THIS LOCKDOWN HAS POLITICAL RISKS: WERE THEY FACTORED?
BY MOHAMED WARSAMA
THE March 27 2020 first lock down was easy.
Everybody was scared. Everybody panicked. And when the Government imposed the lock down ordered a shut down of places of business, work from home, Kenyans unanimously obeyed.
The lockdown was in the happy days of The Handshake.
Then came a gradual heartbreak when it became obvious that politicians were not obeying the guidelines they had imposed on us.
Senator Orengo clamoured for a referendum by June last year. Atwoli had his notorious barnstorming luncheons in Kajiado home and political jaunts into Western.
By September, Raila and his party were insistent that the BBI reggae continues.
By November, as we were in the second wave of corona, the Government opted for riding it out through herd immunity.
Fast forward to the present.
Raila went into hospital early this month with corona as the handshake began to unhand itself in the wake of Uhuru’s efforts to promote the Kenya Moja Alliance of his former Nasa allies and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
ODM allies warned they would never accept the newcomers to reap the fruits of Raila’s labour.
But these warnings from ODM have not deterred Uhuru in his grand plan. That grand plan aims at cutting out Raila and Ruto from the 2022 succession and restricting their influence to Luo Nyanza and Rift Valley.
Uhuru having bagged the Western parties and Wiper, is now focused on luring the Mijikenda governors to join in with their own regional party.
Expect dramatic developments when Uhuru goes to Mombasa for the groundbreaking of Buxton housing project soon.
As of Sunday March 28 2021, this is how the papers have described Raila:
Sunday Standard: Raila rested too much on borrowed glory. Uhuru made him the proverbial frog that is placed in a container with cold water.Heat is progressively introduced and intensified at the bottom of the container. By the time the rest of the frog family realises what is happening to one of its own,the water has risen to boiling point with the poor frog still in.place.
Again from Sunday Standard: For Raila, the game would appear to be moving towards end time The president does not have much further need for him.
Uhuru has closed down the BBI secretariat and taken the activities to his own office, under PS Kibicho. Odinga and his team are now partners in the fringes of the effort (BBI). The real people who count are the One Kenya Alliance members.
The above from Sunday Standard whose owner, Gideon Moi, ordered in 2019 critics of the handshake such as Maina Kiai, George Kegoro and Gabriel Dolan not to be published.
Sunday Nation headline was: The secret plot to cut Raila down to size.
All eyes are focused on March 31. It is the deadline for ODM presidential ticket aspirants to hand in their papers.
It would also be the expiry of the 14-day period of self isolation Raila is observing.
How will he react publicly to these developments?
Would he first order the Luo-dominated civil society he has kept on a leash since the handshake to go into offensive?
Will he ask his allies to start attacking the government?
Being a populist by nature, Raila will seek to regain the ground he lost since he went to bed with Jubilee.
The lockdown ordered last Friday by Uhuru gives Raila a golden opportunity to regain that lost ground.
His key allies such as Orengo and Atiende Omollo have warned that they will ask ODM supporters to go back to the streets if Raila is “played” by Uhuru.
And what better starting point for them than calling on ODM supporters to demonstrate against the lockdown claiming they have been rendered jobless and hungry?
The closure of hotels will starve the National Intelligence Service of badly needed information about what government opponents may be planning to do.
It is at these establishments that politicians meet to make their plans and government spies on them.
Now they will be meeting in the safety of their homes away from the prying eyes of NIS.