WHY UHURU IS AT A DISADVANTAGE IN URP/TNA/UDF COALITION

I have come to the realization that the coalition of URP/TNA masks disturbing dissonance at its core which reveals Ruto’s capacity for the cunning (am I giving him too much credit here-I wonder). Although Ruto and Uhuru are tied at the heap with the “small” matter of the ICC, the former is not totally unaware of the historical divide between their respective supporters on the land question. Neither are they and their “support bases” oblivious of the events of 2007/2008 which overwhelmingly pitted them against each other. Add to these, the undercurrent of resistance to URP/TNA pact among sections of Ruto’s supporters and you have a situation of polarity within the coalition.

One of the two is playing the other and it seems to me that Ruto (insidiously) has an upper hand particularly with the entry of Mudamba’s UDF, complete with a compulsion that the group’s flag  bearer  will have to be nominated by delegates drawn from the three parties. My rationale for arguing thus resides in the knowledge and belief that most URP delegates will find a convenient path to voting for Mudavadi during the nomination process without appearing to reject Uhuru out rightly. From the outset then, Mudavadi and Ruto have an advantage over Uhuru the coalition’s flag bearer nomination.

 If my conjecture is bankable, one will understand why the TNA wing of the coalition is uneasy about Mudavadi. The reasons for unease go beyond the claims of Statehouse machinations, to include genuine fears that most UDF and URP supporters would rather not have Uhuru succeeding Kibaki for historical and ethnic reasons. They fear that the nominations present a fairly acceptable platform for rejecting Uhuru. They (TNA brigade) would rather the “roads lead to Bondo” if Uhuru is outsmarted by URP/UDF.

 I don’t know whether to be more appalled by Mudamba’s indecisiveness and gladness to be of use, or Ruto’s cynically deceptive but calculating attitude towards Uhuru and shocked at Uhuru’s apparent complacebcy that he is in control of that coalition whereas he is on a very treacherous path towards being auctioned by the Ruto/UDF axis. IN my view, Uhuru has literally bought snake oil by accepting to go along with the nomination strategy (which I am willing to bet must have been Ruto’s idea in the first place)

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11 comments on “WHY UHURU IS AT A DISADVANTAGE IN URP/TNA/UDF COALITION

  1. Looks like someone in MM’s camp has been following this reasoning considering how earnestly they are courting Ruto to spite Uhuru: Just read on

