Many Kenyans can sense how desperate Kerio South MP Nicholas Biwott seems to be to get the chairmanship of Kanu.
But why? The man has all the money and power he needs. Why risk it all by going for such a high profile political seat? It is instructive that when the Kibaki administration took over power in 2002, they wanted to go after President Moi's wealth, but at no time was Biwott's billions ever under any threat. It clearly illustrates just how powerful the man still is.
It is also telling that this government still sings the old lie, which originated from Biwott, about businessman Alnoor Kassam of TradeBank and Diners Finance fame. It is claimed that he is wanted by Interpol and the Kenyan government to answer unspecified charges. Everybody knows that the truth of the matter is that this entrepreneur dared to cross swords with Biwott over the Yaya Center, which was collateral for a loan taken personally by Biwott from TradeBank (which finally caused the collapse of the Bank). In fact Kassam is lucky to have escaped with his life. Too many people who have simply been an irritation to the Kerio South MP have ended up mysteriously dead. The list is so long that it is worth two or three separate posts in this blog, which I should do later
The truth is that Nicholas Biwott is like any other politician extremely ambitious. He has no doubt watched the Kibaki administration with a lot of inetrest as it has moved from one blunder to another and wondered why fate did not give him a chance to be President Moi's heir.
Here is a man who was the main strategist in Moi's two successful re-election bids in 1992 and 1997 when there was some very clever rigging of votes in Moi's favor. Why can he not use the same tactics he used to help Moi, and see himself in power?
And this is not such a far-fetched dream after all. Of all possible current presidential candidates, Nicholas Biwott is probably the only one capable of going into a presidential campaign without having to worry about campaign funds. When you throw in Moi's financial support, what you get is a formidable campaign machine that is very capable of winning the race to State House, especially if he positions himself as a spoiler.
Why would Moi want to support such a candidate? It is really simple. Topmost on Moi's mind right now is how to protect his vast wealth and keep his favorite son, Gideon out of prison. He will literally do anything to achieve these objectives. The direction in which ODM is headed, unknown to many within the party, will lead to enormous pressure from the people for all corrupt leaders past and present to be prosecuted. You can be sure that if Raila were to win the presidency he would gladly hand them over.
This would also explain Moi's visit to President Kibaki shortly before the Mombasa delegates conference last week. Some analysts speculated that the retired president wanted an assurance from the president that there would be enough security in Mombasa. A visit to Vigilance House to see police commissioner Major General Ali would have easily accomplished that.
Nay, the two men were discussing something much more "technical" and sensitive. So technical and sensitive that even a lengthy telephone conversation would not have done it.
It is much more likely that their discussion must have touched on issue of the fielding of a third major presidential candidate in Nicholas Biwott. With the man's own huge financial resources and Moi's support his candidature would be at least more than adequate to water down the ODM Kenya impact. Enough to allow Kibaki to romp back into power without too much trouble.
Kenyans forget too soon. Remember how Moi and Kibaki worked together in the by Marsabit elections occasioned by the Marsabit plane crash? Granted the results may not have been as good as was expected but the general election could be a totally different ball game. I would expect Biwott to grab at least 60 per cent of Rift Valley with his limitless cash resources and Moi working in his favor. I picture him gaining tremendously from the widely expected anti-Kikuyu backlash from voters who are undecided about ODM Kenya and its' excess baggage of former Kanu kingpins.
Mercifully, this is one election, which will not quite succumb to the rules of past polls, and money will not be such a major factor. What Kenyans very desperately want right now is change and visionary leadership. Biwott can hardly give them that. And neither can Kibaki or even Raila's ODM.
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