How BBI Loss Grants OKA Power Over Raila

President Uhuru Kenyatta meets ODM leader, Raila Odinga, and One Kenya Alliance principals, Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, and Gideon Moi.
  • The One Kenya Alliance’s (OKA) had pegged its support for the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader, Raila Odinga, on the outcome of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) appeal. 

    OKA, led by Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu’s Gideon Moi, Amani National Congress’ Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula, was aware that the BBI judgment issued at the Court of Appeal would shape Kenya’s politics ahead of the 2022 General Election, analysts say. 

    Prior to the court upholding the High Court ruling which nullified BBI, Raila had the upper hand in the negotiation as he had the opportunity to meet the demands by the OKA co-principals as BBI would have created more seats in the executive.

    Social development consultant and political analyst, Nafula Kisiang’ani, opines that the BBI loss had made Raila vulnerable as it had the weight to destroy his image and reputation. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta meets ODM leader, Raila Odinga, and One Kenya Alliance principals, Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, and Gideon Moi.
    Twitter

    With no OKA leader willing to back Raila even prior to the ruling, the former Prime Minister has now been pushed to a more tricky position.

    “BBI nullification has introduced a new dynamic, a wait-and-see situation. However, Raila has the capacity to rebrand himself as he has done countless times.” 

    “I believe he may still have an upper hand owing to his relationship with President Uhuru Kenyatta through the handshake. Let us not underestimate him and the power of the deep state too, as the latter tends to have an influence on the election,†Kisiang’ani told kenyagist.com. 

    She notes that Raila has always lacked the blessings of the deep state in his four attempts to clinch the Presidency.

    “He always has the numbers – supporters – and he always tends to return stronger and more formidable every time.â€

    In his statement, issued after BBI was declared unconstitutional, the African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development, stated that it was time to accept and move on, but alluded that the discussion on BBI will resume. 

    “Without doubt, we shall deal with all the issues in the months and years that will unfold onwards,” Raila wrote. Kisiang’ani, basing her analysis on this excerpt, cautioned that OKA has to be more careful with the cards it places on the negotiation table.

    She argues that the alliance was more hinged towards positioning itself to benefit from either Raila or Deputy President William Ruto, as the race will most likely be a two-horse one. She further warned Ruto not to celebrate the BBI loss or view it as a long term success, pointing out that it is only a short-term victory. 

    “The DP has been lukewarm, not opposing the BBI and not supporting it openly. Ruto has no clear agenda. He keeps on wavering. Remember most of his strongholds passed the BBI bill in their respective County Assemblies. This should trigger his mind to be wary of the support he believes he has,†she explained. 

    Dr Masibo Lumala, a political analyst, specialist and consultant in Gender, Communication and Development, earlier on argued that the nullification of the BBI would certainly create a three-horse race, with Raila, Ruto and OKA alliance facing off at the ballot.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta's shakes hands with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on March 9, 2018.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta’s shakes hands with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on March 9, 2018.
    Twitter

    “OKA may denounce Raila and opt to choose their own flag bearer,†the Chairperson of the African Tourism Board, Tourism Research and Development Committee in Kenya and Senior Lecturer at Moi University stated. 

    In a joint statement issued on Friday, August 20, after the Appellate Court’s ruling, OKA seemingly indicated that they would not give up their aspirations in favour of Raila or any other candidate. 

    OKA noted that, as they had unequivocally declared in Naivasha, One Kenya was solidly on course to be the alliance of choice for Kenyans, irrespective of the BBI outcome.

    “We wish to reaffirm our commitment as One Kenya Alliance to building a just, inclusive and prosperous nation with aspiration for individual freedom, national unity, and equal opportunities for all,†the statement read in part.

  • Source: KENYAGIST.COM