    Mudavadi’s strategy to win Jubilee coalition ticket

    http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000072707&pageNo=3&story_title=Kenya-Mudavadi%E2%80%99s-strategy-to-win-Jubilee-coalition-ticket
    The UDF presidential aspirant Musalia Mudavadi is seeking to woo Eldoret North MP William Ruto’s Rift Valley stronghold to win during the December 18 coalition nomination process.
    Mudavadi is working on a strategy to win over Ruto’s support ahead of Tuesday’s Jubilee Coalition presidential nomination contest with Mr Uhuru Kenyatta.
    Mudavadi is seeking the backing of Ruto with whom he had a tense political relationship in ODM because the latter felt he should have been named deputy premier instead.
    “It is true we are in talks with Ruto with a view to having him support Mudavadi in the nominations,” the Deputy Prime Minister’s ally, Vihiga MP Yusuf Chanzu said.
    Mudavadi’s camp is selling the idea that the Eldoret North MP is more comfortable with him as presidential candidate because he would be an ‘easier sell’ in the Rift Valley.
    “Ruto has been having a difficult task to convince the Kalenjin community to support Uhuru,” said an ally on anonymity.
    “He has been facing resistance that would cost his party seats in the region.”
    Mudavadi’s camp is keen to exploit the marriage of convenience knowing that Ruto is keen on winning majority parliamentary and Senate seats in Rift Valley. But Ruto had feared a rebellion over Uhuru’s candidature would undermine his goal.
    The former vice president’s allies are portraying him as the compromise candidate, the safe hands during divisive campaigns.
    “Mudavadi is the unifying factor in this coalition and across the country especially as the nation is polarised over the forthcoming election,” said Assistant minister George Khaniri.
    Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito added: “The country requires a lot of healing following the 2007 post election violence. Mudavadi has the leadership qualities and ability to heal the rift.”
    But Uhuru’s camp is not amused about the scare crow tactics that competitors are employing, apprehensive about the dominance of Uhuru’s TNA.
    Six of the top 10 counties in registration of voters, for instance, are in considered TNA strongholds.
    Uhuru’s camp has scoffed at claims he would step down for Mudavadi.
    An opinion poll at the weekend that suggested Mudavadi stands a better chance to win the presidency if he becomes the Jubilee Alliance presidential candidate raised eyebrows if UDF had a hand in it.
    In a last minute deal with Uhuru and Ruto, who had settled as president and running mate respectively for the presidential election, Mudavadi secured a concession that technically has him in the running for president.
    Allies say settling for anything less than joint presidential nominations would have been politically suicidal for Mudavadi who has been emphatic about his presidential bid since defecting from ODM.
    On a recent tour of western region, he mocked rivals who were “negotiating themselves out of a job,” saying his quest for the presidency was non-negotiable.
    It was seen as an attack on Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa who at the time had been designated a junior position in Uhuru-Ruto alliance.
    Now Mudavadi is in talks with Wamalwa, who quit the Uhuru-Ruto alliance, citing a raw deal. The two met at Sosa Hotel in Vihiga County last Friday.
    The Saboti MP has said he would back Mudavadi if he is picked the Jubilee Coalition’s flag bearer.
    Mudavadi has sought to use the background of his late father Moses Mudavadi, who worked for long as an education officer in the Rift Valley, to connect with the voters.
    In Central Kenya he is banking on Industrialisation Assistant Minister Nderitu Muriithi and Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni.
    The two have led a campaign to persuade the Kikuyu community that it is not tenable to have a person from the community succeed President Kibaki.
    UDF chairman of the Political Council and Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohammed said: “The Jubilee coalition is a strong coalition that will deliver a win in the first round if all the partners do what is required of us.”
    Mr Abraham Limo, the UDF Director and chairman of the National Election Board said that the DPM was building on the support he had in Rift Valley, Western, Nairobi, Nyanza and Central regions in his presidential bid.
    “His non controversial nature, humility and sober approach to issues has made him the voice of reason in the country’s politics.
    We are confident that the Jubilee supporters will back him for the top seat and we are going flat out in the remaining days to ensure that the support is solidified,” Limo said.
    UDF chairman Osman Hassan said the stand off over Kanu party entry into the coalition would be dealt with amicably by the alliance members ahead of the
    nomination next week.
    “There is a committee that has been formed to address the sticky issues and we are confident that the issues will be dealt with so that we are able to proceed as a team,” Hassan said.

    • nali nali,

      Those are hallucinations from the Mudavadi boys. They have been saying that ever since they were duped. About how humble Mudavadi is etc. Kenyans are not electing a nun. They are electing a president.

      Ruto cannot allow his boys who will pick up the delegates to touch Mudavadi because of one big reason. Ruto knows if Uhuru is put in the dog House by the State House boys because of the ICC quagmire, Ruto will be next. Ruto is nobody’s fool. If Uhuru is out he too must be out and Ruto knew that was the plan right off the bat. That is why he secured his position and then he and Uhuru laid the trap for Mudavadi. Ruto also knows once Uhuru is out the whole alliance could easily disintegrate. And never forget that Ruto knows how much the Uhuru damu Kikuyu supporters hate him. The only reason they are even tolerating him is because he is helping their Uhuru. Ruto is not going to commit suicide for Mudavadi or anybody else.

      There is only one way to work this thing out for the State House chaps and I am sure Uhuru has told them that many times. Get Kenya out of the ICC now and secure Uhuru and Ruto and deal with the aftermath then the boys will walk away and help Kibaki. Other than that, nyet.

      Mudavadi will get his shock treatment next Tuesday and then decide his future. If these guys really wanted Mudavadi by now they would be holding joint rallies and marketing Mudavdi and preparing their supporters for his takeover. Instead Mudavadi is all by himself talking to people who have no vote at the delegates convention next week. Mudavadi is going to the slaughter house with his eyes wide open. He is either very brave or very stupid. You be the judge.

