There have been rumors lately that Raila through emissaries is talking to his rivals, including his sworn enemies Uhuru and Ruto.
Neither Uhuru nor Ruto is confirming this but Raila’s people are all but confirming these talks are, indeed, going on.
In a story reported today in the Daily Nation, the two sides simultaneously continue to deny talks are taking place, on the part of UK and Ruto, while basically confirming they are on the part of ODM.
How is it possible that these two sides are saying what appears to be on its face two contradictory things?
Is either or both telling the truth?
A good assumption would be both are telling the truth; you would have to carefully parse the words and language they are using to figure why.
Basically, this is politics 101.
It is not in neither Uhuru nor Ruto’s interest to admit at this time of any talks, if any, for doing so would be as good as saying the deal is done politically speaking because those are words they cannot take back in case the deal doesn’t go through.
In other words, the two must remain steady with their message Raila is a bad man who they want to block from becoming president while quietly and behind the scenes anxiously and eagerly discussing with him the various scenarios they can all three make sure their individual interests are take care of post-election.
On the other hand, it’s in Raila or ODM’s interest to broadcast widely and vigorously any talks or even plans of talks going on.
Indeed, according to the DN, “an MP from Nyanza, however, confirmed that he attended one of the meetings between Mr Odinga and Mr Ruto in what he termed as a series of negotiations to bridge the gap between the two leaders.”
“I was at Mr Ruto’s home and I had never been there before. Our mission there was to engage him and to offer him Mr Odinga’s proposal,” he added, noting Ruto “insisted that the PM must address the ICC issue first.”
While denying talks are taking place, for their part, Ruto’s lieutenant Belgut MP Charles Keter said that “though URP is open to political negotiation with other political parties no meaningful talks had taken place between the Ruto and Mr Odinga camps.”
Noting what may be key in this whole mini-series, Keter added, ““We know that if Mr Odinga wants to talk to us he has to come alone and convince the party leadership and the Kalenjin nation. There is no need for him to send people to us.”
One would have to assume the modalities and mechanics of having that done may just be what’s on the table and that could mean a lot of things.
A lot but not too many not to find a common ground to make it happen.
Meanwhile, Uhuru’s denials are firm and unyielding: ““This [the rumors about talks] is an attempt by ODM to disrupt our focus from serious issues and campaigns,” said Mr Kenyatta’s spokesman Mr Munyori Buku, adding, “Mr Kenyatta has not and will never meet or talk to ODM on any alliances or political engagements.”
This unyielding, emphatic denial can only mean one thing; if talks are going on, they are likely more serious and even more so likely to yield results in the case between Raila and Ruto but less so with Uhuru who nonetheless must have his nose stuck in there between the two because any deal they make he must somehow be a part of it, given his twin interest with Ruto courtesy of ICC.
Which leads one to conclude a deal could be in the offing among these three that is unprecedented and too complex to even try and throw out there as a trial balloon.
I have an hunch I know what it could be strictly from putting two and two together but let me not put it out there for the same reasons other than to say if it is what I think it could be, it would not make sense to a lot of people until it is actually done and successfully implemented (read after the elections).
That being said, notwithstanding the denials, all one has to observe to know there is something interesting going even without knowing the behind the scenes goings on is to observe what these two, namely, UK and Ruto have or have not been saying about Raila lately.
Compare that to the dangerous rhetoric of earlier this year.
Something gave at some point and that is the high-handedness and a false sense of invincibility on both UK and Ruto ostensibly because (1) reality sank in as to the ICC, especially dire warnings of not just the two from the ICC but the government itself likely heard an earful from the US, UK and Denmark to the effect the countries will rally the UN to isolate Kenya were it to try and defy the ICC and (2) a realization Raila is, indeed, a mugumo tree nobody is going to bring down no matter how hard they try.
Uhuru and Ruto realize confident as they may publicly project toughness and ability to beat Raila, they privately know and would admit Raila has a better chance of beating either or both of them and no matter how small that chance is, only but a fool would not want to make sure were that to happen as its likely to, namely, Raila being reelected as president, at least they ought to be in a position not to be told the PM’s calendar is full through 4 years down the road when trying to secure an appointment to see him.
Neither is a fool so you might as well believe they are talking–just in case.
As note above, my hunch is if there are such a talks that result in a deal, it will not be something readily understandable or even readily observable but the net effect will be the same, namely, making sure all three men have their individual political and personal objectives met.
It’s worth noting Mudavadi does not feature in any of this analysis because it’s true he is politically finished.
Our next president is going to be either Raila or Uhuru or whoever Uhuru backs.
Ruto is very much relevant in influencing who that could be albeit not to the exclusion of others who may negate such influence.
My money is on Raila, even though I am not a betting man.
Kenyans will vindicate that belief and hope.
So will God.