Third Eye

Why Azimio is a new beginning for Kenyans

Monday, March 14th, 2022 00:00 | By
ODM leader Raila Odinga during the launch of his presidential candidature under the Azimio La Umoja at Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi. PD/ FILE

The year is 2004 and I’m a junior student at Maseno University. Two years into the NARC government and we are at the burial of Job Omino—one of the key figures behind Baba’s endorsement of President Kibaki. The funeral is over and I see the then Opposition leader Uhuru Kenyatta asking frantically, “agwambo ameenda, agwambo ameenda?”

My friend Lule and I are surprised. I mean Raila Odinga (then popularly known as Agwambo) had just helped President Kibaki trounce the Uhuru-Moi backed government and here the two were looking for each other like they were boys. 

We did not read so much into it then, but being diligent students of Kenyan politics, that picture of the then young Uhuru frantically looking for Raila never left our mind. 

Fast forward and the two comrades I saw exhibit the highest level of camaraderie are at it again. This time, President Kenyatta going out of his way to not only support but publicly endorse a politician with a tradition of reform. Two leaders who have always been at opposite ends, uniting and galvanising the country have managed to pull a feat that no one would have imagined.

Today, Kenyans are witnessing a new beginning. A beginning that many hope will benefit the common mwananchi and redefine our political culture forever. President  Kenyatta has successfully managed to put all political interest together and most critics aver that this could be the beginning of the end of politics of deceit and betrayal. He has kept his word since that March 2018 handshake. 

Raila’s speech both at Kenyatta International Convention Centre during the Azimio National Delegates Conference and at the Jaranda Grounds vividly captured the ground covered by Uhuru  and articulated the pathways of continuity. 

From the social welfare which will definitely address the plight of the folks at the bottom of the pyramid to the grand elements that will leverage on President Kenyatta’s grand investment in infrastructure and take this country to the next level. 

Suffice to note, a number of worthy presidential candidates who also had solid ambitions, listened keenly as a composed, reenergised and a more reassuring Baba addressed the multitude of Kenyans at Jaranda. 

Behind that speech and poise of a confident and reassured leader, was a team that probably hammered a deal to take this country to the next level. 

Led by President Kenyatta, who has etched his name in the annals of history, this team must lay a platform for a successive line of leadership that will build on the gains made and create pathways for more gains in changing the lives of Kenyans. 

This team probably agreed on the post 2022 agenda and how Raila will build on his legacy as he continues with Uhuru’s, how the next dispensation will look like and all these depend on the work the team will deliver beginning after the August 9 elections. 

I don’t see the Kenya Kwanza beating this team because it does appear that with Kalonzo Musyoka on board the little hope they had of eating into Raila’s traditional block is up in smoke. I will echo the words of Governor Charity Ngilu whose landmark statement centred on the people. After congratulating Baba, the governor made it clear that the work ahead, after Uhuru, is tailored for Baba. 

But she was pragmatic and captured the spirit of Azimio when she pointed out that the young people at Jaranda Grounds and Kenyans at large are looking up to Baba to change their lives: “They came in large numbers, they believe in Baba, they see the unwavering support by President Kenyatta, the ambitions sacrificed by Kalonzo and in all these they are yearning for a better life ahead.” 

The work is cut out and if the team behind Baba support him in delivering, successive successions will be built on these very solid foundations President Kenyatta and Raila have laid through Azimio la Umoja.

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