  2. Nalinali,

    I beg to slightly differ for reasons already enumerated in earlier posts. I agree with Phil’s assessment corroborated by most polls that Uhuru Kenyatta presents the most formidable challenge to CORD’s Raila Odinga. Even a simple empirical check tells you whose constituency is most eagerly enthused in registering for the upcoming polls. It is certainly not Musalia’s…neither Kalonzo’s…but Uhuru’s!

    I’ll rehash my assessment.

    1) While it is true Ruto was eager to rope in Mudavadi (URP) into the coalition – it certainly wasn’t to have him lead it. It was merely the presumption the latter would bring in the Luhya vote into the coalition even if handed a nondescript position…a fallacy I debunked in another thread. For the record, Ruto has never considered Mudavadi his senior in politics…as exhibited by the past turf wars in ODM; where the former literally demanded to by-pass Mudavadi within ODM’s hierarchy.

    2) Make no mistake, Ruto’s entire calculus of joining TNA in the first place was solidly based on Uhuru’s huge GEMA voting block – which can only be guaranteed if Uhuru were on top of the ticket. The ongoing registration numbers speak for themselves. Think about this…Uhuru has sold his presidency to his constituency for more than a year. Leaving the coalition flagship to Mudavadi means the former drops out of the presidential race altogether, and runs for Senate in Thika. This news will be met with shock from his already-converted followers who might start looking at Karua and Kenneth’s presidential runs with serious contemplation. You recently heard from 40 TNA MPs banking on riding on Uhuru’s TNA euphoria for re-election…removing Uhuru means no euphoria…thus complicates the entire local politics of Mt. Kenya. A Mudavadi-Ruto ticket is frankly a tough sell in Mt. Kenya when Karua and Kenneth are also on the ballot, period!

    3) Kenyatta’s absence from the presidential ballot is something his supporters aren’t prepared for! Worse still – absence of Kenyatta but presence of Ruto in the ticket is “pain” and anathema to most. A ‘weak’ President Mudavadi and strong Deputy President Ruto, with minion (relegated) Uhuru Kenyatta doesn’t attract excitement, but rather uncertainty in this neck of mountainous woods. You may need to consult with your close GEMA friends to actually appreciate this conundrum.

    4) In short, a ticket with Ruto but without Uhuru inevitably raises suspicion that triggers slow bleeding of the GEMA vote (Karua inevitably harvesting big Kirinyaga/Embu votes)…and Kenneth some Muranga votes…with some apathy from Kiambu…The more likely folks to give Mudavadi a shot are Nyeri, Nyandarua, Laikipia folks….(this presumption is still an experiment not yet tested). RELIABLE sources indicate that NSIS ground-intelligence informed State House to specifically ask Mudavadi to intensify his selling in Nyeri, Nyandarua and Laikipia regions under the pretext of “protecting Kibaki”…having seen these as the softest grounds…other parts of Central have shown resistance.

    5) The overall implication is that the Jubilee coalition’s ‘formidability’ starts cracking with Musalia at the helm. Whether sourced from Uhuru’s constituency or Ruto, Musalia would have difficulty holding the Jubilee coalition strong enough to match the oncoming CORD juggernaut. Besides, there are other internal rifts that could implode with Musalia at the helm. Ruto was in fact angered that Musalia was still trying to incorporate his erstwhile KANU cousins of wakina Gideon Moi, Nick Salat & co…a development that starts creating internal rifts within Ruto’s URP stronghold. Ruto certainly doesn’t want such headaches that distract his chieftain status within the former Rift.

    6) Last but not least is the biggest elephant in the Jubilee tent – the ICC. Think about this…do you certainly think Uhuru and Ruto will move aside and entrust their freedom (& assets) in the hands of a third party with zero international clout (Musalia) when another third party called President Kibaki (wielding all state powers even to our coffers) has so far failed to save them from their ICC nightmare? Let’s all cut the chase, it’s no longer up to State House to ‘instruct’ Uhuru Kenyatta what to do regarding his own survival from the ICC grip…the record of State House (Kibaki) trying to help has been a fantastic 100% failure…Uhuru wouldn’t trust State House instincts on this subject as if there has suddenly been an epiphany.

