With Raila Odinga losing the presidency a record fifth time, has the myth of Deep State in Kenya been busted?
Raila Odinga’s followers didn’t start drinking Kool-Aid in 2022. To many of them, William Ruto was simply unelectable and victory was palpable, but Ruto delivered a shock win. For Odinga voters and strategists, they face Ruto’s victory with grief, anger, disbelief and perhaps a twinge of envy.
In the Aug. 9 Kenyan polls, Azimio coalition backed by Pres Uhuru Kenyatta was whitewashed in the key Mt Kenya region. Prior to the elections, the chickens had already been counted — Mt Kenya would overwhelmingly vote blue. The Kenyattas costly assumed that victory was certain but were left smarting, asking “why have the Kikuyu people turned against us?”
New Governor Johnson Sakaja faces a daunting task to restore Nairobi to its glory days of “Green City in the Sun”. Governor Sakaja inherits a City Hall riddled with Mafia cartels of the New York city type or of Sicily’s Palermo.
Uhuru Kenyatta has hardly spoken since Kenyans went to the polls, not even a formal congratulations to his erstwhile deputy, William Ruto. He must still be reeling from shock after Raila Odinga – who he was backing as his successor lost. For Kenyatta, the rejection of Raila by the GEMA nation is particularly embarrassing and leaves a bad taste.
Kenyans voted for a new leader on 9 August and few would have predicted how the GEMA nation would vote. Mt Kenya took the heaviest beating from United Democratic Alliance (UDA) and the “yellow wave” reigned supreme. William Ruto-led party secured a majority of votes from the GEMA region, turning the yellow to a red card for Kenyattaism in central Kenya. But why did GEMA go against the grain?
Kenyans will tomorrow vote in what promises to be a tight and competitive election. There is no clear favourite to win the election. It’s the camp that will mobilise the largest number of its base to come out and vote for its preferred presidential candidate that will carry the day.
Kenya is struggling with its public debt, a heavy burden to the long-suffering citizens. Debt servicing currently sits at 65% of the total national budget. For every 100 shilling that the government has been collecting, 65 shillings has been going to debt repayment. As the debt spirals out of control, the corresponding poverty level is rising sharply.
Kenya’s presidential running mates went head-to-head on July 19, 2022. Azimio’s Martha Karua was an easy favourite to dominate the Deputy Presidential debate but Kenya Kwanza’s Rigathi Gachagua caught her flat-footed. Styling herself as a champion and chief crusader of fighting corruption, Karua didn’t convincingly persuade Kenyans on many issues, including how an Azimio government would deal with the runaway vice.