Why is the proposed PM’s working trip to Central province creating an uproar? Why is the DPM suddenly eager to meet councillors from Central and parts of Rift Valley in an all-expenses-paid trip to Thika?
The ground in most parts of the country has moved. Old order politicians are slowly being edged out.
We saw it happen in Rift Valley in 2007, and it is now officially happening in Central Province. Up to four million votes, and upwards of 50 parliamentary seats, will be up for grabs in former PNU strongholds. The Central Kenya voter is already making his/her surprise choice known.
The amazing political goings on in Central Province have even been vindicated by the latest Synovate (Steadman) opinion poll. In their report released just last month, Synovate places the PM at 17% against DPM’s 15% in Central Province in terms of preferred presidential candidates. Even as political focus moves from Mau Water Tower in Rift Valley where a plot to paint the PM as an aggressor aborted, an interesting battle is shaping up in Central especially since it emerged the PM has identified the vote rich Muranga District as a launch pad for action oriented development and political forays into Central Province.
No one individual can currently be said to have total political grip on any province when it comes to elections. The most apparent of all is Central Province which is surprisingly emerging as the province that will make or break the next president of Kenya.
To add insult to injury, the DPM continues to hang on by a thread to an imaginary front run of the Central Province political leadership; a thread mostly held out by the likes of Simon Mbugua and Jamleck Kamau. Meanwhile, no scientific evidence has ever been tabled that the DPM is the automatic political leader of Central Province and neither are there any guarantees that Central Kenya will fall for the usual ethnic driven and short sighted politics.
In the meantime, the prime minister appears to be overwhelmed to accommodate tens of Central Province grassrooters, professionals and business leaders who are itching to pay courtesy calls and place invitations to visit them back home. Some of them believe he is the only leader who cares to resolve problems affecting the common man. The grapevine has it the PM has convinced influential Agikuyu elders and is now working on building a corruption free team of pointmen that includes individuals like Peter Kenneth and John Githongo. An endorsement is also expected from Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Maathai.
Interestingly, a petty cold war is being fought at Treasury Building where both the PM and one his DPM’s share the same office block. When Central Kenya delegations are visiting the PM in droves, one cannot help imagine a situation where these delegations from the DPM’s supposed stronghold meet with the DPM in the lifts, which then passes the KANU Chairman’s office to be ushered into PM’s conference room higher up. The same thing repeats itself on their way out. Boy! If only we could move the entire Treasury to some other place!
The latest development paints a remarkable turnaround of fortunes for the Prime Minister who in 2007 only managed a paltry 1.9% of the presidential vote against the incumbent’s 97%. During the same polls the Vice President managed a face-saving 0.7%.
Clearly, the Overton window has shifted and voter will no longer be used like sufurias that are only remembered when hunger sets in.
Although many had predicted the demise of certain causes following the 2007 disputed polls, most Kenyans appear to be ready to vote without regard to ethnic origins or ethnic alliances.