A Political Handshake to Nowhere

A Political Handshake to Nowhere
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Whatever political calculus the mafia is cooking for 2022 will never end up with Jakom getting anywhere near being Commander-in-Chief or being able to wield significant executive powers.


For starters, in 2007, they were willing to throw the country to the dogs just to deny Jakom his rightful victory. Thousands of IDPs, 1200 lives lost and ICC court cases later, stopping Jakom was the mafia’s cri de coeur!

Secondly, in 2013, they debuted the algorithms and consigned Jakom out of the two arms of government that he once belonged to ( legislature as MP for Lang’ata and Executive as PM). They didn’t stop there, a spineless Supreme Court was coerced into making a mockery of Supreme Court jurisprudence.

Thirdly, in 2017, they upped the ante on algorithms – this time, at a hefty cost by way of human lives – and when the Supreme Court flexed its muscles, they turned Justices into shooting range target practice materials and effectively ended up running against voter turnout in an election that toddlers also voted in.

Sadly, the aforementioned happened just because some very powerful people did not want Jakom anywhere near Statehouse and there is no evidence that has changed or will change anytime soon.

Even the vaunted handshake is tolerated because Uhuru is the President while their consensus bete noire wields a pseudo executive authority and that makes the mafia sleep soundly.

Notice the curious trend that dovetails each election.

Any arrangement that keeps Jakom near the levers of power but not fully in charge i.e. Prime Minister with Kibaki as Head of State and Commander-in-chief in 2008 under the accord and now special envoy and “brother” of the President while Uhuru runs the show as the sole leader of the executive and C-in-C is okay with the poobahs.

And if past is prologue, this “brotherly” love will expire the moment Jakom makes a substantive move towards a presidential campaign for Decision 2022. Expect a carbon copy of the political power play that was pulled by the mafia when he was Kibaki’s coalition partner back in 2013. Stuff will just happen!

These guys are just tolerating Jakom because they know that having him close, greases the wheels of the Uhuru legacy train. But even in this small political parley called “handshake,” the partisan disgruntlement is palpable as we have seen in these last couple of days. No amount of encomiums from Uhuru to Jakom have been able to completely pacify the President’s base.

Extreme right-wing agitators like Kimani Ngunjiri the Bahati MP are churning out bigoted vitriol while hitherto political handymen like Moses Kuria the Gatundu MP are outrightly bemoaning the handshake aftershocks. These are guys who specialized in caricaturing Jakom into a political ogre for a living and are now increasingly getting frustrated.

The duo has since been reined in but they made their point. In fact, their behavior, together with the collective rebuke from the masses simply portends the mood of the greater Mount Kenya voting bloc that feels betrayed and is thoroughly peeved by the presence of the unwanted guest at the high table.

Politically, this means that when the time comes to pick a successor, they will rally behind the new kid on the block, who will in turn, yet again, make Jakom the bogeyman of Decision 2022. And this time, their anger and disgust will be on higher decibels owing to a cool 3-year headstart occasioned by the dreaded “handshake.”


Mike Dande is a political analyst based in Washington DC.

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