    7) Uhuru is trusting his own instincts which tell him only a President Uhuru who can save him…(Ruto likely thinks the same). While that may be true, the cost to 40 million Kenyans may be hard to bear…the moment Kenya becomes a pariah state. Paradoxically, I personally think RAO is the only one who may navigate the delicate international diplomacy that succeeds in returning these cases to Kenya without ending up with sanctions – something I’ll ‘strangle’ him if he ever tries (there must be real Justice for PEV victims). What is very clear is that Uhuru and Ruto fully appreciate the fact that Mudavadi has no international clout or gravitas to even dream about upsetting the international order…he wouldn’t act…neither would he risk putting Kenya on a path of economic sanctions…period! The ICC duo know this – they are thus only interested in creating a perception of teaming with Luhya’s within the Jubilee coalition…a myth that’s soon implode by December 18th, 2012. Watch this space.

    • Job great analysis,
      Its now clear that Mudavadi is going to be the third wheel in the jubilee coalition.
      Its also clear that Uhuruas base has no time for Mudavadi. They see him as a supporting act and nothing else. Its a tough situation but thats what it is if you dont know what you are doing.

      The biggest headache for Mudavadi is not loosing in the nominations because has already. He cannot get that ticket and his supporters know that. But the biggest problem for him is how to explain that to Western province. Then go on and ask them to vote for Uhuru Kenyatta. My guess is that if CORD handles itself well, Western province will be in their bag.

      Wamalwa and Jirongo will certainly join the Uhuruto bandwagon in one way or the other but this will not make a difference. I’m not saying that Jubilee will get zero votes. All I know is that they will be thrashed badly.

    • great analysis job,

      welcome nalinali :) , let’s not forget that only last week MM while in Ruto’s backyard said something to the effect that Kenyans should (shun the ICC duo) vote for a leader who will foster the country’s image and relations with the international community. as long as Ruto is slated for the DP slot, i have a feeling URP supporters (despite historical and land issues) would rather have the ICC duo intact than have the flip-floping remote controlled mudavadi as PORK.

      I understand Waititu (can anyone who heard this interview please confirm) claimed on Q fm that in order to accept the no 2 slot, Ruto was paid 2 billion plus a promise to have his company insure all government vehicles in a kenyatta presidency. Knowing the implications of ‘breaking’ this contract, would he encourage his supporters to choose ‘phandom’ over muthamaki?

      I think Ruto’s motor-mouth Duale captured the feeling among URP supporters when he said, “There are people who decamped from their parties thinking we had all along been laying ground for them; and so they walked in exuding confidence they would ascend to presidency with our help. That will not happen!”

    • now that is vintage Job, love the clarity

      reading the above puts finality in what was said by ali-beba’s gang of 40 MPs when mbiuki said mudavadi cannot be sold on their ground and if mudavadi wins then all lond’s read to mbondo

      our dear mudavadi jumped from a ship where he was guaranteed deputy with absolutely no sweat, he didn’t even need to lift a finger and if he wanted to shift his butt a little could attempt for top seat but still fall back to deputy.

      and so now he is going into a nomination exercise where he must loose, if he wants to be anything. but thats not the end of the nightmare, as Job points out, after willingly losing he must then go out and campaign for his new masters. good lawd, what a choice.

    • Mzee, Job, Phil, Akiny et al.

