Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Gazing Into A Crystal Ball...Or The Next 5 Years

Kibaki has named "half" his cabinet. Mmm... I guess that now that the killing has stopped we’re into a political chess game. And it appears that Kibaki's shrewd moves are giving him the upper hand. I must say that when I first heard the announcement this morning my reaction was sheer disbelief then I read his "half a cabinet" speech and I realized that instead of slamming the door shut, Kibaki has Raila exactly where he wants him.

If I were to look in my ‘crystal ball’ I would say that this fiasco will be resolved by the implementing of the 2002 MOU where Kibaki will continue as President and Raila will join the Cabinet as Prime Minister. I would not have wished for these troubles in a 1,000 years but I think we can all learn from them. I know that our astute politicians will have realized now what Mboya, Kenyatta and Odinga knew in the early 60s--that the Luo and Gikuyu together are a formidable force — and we’ve all learned this week (as we did in 1969) that when the two communities are on opposing sides we have bloodletting and chaos. I see Raila and Uhuru forming a partnership that will propel Raila to presidency in 2012. (The scions of our first Pres/VP in reversed roles.)

Kibaki is playing all of us like fools because we underestimate him, because we're driven by the heart when he is shrewd and calculating. In a game theoretic sense Kibaki is giving us all a lesson in strategy.

Every so often I like to just write in a stream-of-consciousness fashion. I call this my crystal ball. Here are my crystal ball's predictions for the next 5 years.
  • Kibaki will remain President, but true to his nature, he will assume a more non-executive role, akin to a Chairman of the Board (maybe he'll take up golf again).
  • Kalonzo will remain VP but increasingly there will be succession tension between Kalonzo, Raila and Uhuru. Saitoti will fall by the wayside.
  • Raila will join the Cabinet as Prime Minister (or if that is constitutionally impossible as de facto PM). He will be the most powerful minister in Kenya's history, in effect our CEO, and will do a good job.
  • The losers in the Pentagon will be Ruto and Nyagah. Nyagah is expendable in a GNU, I mean it's not like we really need more GEMA folks in Cabinet. Ruto is unpalatable after the mess in Eldoret.
  • The other Pentagon members Ngilu, Balala and Mudavadi will have senior roles. Ngilu will probably return as Health minister.
  • A Kalenjin woman, probably Sally Kosgei, will have a very senior ministerial role, and will be a consigliere (in the best sense of the word) to Raila and Kibaki but will likely not get along with Kalonzo
  • For the next 3-3.5 years we will have cohesive development focused government that will emphasize healing and the bringing together of communities.
  • After 3.5-4 years the posturing for the next election will begin and the alliances will break down which will likely result in the calling of early elections.
  • Our next president (after Kibaki) will not be Gikuyu but will be "made" the by the GEMA community. i.e. s/he who courts this block most successfully will win. Consequently Uhuru will be courted aggressively and will likely be the VP after 2012, and will increasingly be seen as the next "king maker". I see Raila, because of the lessons he learned from this debacle, likely to eclipse Kalonzo as the front runner.
  • While the establishment politicians are doing their thing a stealth star will emerge who does not come from the existing power structures. I have no idea who this will be but his/her popularity with the wananchi will not sit well with the establishment, and they will (attempt to) get rid of him/her. Hopefully it won't be an assassination but I would not put anything past these folks.
  • Kenya will struggle for the next year and a half but will be roaring again come 2012. The most acute problems in the near term will come as a result of reduced output in North Rift caused by the recent problems. Growth in the 2009-10 period will be driven by a housing and consumption boom in Central Province. The 250K people sent home from RVP to Central will cause this shift.
  • There will be a surge in violent crime in Central & Nairobi in the short term.
  • The GEMA community significantly reduce their investment outside of Nairobi, Mombasa and Central Kenya (Central Province, Nakuru, Laikipia, & Southern Eastern Province -- Meru/Embu/Ukambani).
  • In the short run there will be a regrettable backlash against employing Kalenjins and possibly Luos in GEMA owned businesses, which will further exacerbate the tensions.
  • At least one big kahuna from each of the Moi and the Kibaki 1 administrations will be convicted of grand corruption.
  • With the exception of a few 'tokens' e.g. Sally Kosgei (see above) the Kalenjin community will be the big losers in this power game (and also the GEMA folks currently in ODM).
I think that's a little more than two-cents worth this time.



At Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 12:59:00 AM EST, Blogger Ms K said...

You know what, in some strange twilight-zone way, this actually makes sense and seems plausible.

Definitely more than two cents this time!

At Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 1:58:00 AM EST, Blogger Ego Trip said...

Not in Kenya buddy! I don't see Kibaki assuming a ceremonial role in the leadership of this country. African Presidents do metamorphosise into scary animals as they continue to be in power. They never change from bad to good but from good to bad. Kibaki's actions over the past few days has signalled this. Kuffour will fail in his mediation. Raila will call for street demos, if he fails to co-join the middle class in his Orange Revolution then we might as well wait for 5yrs to exercise our "Democratic rights"

At Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 4:22:00 AM EST, Blogger Jangoniste said...

I like your projection. I think you are right on about 2012 being raila, uhuru. I do not agree that Raila will let Ruto go. Ruto is the most forceful person next to Raila in the Pentagon. I will even argue most articulate, and now most importantly the new King of the Rift.V.
I also dont see Kalonzo dropping off. If Kibaki concedes a prime ministership to Raila, Kibaki will step down before his time is over, elevating Kalonzo to the Presidency,creating a polar around which all moderates move to, and the militants go over to Raila. One thing is sure 2012 will be Raila v. someone. I am intrigued who the stealth person will be, or whether there will be even one. Again let me say your projection is quite stimulating.

At Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 4:44:00 AM EST, Blogger MainaT said...


At Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 5:51:00 AM EST, Blogger Seasons & Reasons said...

That may actually be true although I feel Raila may not be that significant in 2012 and it maybe an Uhuru/Kalonzo situation

At Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 3:41:00 AM EST, Blogger bankelele said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At Thursday, January 10, 2008 at 3:42:00 AM EST, Blogger bankelele said...

Interesting secnarios. But deeper than that, are we ready to discard the arithmetic of the last 15 years? As farmgal wrote today, where/who will be the opposition in parliament, or have we decided that one-sided squabbles are enough democracy?

PS - thanks for the articles.

At Friday, January 18, 2008 at 7:36:00 AM EST, Blogger madelle said...

Ha!!! Your crystal ball is all muddy and murky... You've been dreaming again. It ain't over till the fat mama dances, and she hasn't began dancing YET!!!

This Nation resonates to the Raila beat, that is why the GEMA crowd holed up in state house had to STEAL this election. It is a debacle for GEMA, it's close to a Godsend for Raila. All Kenyans except GEMA types are FIRMLY in his corner, and that is a lot of people.

SO what? Kibs has the weapons of people destruction, eh? "How many battalions does the Pope have?" Your guess is as good as mine.

Watch this space!!!


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