mantle.
Kibaki appointed Uhuru to the government in 2007 after the latter abandoned his role as leader of the opposition to campaign for Kibaki’s re-election.
The late Kibaki is said to have appointed Uhuru as the Deputy Prime Minister in the Grand Coalition government when many believed he would settle on loyalist and Narc Kenya party leader, Martha Karua.
Kibaki, the longest-serving Finance Minister, made a huge statement by also appointing Uhuru to lead the docket in his government.
“We worked with Kibaki and he used to lead and discuss the budget better than the Minister of Finance and tell him how to do it,” Raila Odinga recalled while eulogising Kibaki.
“When people suffered during the post-election chaos, it is Uhuru who paid the price and so Kibaki’s second term nearly cost Uhuru his political career by being taken to ICC,” Prof Amukoa Anangwe, a former Cabinet Minister, told the Standard, clearly indicating the bond between Uhuru and Kibaki.
Uhuru’s Grand Plan for Gideon Moi
As Uhuru’s tenure as president commenced, he played poker making promises he knew were difficult to fulfil, but holding one close to his heart: To make Gideon Moi president one day.
Robert Green’s third rule in the 48 Laws of Power says: ‘Conceal Your Intentions; Always keep your intentions obscured.
‘By cloaking your intentions, people will believe you to be friendly and honest’.
Uhuru promised the world to his deputy William Ruto and would later renegade it. Two terms of 10 years to himself and 10 years for Ruto, a promise the DP and his Mt Kenya allies used to form a basis of their hustler nation campaigns, painting Uhuru as a betrayer.
In as much as Uhuru explained that he fell out with his deputy over what he termed as disrespect and insubordination, insiders close to the Presidency intimate that it was hard for the President to support the DP who hails from the same Kalenjin community as Gideon Moi.
Insiders told Kenyans.co.ke that Uhuru – just like Moi – understands that it is difficult for Baringo Senator Gideon Moi to oust Ruto as the Kalenjin kingpin.
But just like Mzee Moi to Jomo Kenyatta, a promise is a debt.
Raila Odinga as President for One Term
With Gideon not being a worthy competitor capable of trouncing Ruto, Raila Odinga presented himself as one through the handshake and this manifested further when Uhuru endorsed him as his preferred successor.
But the grand plan has always been to have him serve as President for only one term.
Sources who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke detailed that the plan was made way before Raila announced his fifth stab at the presidency. By then, Uhuru was camouflaging behind his proxies led by Jubilee Vice Chairman, David Murathe.
“We think it’s time Kenyans rewarded the years of struggle of Raila Amollo Odinga. They owe it to him. It’s like Mandela, and 2022 will be a Mandela Moment.
“And we would also like to tell him (Raila) to be a transitional President who will then nurture the young generation to take over in 2027,” Murathe stated in an interview on KTN News in August 2020.
Raila further hinted at the same while speaking in Kwale county in December 2020.
“I am not going to stay there forever. We want to bequeath a good future for our children by liberating the country for the third time which involves improving the economy,” he stated.
Uhuru backing Raila was also a way of appreciating Raila’s father and the late former Vice President, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga’s endorsement of Mzee Jomo Kenyatta to take charge of the country in the independence era.
Jaramogi declined to form a government until Mzee Kenyatta was released from prison. In spite of Uhuru and Raila crossing paths several times, they were always bound by fate.
The Running Mate Debate
To lock out Ruto from the presidency in 2027 and pave way for Gideon Moi in the future, then Raila must have a deputy who is a loyalist to Uhuru. This is according to the insiders close to the presidency who spoke to Kenyans.co.ke on condition of anonymity.
With Mt Kenya clearly being fronted to produce a running mate for both Raila and Ruto in the 2022 race, Uhuru took charge of Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party – the newest political outfit in town.
Our sources stated that Uhuru still sees himself as Mt Kenya kingpin but is ready to nurture a young leader from the area to take charge.
Despite Azimio La Umoja being hijacked by the Wiper party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka, and rebranded to Azimio La Umoja One Kenya, the insiders stated that Kalonzo ranks lower in the pecking order of those considered to be Raila’s running mate and preferred by Uhuru.
Among those being looked into are Narc-Kenya’s Martha Karua, Governors Hassan Ali Joho (Mombasa) and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege and former Gatanga MP, Peter Kenneth.
Chege and Peter Kenneth’s names were submitted by Jubilee Party under Uhuru’s stewardship.
Missing from the list is a key figure, Agriculture CS, Peter Munya, who has managed to stay out of the limelight.
Insiders state that Uhuru prefers Munya as Raila’s running mate and the man to ensure Gideon Moi becomes President but did not explain why Jubilee instead fronted Chege and Peter Kenneth.
“The plan is to have Munya become Raila’s deputy till 2027, then assume presidency with Gideon Moi as his deputy for either one term or two terms. Gideon Moi will then take over,” the insiders told Kenyans.co.ke.
Uhuru Holds Munya in High Regard
While addressing Mt Kenya residents during Sagana III on February 23, 2022, Uhuru praised Munya’s leadership, stating that the Agriculture CS initiated reforms in the docket that was mismanaged by Ruto’s allies.
“One year and a half under (CS Peter) Munya’s leadership, coffee has money returns, tea farmers have fertilizer, dairy farmers have a minimum guarantee. Rice farmers who could not sell as it was being imported from Pakistan are now selling to the government.
“Should Munya continue with that job or should crooks come back? Should he continue or he should not? He has reopened all those industries. Where did the money come from?” Uhuru wondered.
However, Munya’s critics say that he is too quick, perhaps rash, when making political decisions.
Nonetheless, they also say that Martha Karua is unpredictable, committed to constitutionalism and thus rigid, and is an iron lady fixed on her agenda at times and hard to shift her political vision.
Kalonzo is indecisive and emotional but loyal. The best bet to lead Uhuru’s vision and promise for Gideon Moi, the insiders say, is CS Peter Munya.