The Uhuru succession game is no longer mere hearsay. The incumbent head of State is determined not to fall into the same trap as that of his mentor Daniel Moi and predecessor Mwai Kibaki where their preferred presidential candidates were beaten hands down.
In that regard, Uhuru Kenyatta has formed a special team to advise him on his succession.
The special team comprises Director General of the National Intelligence Service, Phillip Kamweru, president’s kid brother Muhoho Kenyatta, his uncle George Muhoho, Interior principal secretary Karanja Kibicho, former Kenya Defence Forces chief Julius Karangi and former presidential adviser Nancy Gitau.
Uhuru’s mother, Mama Ngina, is also joining the team whenever they have a burning issue to discuss. First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Uhuru political buddy David Murathe, are also in the fold.
Whispers in the corridors of power aver that the team also includes ODM leader Raila Odinga is also in the team. Proof includes Raila recently being at a function with uncle Muhoho who is Mama Ngina’s brother.
Raila has also hosted at his Bondo home, bro Muhoho the financial key holder of the purse.
The former PM who has unlimited access to State House and has held talks with Uhuru in Kisumu while enjoying hard drinks and food while ‘hiding’ from their security details.
Uhuru wants to avoid the situation Moi found himself in when he plucked him from nowhere and bulldozed him to be the then ruling party, Kanu as presidential candidate in 2002.
Ahead of the 2002 elections, all efforts by Moi to reconcile the Kanu rebels opposed to Uhuru as his successor, who included Raila, Kalonzo, George Saitoti, Joseph Kamotho, William ole Ntimama and Moody Awori, among others, ended in disarray.
A similar scenario unfolded when Kibaki tried to throw his weight behind then deputy prime minister Mudavadi as his successor in 2012.
The succession team has earmarked key political influencers to be reached out. Among them are party leaders, trade unionists, church leaders, business associations and powerful women leaders.
Already Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, Gideon Moi are in talks with State House. Uhuru during the launch of Huduma registration assigned Raila, Mudavadi and Kalonzo state duties that saw his bitter deputy William Ruto skip the function. Powerful governors who can influence regional politics are also to be accommodated. Of great influence is Mombasa governor Hassan Joho and his Makueni counterpart Kivutha Kibwana.
Where leadership vacuum exists, a new centre of power is to be created. A case is Gusii land where the Internal Security cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i factor is emerging to replace aged Simeon Nyachae.
Since Matiang’i was named super minister, the regional politics that was favouring Ruto has significantly shifted.
Within the trade unions, the team has set eyes on Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli more so, after he managed to control and bring back splinter unions back to the umbrella body.
Infact, insiders say that Uhuru and Raila handlers were surprised when Atwoli out of the blue started to push for referendum ahead of 2022, a move that has gained momentum across board. In Luhyaland, Atwoli is pushing for the community’s unity.
The succession team is also reaching out to women leaders under Embrace Alliance that has powerful connections within the corridors of power.
Surprisingly, the team has sidelined pro-Ruto Inua Wamama Initiative.
In Rift Valley Kalenjinland, new faces are emerging in Chama Cha Mashimani of Isaac Ruto, David Langat, Bundotich Buzeki and the versatile Zakayo Cheruyoit.
The idea is to join Gideon’s Kanu to tame Ruto in the region. Aware of the move, the DP strategists have planned a number of events in the region to consolidate his power that is under threat as rebel governors, senators and MPs have of late been openly hitting at the second in command.
The team has recommended to the president that he adopts the Building Bridges Initiative report that will call for expansion of the executive so as to accommodate political heavyweights across the country in the next government.
The BBI, which is the brainchild of Uhuru and ODM leader Raila Odinga, is finetuning its report before handing it to the appointing authority for implementation.
The report, according to insiders, proposes the creation of a premier, two deputy premiers and two vice presidents.
Insiders add that the team has also advised the president to ensure the budget for the referendum is factored in the next financial year.
After the referendum, Uhuru will reorganise his government where all the ethnic chiefs will be accommodated as he seeks to cement a legacy of a united Kenya.
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