This is it.
In his dying days, Michael Jackson (MJ) had a vision, and was actually working on it. He aptly named it “This Is It.”
MJ was to do tour like no other and finally leave the stage while at the top.
Well, unbeknownst to him, the tour would never come to fruition as his days on earth were counting faster than he could do the show.
This Is It, may also be an apt name for the show three of our politicians are about to perform:
The Rt. Honorable Raila Amolo Odinga (Raila or RAO), son of Jaramogi, is set to run for the third and likely final time as presidential candidate.
The Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta (UK), is likely to run for the second and final time.
Hon. Wiliam Samoei Ruto, is likely to kiss his political career goodbye for at least several years, unless he plays his cards right.
Each of these politicians has a must do to survive politically in 2012 but their fortunes and misfortunes are different from one another, even though there are some parallels.
By all accounts, Raila remains the most popular politician in the country and his party, ODM, remains the most organized and active across the country.
However, this by no means he has the presidency all but sealed and delivered; quite the contrary, he has his work cut out for him, especially given everyone else is basically trying to go for his jugular.
The main challenge ahead for Raila, is containing or minimizing what damage Ruto’s departure brings to his fate.
Having survived the initial onslaught from Ruto with what some of his then allies conceded later were lies and distortions designed and perpetuated by Ruto in efforts to topple Raila, and especially having survived the greatest days of uncertainty in this onslaught when Kibaki seemed to cozy up with Ruto, one can say Raila has survived the worst of his fall-out with Ruto.
The question now for him is can he turn the fall-out into an advantage and given how things have started to turn around for Raila in Rift Valley—not by accident but by his own efforts, it is Ruto who now finds himself in the precarious and unenviable position of nearly becoming politically irrelevant.
The latest reports show growing opposition to Ruto in RV, even from within UDM, the party Ruto illegally took over, according to its former Chairman, General (Rtd.) Koech who is in court in efforts to stop what he and others say is an illegal takeover.
The irony of it is, Ruto may fight so hard to wrestle control of this party from Koech and succeed in doing so, only to face even more defined rebellion from within, splintering the party to the point of irrelevancy or the party itself may nominate someone else than Ruto it deems better suited to vie for the presidency.
Raila cannot be but happy with how fortunes have turned against Ruto and this is to say nothing about ICC, which in the end could be the proverbial last nail on Ruto’s political coffin but I doubt as I have argued before Ruto is not likely to be convicted, based on my own legal analysis of the case.
Were Ruto to be smart about all of this, he would swallow his pride and not let his ego drive him into political irrelevancy by making amends with Raila and returning to ODM.
Time is running out on him to make any move to return to ODM, however.
The more Raila makes gains in RV, the less relevant Ruto becomes and soon it would be past a point even Raila could care to have him on board.
UK on the other hand, is an interesting politician.
The man is a victim of his own upringing.
As a privileged child and son of our first president, UK has never had to fight for anything.
Everything has always been presented to him on a silver platter.
Unfortunately, however, the presidency cannot be something to be presented on a silver platter.
Former president Daniel arap Moi attempted to present the presidency to UK on a silver platter but Kenyans led by Raila wisely rejected the move.
Being the son of our first president is only second worse to being a Kikuyu running for president in 2012.
Nothing turns people’s stomachs, including many Kikuyus themselves than the idea of another Kikuyu presidency; not again, at least not this soon.
In sum, it’s Raila and Ruto, not UK who must make a performance of their lives, come 2012.
Raila has the edge, though.
The serious politician he is, he is also blessed with endless vitenda wilis much as entertaining as MJ’s This Is It.
Peace, Unity and This Is It for Raila, UK and Ruto