Agwambo announces his presidential bid to the world
It came as a total shock. We were settling in to watch a World Cup game and opted to use one of the DSTV channels, there, immaculately dressed in orange was Agwambo himself in a flashy TV ad.
There was a hint of tears in his eyes which had more to do with the bright lights rather than emotion. He boldly announced that he is a pan-africanist and took the opportunity to congratulate all African countries that were participating in the World Cup. The ad ends with the Raila presidential bid web site advertised (www.raila07.com. Interestingly there is nothing on this site except a few photos and empty pages. Why is raila promoting an empty website?).
In another version Raila is dancing with some traditional dancers wearing the same orange outfit and dances rather elegantly with his shoulders, he then announces that he wants to stand for president of "the republic of Kenya" in 2007. Loud cheers are heard as the address of the web site for his presidential bid comes on screen again.
I was even more shocked that no major media house in Kenya had picked up this significant event. For better or for worse Raila Odinga is definitely going to be one of the presidential candidates in 2007.
Before I analyze what impact this is going to have let me remind readers once again that I am a staunch ODM supporter and that my personal opinion is that Raila would make a great president. Just look at his organizational abilities to get a hint. However emotions and wishful thinking must always be separated from the reality on the ground for anybody in politics, especially those analyzing it.
The clever thing to do is to coldly analyze the reality on the ground and then go out and create your strategy. Blind loyalty and emotions will get you absolutely nowhere in politics.
Picture a situation where President Kibaki is standing against Raila Odinga as the main opposition candidate. This situation will neatly emerge before your eyes very quickly because most of Kanu will go with Moi and you would have to be more than blind not to see that an alliance has already been formed between Kibaki and Moi for 2007. At least one other major presidential candidate will be talked into giving up their ambition in return for a guaranteed vice presidential slot in President Kibaki's second term administration.
ODM will re-group. It will not be as powerful as before but it still has a huge following countrywide, although not big enough to win the presidency decisively.
These are the two men most likely to face off in 2007 as the main contenders. You may like Kalonzo or Ngilu or Uhuru, but like the Americans found out in the gruelling 2004 Presidential race, it is not who you like but who you prefer. The problem is that this will further split the country right down the middle and Mr Daniel Arap Moi, as chief Kibaki strategist will make sure that it is an ugly tribal affair. So who would you prefer for President, Raila or Kibaki? Sorry non-of-the-above will not be one of the choices open to voters.
In fact with Raila as the main candidate for the presidency, everything changes. Tribalism is bound to rear its' ugly head once more. (Read the post I made last week)
This will suit President Mwai Kibaki's plans perfectly because whenever the tribal demons come out, the Kikuyu have been known to quickly close ranks and blindly support their man (with their education, degrees and all one would have thought they would have known better. But then the demon of tribalism has scant respect for a persons' intelligence or educational background). Remember the November constitutional referendum?
Other major presidential candidates will quickly fizzle out when this scenario develops and even if they insist on standing, they will not be contenders. Thanks mainly to the recent work of former President Moi, the country will be divided along tribal lines. It is absolutely hypocritical how the former president can accuse Raila of fanning tribalism or playing tribal politics when that is exactly Moi's speciality. Did you see the speech he recently made to members of the Kalenjin tribe about what he called mass sackings of Kalenjins when he came out of power? And how the Kalenjin politicians did nothing? If this is not fanning tribal animosity and tribalism I don't know what it is.
Moi's politics is telling each tribe why they should not vote for the tribe opposing him. So in 2007 you are going to hear a lot of anti-Luo statements, which is okay except that it will work in getting votes away from Raila and to the Kibaki/Moi camp. Moi's strategy is going to be simple (I'm ready to bet a week's lunch that he will be the chief strategist of the Kibaki camp). He's going to tell the Kikuyu, (nay, remind the Kikuyu) why a Luo presidency would spell disaster for the nation.
The advantage that Raila has on his side is that there is time. Time enough to create a counter strategy to ensure that the anti-Luo sentiment does not take off from the ground, let alone fly. I actually present one such strategy in the next post that will actually make Raila unbeatable in 2007.
Other Raila Odinga Articles In This Blog;
Raila Phobia: Why The Emotional Comments And Abusive Language?
Raila Odinga’s World Cup Ad
What Raila Should Do To Win The Presidency
Is ODM Finished?
'82 Coup Plot Revelations: Raila Odinga's Biggest Political Mistake Ever