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Hand-shake and After: The Unfolding Stories from Kenya…

This is how I see it!

I think it was the right thing for the Former Prime Minister (Opposition Leader) and the President of the Republic of Kenya to do. After the sham elections of 2017, and the repeat elections in the same year in October, Kenya was politically divided. Some parts of the opposition did not participate in the repeat elections that means, Mr. Kenyatta would not have garnered the legitimacy enough to rule Kenya as the 4th President. Since the handshake Kenya is politically stable. Businesses go on as usual and Kenyans are peaceful.

But the thorny question is, what has become of the opposition? The Constitution has not clearly provided for the Opposition and should any presidential contender lose the elections, he has no legislative authority nor executive authority. He simple retires as any other common citizen. The Constitution vaguely has a role of the majority leader and minority leader in Parliaement. However, this is not the entire political reality in Kenya.

As the pundits say, Raila and Uhuru did not involve them in the handshake deal. It is true that the entire Kenyans were in the deal and that is why they accepted the impacts of the handshake even if they lose the role of opposition to oversight the executive powers. Those who argue that they were left out in the deal that the duo came up with, later accepted the deal.

The fear of the Deputy President of the Opposition leader interfering and threatening his bid for presidency in 2022 is a political gimmick that was to happen. The rebellion in the backyard of the opposition alliance NASA was to happen.

The truth of the matter is that Rt. Hon. Raila had no option when he was left all by himself when Hon. Kalanzo, Hon. Musalia and Hon. Wetangula (the Principals of NASA alliance) abandoned him at the swearing in of the people’s president early 2018. The fear that this was going to be a bloody massacre in the history of Kenya was not well taken by the man who has always pioneered multiparty democracy in the Republic of Kenya. Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga had only one option left, to circumvent to the pressure of the diplomats and join his main rival in building bridges. The rationale behind all this shows that, the lesser evil was to shake hands with the President and unite Kenya. But this is not the lasting solution for politics in Kenya. Building Bridges Initiative in Kenya was meant to come up with a roadmap for Kenya. Its scope is to tame electoral violence that has seen many innocent Kenyans being killed due to ethnicized type of politics. The winner takes it all in the constitution has not worked well and must be revised.

Indeed, people always read mischief in everything. Even the obvious practice as handshake was to be criticised. Some people still believe that the opposition leader was compromised and betrayed his stand to defend the poor. Some even read mischief that the ruling party is using him for its own goals for succession race. Some see him as giving up his selfless fight for a better Kenya. As Hon. Raila went quiet on hot politics, he left many of his followers guessing. Some even see it as soft landing for his politics…or the end of odingaism. Who knows? For President Uhuru, the handshake has made him a hero. He is finishing his last term as the 4th President. But even for the President, the succession saga is still a puzzle. The best he can do is to calm down members of his party, Jubillee and tell them to concentrate on their promise to Kenyans. Development agenda is given priority.

The handshake has done more good than evil. However, who will put the executive on its toes? Not Parliament. Not even the Judiciary since this is a political process. Rt. Hon. Raila may seem weak but his weakness has always worked well for him. He considers higher values. He is a utilitarian politician. But, he is full of human heart. He fears anything that would lead to blood letting. He accepts to eat his humble pie and see Kenya going despite all the odds. He is not happy with the electoral injustice that has denied him the win. His adversaries see his weakness as their advantage for 2022 but it would be too soon to celebrate!

About Peter Onyango

Dr. Peter Onyango O. is one of our main contributors. He is a senior law lecturer, a writer, a consultant, peace ambassador, and a researcher. He assists so many professionals, legal minds, and debaters with his skills and scholarly wealth! He supports children and village community as a way of giving back to community. He edits, proof reads, and publishes various articles for our page!

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