      Thanks a lot for the insightful feedback. They are convincing and I would agree with all save for the fact that we need to come to terms with the context for supposing that Uhuru would as sure as daylight, go along with Mudavadi.
      Uhuru’s current persuasion (at Kameme FM and elsewhere) that the outcome of URP/TNA/UDF presidential nomination be accepted whether or not he wins, is curiously at odds with his “unstated” conviction (hitherto bought by his supporters) that only an Uhuru presidency can save Uhuru from the ICC. The launch of CORD on Tuesday blew away the viability of that conviction by reawakening Uhuruto’s harshest nightmare-namely, the prospects of a Raila presidency. The cost of a Raila presidency definitely makes the case against an unmistakable Uhuru’s presidency and effectively transforms Mudavadi from being a fast fading politician desperate for legitimacy into a viable instrument with which to stop Raila on his tracks.
      Uhuru’s antipathy towards Raila not only predates his ICC predicament, but also supplants any other rationale anchoring his craving for PORK. Uhuruto would rather confront fate at the ICC than accept to be outclassed, and outsmarted by one Raila Odinga. Having spent the better part of the last two years hypnotizing TNA-URP dead-enders (defined by ethnicity) that his predicament at the ICC is martyrdom, Uhuruto now straddle the other path of attributing a doomsday scenario, not to the ICC trials, but to the prospect of a Raila presidency. For historical reasons, TNA dead-enders will identify the latter as a worst case scenario in their lives as Kenyan citizens. They will likely choose to hedge their bets with Mudavadi, if that will keep CORD (read Raila) away from PORK. On this score, their interests dovetail with those of the so called “State House mandarins”.
      Uhuru and Ruto are treading water fully cognizant of the risks of drowning in the assuredness of CORD’s victory and so anything that will stop such a victory is god-send. This smacks of a lack of subtlety on their part and reveals their politician convictions (if any) for what they are—childlike incredulity.
      I deployed the word dissonance in framing the limits of cohesion in the Jubilee coalition. In reality, the dissonance is between the two competing rationales spurring Uhuruto’s quest for leadership: protection against ICC and living under a Raila presidency. I think that the roping in of UDF reveals that the former rationale trumps the other and so provides a context for seeing Uhuru losing out in the nominations. Ruto reaps the default outcome by having Uhuru out of the ticket, thus assuaging those in RV who were skeptical about the capacity of Uhuruto combination as PORK and D-PORK to address historical land injustices.

      • Nalinali,
        You are right on many counts but what I find hard to comprehend is the kikuyu bypassing not one but two of their own i.e. Karua and Kenneth and voting for a Mudavadi/Ruto ticket. What you should remember is that Ruto is perhaps the most loathed figure amongst the Kikuyu. They only tolerate him because he is ready to deliver votes for Uhuru. Remove Uhuru from the matrix and the “love” collapses. I don’t say it cannot happen but history tells us otherwise. I’m yet to figure out why the people of central province would this time around vote for another person other than their own.

        But let’s assume that Ruto believes that Mudavadi is a better man to beat CORD, do you think he would hesitate to whip the RV delegates to vote to Mudavadi instead of Uhuru? Yes, you bet for he is an excellent opportunist and his position as DPORK is not affected anyways. The bully he is he would rather have a weak Mudavadi than Uhuru who has the backing of experienced Kibaki/ Jomo /Moi machinery. I suspect that this is the only way Mudavadi can be handed the ticket and it might happen hence the jittery in Uhurus camp. Opinion polls have showed that RV has a soft spot for Mudavadi and even without being whipped they might simply vote for Mudavadi. If this happened, what would Uhuru think? Would he come out crying foul? If he did not, how would his “disciples” feel?

        Nali, the threat of ICC is real and making Kenya a pariah state is not anything the jubilee folks will think twice about. They will do it and the blink of an eye. We should not for a moment think that Uhuruto loves Kenya more than they love themselves. They will throw the whole country under the buss if necessary.

  3. NaliNali how refreshing to see you at DC! karibu ndugu…..and I see you have hit the ground running.

    The question is if Uhuru’s bid as a Kikuyu is unbankable as some seem to think, why then cant he back Ruto for PORK as a running mate? Why introduce the political idiot Mudavadi into the mix?

    Remove Raila from the presidential race, this will be Uhuru’s to lose. Uhuru has an upperhand both on Ruto and Mudavadi. Both politically and financially, Uhuru is way ahead. And only him can give RAO a run for his money in the presidential race.

    • Uhuru is the engine of the Jubilee coalition. Without him everything falls apart.
      So he will be the flag bearer come rain come shine and thats OK with us.

  4. Nali Nali

    first a big welcome

    and yes, in that coalition, the only one person sitting pretty is ruto (so far, but it can turn on a dime and pretty fast). he is the only one at this point assured of a post irrespective of nominations outcome. interestingly, he is also in a bind, in that he cannot directly be seen to influence his sycophants in what direction to take, its a delicate matter. if he supports uhuru, then mudavadi and his support will definitely feel duped (assuming they are not aware). if he supports mudavadi, thats the end of that coalition.

    mudavadi on the other hand, if he does not win the nomination, well …..

    this is a game of being too clever for one’s own good. the 14 days or so, will go very quick

    this will be most entertaining. however musalia in this case comes in as a beggar and beggars cant be choosers. he cannot afford to rock the boat, but if he is too meek, his remaining support will vanish into thin air. what a great drama

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