The situation concerning the assassination claims made by both Raila Odinga and John Michuki is interesting because the two main reactions amongst Kenyans currently, is as follows;
i) Those who are sure that both Raila and Michuki are playing politics and that these statements are best ignored. This is the largest group and you can't really blame them because from as far back as anybody can remember, politicians in Kenya have been calling press conferences to announce that their lives are in danger. So why should the latest case be any different?
ii) Those who suspect that there is something in the Raila death-threat-claims that should be taken very seriously indeed. This is the second largest group and consists of both diehard Raila fans and serious political analysts who understand the history of Kenya well.
In this post I will ask and answer only two questions, namely
a) What is usually the motive when a politician claims that their life is in danger?
b) Is Raila's life really in danger?
Answer to a): The idea is to attract attention and position oneself as the victim. Sympathy votes usually win elections hands down. But in this case since the elections are so far away the other motive is usually a swing in "sympathy popularity" in favor of the politician concerned. This blogger is sure that this is not the case with Raila.
On many other occasions, politicians usually genuinely fear for their lives (they've been plenty of murders and assassinations in Kenyan politics). Politicians blowing the whistle in this way usually do so hoping that the people plotting their demise will be scared off. This blogger suspects that this is the case with Raila. Read the answer to my second question and you will see why I suspect that murder is definitely on somebody's mind.
Answer to b): In the run up to the first multi-party elections since independence in 1992, Western Kenya politician and the main strategist and "glue" that held the then opposition together, Masinde Muliro was returning from an overseas trip aboard a British Airways flight. Shortly after landing, the veteran politician collapsed and died. The mystery has never been solved to this day, but this was definitely an assassination, more so when you closely examine what happened next. The then united Ford (Forum For Restoration Of Democracy) opposition party crumbled and split into countless, harmless units. This assassination was one of the few that actually accomplish their objective. It was well executed, clinical and left no evidence of an assassination (the late Masinde Muliro was said to be suffering from some heart ailment). It had "national security job" written all over it.
Tom Mboya biographer David Goldsworthy describes in great detail how Mboya, by cleverly and ruthlessly neutralizing his main political rival, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga (the late father to Raila) unknowingly set himself up to be assassinated. In the same way, Raila has cleverly neutralized all political competition by forming ODM. Most Kenyans don't know it but whoever leaves ODM now and goes it alone for the presidency will face the fate of Simeon Nyachae in 2002. They will go nowhere. Most of us may not have liked mathematics as a subject in school, but by doing a simple tribal calculation you will realize that Raila will win the ODM nomination to be president without even breaking into a sweat. All the other tribal votes are split except the Luo vote. And besides Raila has picked up plenty of sympathy support after the MOU saga from many different parts of the country. And even if ODM decides to pick its' flag carrier using the delegates method, Mr Raila Odinga is a professor at that game. That's why he didn't bother to go to Kasarani in 2001 (when the infamous delegates conference chose Uhuru Kenyatta to be the Kanu presidential candidate). Others like Professor George Saitoti naively turned up having campaigned all night, only to realize that Moi was a step ahead. My sincere apologies to Kalonzo Musyoka fans, your man is already baked and almost out of the oven. It seems that only the NSIS and Kibaki insiders understand who Raila really is. But I digress.
Raila has worked himself into a very dangerous situation, where the elections are still too far off and yet it is clear that he is the main threat and the unifying factor in ODM. If Raila were to be assassinated now, naturally the assassination would be made to look like an accident or something to do with the current insecurity in the country. People would have their doubts, but there would be no proof. An exact replica of the Masinde Muliro saga.
The first thing that would happen after such an eventuality would be that ODM would crumble like a house of cards. No amount of sympathy would keep the Luo community in ODM. Done cleverly enough, other ODM presidential aspirants would also be top suspects in the assassination.
Just remember that in these matters you do not expect a confirmation that a Raila assassination plot is being hatched from the relevant quarters.
My view is that by making this thing public Raila has halted any such plot, if it existed. But if I were him, I would be much more careful from now on and I would loosen my iron grip on ODM affairs and develop as many prominent foot soldiers as possible.
I will finish this post with a question for you.
Why is it that Raila seems to know all this top-secret government meetings and goings on? Remember the Artur brother's saga? (Incidentally Raila says that one of them is back in the country). Does Raila have a mole in the highest echelons of government and if so, who is it?
The answer to these questions is shocking and too sensitive even for this blog. So I have answered it in great detail via email to my subscribers.
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