Uhuru’s power struggle with NASA, his legacy to define 2018
10 months ago, 1 Jan 09:42
A vicious political struggle, clamour for plum government jobs and a President determined to secure his legacy, amid tough economic times, will define 2018 as Kenyans welcome the New Year. Already, NASA chief Raila Odinga and his co-principals have signalled that their protracted political duel against President Uhuru Kenyatta’s controversial reelection will begin proper this week. This means the long-drawn-out politicking that characterised 2017 will spill over and dominate this year. In his New Year message to Kenyans, Raila said NASA will unveil a programme for civil disobedience, peaceful protests and noncooperation against what he calls an “illegitimate government”. looming political duel According to the ODM leader, the People’s Assemblies are also expected to be up and running in this first week. “NASA’s position remains that until electoral justice is achieved, we will not recognise the Jubilee regime and the so-called election of Uhuru Kenyatta as President,” Raila said in a hard-hitting message. He added, however, that the looming political duel could only be averted if Jubilee accepts to come to the negotiating table on five key issues. These are fixing the country’s electoral system, reforming the executive, protecting the Judiciary, reforming the security sector and strengthening devolution. But despite attempts by religious leaders and the diplomatic community to broker a settlement, President Uhuru has made it clear he is only ready for talks on “development”. Buoyed by the return of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka from Germany, NASA strategists insist Raila’s swearing-in plans are on the cards. raila in his true element “You will see Raila in his element in 2018. The swearing-in plans have been discussed exhaustively. If Jubilee is not willing to talk, we shall form a parallel government,” a close Raila associate told the Star yesterday. But as Raila lays out his fightback plan, Uhuru and DP William Ruto are reconstituting their administration and a new Cabinet is in the offing. At least seven Cabinet Secretaries are likely to be kicked out in the grand housecleaning, as big names, who played key roles in the UhuRuto reelection, are considered for plum positions. There are jitters in NASA that Uhuru could be planning to raid key Raila and Kalonzo allies by incorporating them in government to isolate the two leaders. Besides the Cabinet, there are at least 46 principal secretary slots and many positions for parastatal chiefs. Uhuru is keen to headhunt individuals who can help in spearheading his administration’s agenda so he can secure his legacy. Described as the Big Four, the President hopes to ride on food security, affordable housing, manufacturing and inexpensive healthcare to redefine his legacy. “During the next five years, I will dedicate the energy, time and resources of my administration to the Big Four,” Uhuru promised during the Jamhuri Day celebrations on December 12. According to a forecast by the Treasury, the economy should rebound this year, after drought and the prolonged election period cut nearly one per cent from the early economic growth forecast last year. This will, however, largely be ...
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