President Uhuru Kenyatta with party leaders Gideon Moi (Kanu); Musalia Mudavadi (Amani); Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper); Raila Odinga (ODM), Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya) at State House , Nairobi Thursday, February 25, 2021.
President Uhuru Kenyatta with party leaders Gideon Moi (Kanu); Musalia Mudavadi (Amani); Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper); Raila Odinga (ODM), Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya) at State House , Nairobi Thursday, February 25, 2021.
Image: PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party leaders parade at State House on Thursday has left many guessing on his next political move after the bitter fallout with Deputy President William Ruto.

The President was joined by ODM leader Raila Odinga, ANC chief Musalia Mudavadi; Kanu’s Gideon Moi, Ford Kenya boss Moses Wetang’ula and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu of Narc.

The Star has established that Uhuru is keen on having the NASA side work together on grounds the recent upheavals in the coalition had threatened to scuttle the BBI process.

Sources said the Thursday meeting was part of the efforts by people around the President to form a government of national unity to help steer the transition into the BBI regime, in events that stand to shake the country’s politics.

Aides of the party leaders and sources privy to the discussions at the four-hour meeting intimated that the discussion centred on how to get the Nasa team work together to help the President achieve the BBI agenda.

Word is that DP Ruto, who was loudly absent, is being treated as the common enemy in the ensuing plot; amid plans to lock out his men from the Cabinet and plum state jobs to give room for the President’s new allies.

More heads are tipped to roll on the DP’s side once the team embarks on the campaign trail; with more likely to follow after the BBI process in Parliament is complete.

“Before they start the campaign, they will drop all the Tangatanga fellows to form a government of national unity. As you can see, they have already dropped some names in the recent CAS appointments. Most of the perceived Ruto allies will be dropped,” a source aware of the deliberations said.

The grand plan, another source said, is to lock out Ruto from the 2022 succession equation, with the proposed expansion of the Executive said to be coming in handy.

Ruto has been on the receiving end of the onslaught by those keen on blocking him from ascending to the top job, the latest being the remarks by Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe on a looming eviction party from “the Hustler’s mansion”, or Karen Residence.

It has also emerged that the President is engaging Raila in talks to consider keeping off the presidential run in 2022, a call arising from a purported agreement they reached ahead of the 2018 handshake.

“The leaders are planning the 2022 succession. There will be horse-trading and jostling but ultimately they will settle on who will become president,” a senior state official told the Star in confidence on Friday.

To give credence to the persuasion, Raila appears to be changing his message to point that Kenyans would have a say on who would be the next president.

The ODM leader, at the burial of Bonchari MP John Oroo Oyioka, rubbished claims from quarters suggesting the BBI is about his presidential bid, saying his handshake with President Kenyatta is meant to help address challenges facing the country.

But certain quarters say Uhuru could be preparing a transitional team as the BBI proposals may not be implementable within the deadlines of the next election slated for August next year.

The argument is that the proposed additional 70 constituencies may not be realised by the next election.

This is also considering the uncertainty of the referendum process in the face of the court case barring IEBC from conducting the vote until seven petitions before it are heard and determined.

Lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi observed that there was more than meets the eye in Uhuru’s parade given the head of state is due to leave office.

Abdullahi said the standing or sitting arrangement was a message on the political machinations of the 2022 vote.

“In matters of state, standing/sitting arrangements are well planned and according to well thought-out protocol,” he tweeted.

“That Musyoka is to the right, Raila to the left and Mudavadi and Ngilu second right and left is important signal His Excellency Uhuru is sending,” the lawyer said, adding that the group had all to do with events that will follow after the BBI.

The statement read by Gideon after the meeting, where the leaders called on Kenyans to build on their renewed unity and greater political consensus, came close to the assertion.

“BBI represents a once-in-a-generation break from the past; to resolve many longstanding national challenges that hold us back from realising a united and prosperous Kenya for all,” the leaders said.

They announced a planned meeting for MCAS and MPs on March 9, which coincides with the third anniversary of the 2018 handshake, to consolidate the plan.

Political analyst Martin Andati holds that the BBI is geared towards 2022 and an expanded Executive, with posts of Prime Minister and two deputies serving the interests of the BBI honchos.

On Gideon reading the statement on behalf of the lot, Andati said the move was a way of fighting the fellows believed to have incited Baringo MCAs to shoot down the BBI bill.

“If you look at the succession matrix, Ruto has been sidelined and Gideon is being positioned to roll over him,” the analyst said.

“The message was that even without the support from Baringo, BBI can go on. There could be more in the works if the remarks by Murathe on plans to evict the DP from his official residence is anything to go by,” Andati said.

Ruto allies, however, say it would be better if the BBI Seven focused on key issues affecting Kenyans.

“We hoped they discussed issues like the state of the economy, rising debt, failing to obey court orders, the possibility of holding the referendum alongside the general election, or it was just BBI and Ruto on the menu?” Soy MP Caleb Kositany asked.

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said the events mirror the days of Biblical David who was blessed despite his father presenting his seven eldest brothers for ordination.