Tangatanga wing of Jubilee Party is over the moon after taking the Kiambaa constituency seat albeit with a narrow margin.
It so happens that this wing has one foot in Jubilee Party and the other in United Democratic Alliance (UDA) allied to Deputy President William Ruto.
On the other hand, the Kieleweke wing is smarting from a defeat that in retrospect, honest political analysts might call a win.
Kieleweke’s wing can also count Muguga’s ward seat as a consolation when downplaying Tangatanga’s Kiambaa triumph.
Had Tangatanga registered landslide wins in both Kiambaa and Muguga, Jubilee, and in extension President Uhuru Kenyatta’s influence in Kiambu and Mt Kenya region would be in real jeopardy.
Unfortunately, for Tangatanga, failure to clinch overwhelming votes in Kiambaa is an undesirable anti-climax.
What the Kiambaa by-election has revealed is that for a breakaway wing that is preparing to erase the outgoing President’s influence in Mt Kenya and ride the tide towards power, it has a gargantuan political task ahead.
Is Kiambaa a microcosm of what voter behaviour in Mt Kenya might be in 2022?
If the answer is yes, William Ruto and UDA can forget about taking over power, because a divided Mt Kenya vote is of no value to the party.
Although Tangatanga and UDA have bragging rights, for the time being, it is obvious that a large number of voters in Mt Kenya are listening to Uhuru Kenyatta.
In this regard, Tangatanga and UDA should ignore Uhuru’s influence in the region at their own peril.
Why did UDA and Tangatanga fail to convince an overwhelming number of voters in Kiambaa to support its course?
In my view, Kiambaa by-election is a housekeeping matter for Kikuyus in Kiambu.
This housekeeping has happened before, especially when Uhuru was in KANU and contesting a seat in Gatundu South constituency.
It also happened when Uhuru was seeking Presidency in his first attempt.
On both occasions, the electorate in Kiambu and Mt Kenya was making a statement that they did not agree with Uhuru’s choice of a political party and the power backing him.
Politically and ethnically speaking, Kiambaa voters were making a statement to Uhuru reluctantly.
This reluctance could only be explained by the fact that it was not one of their own (Kikuyu) who intends to deal Uhuru a humiliating blow.
Was UDA a party fronted by a Kikuyu or Mt Kenyan with the same stature as DP Ruto, UDA candidate in Kiambaa would have received almost a hundred percent of the votes cast.
Essentially, the Tangatanga brigade in Mt Kenya is extremely blinded by half-baked wins to think politically straight.
Is William Ruto so naive not to see through this facade?
If there is a leader who is celebrating Kiambaa win overtly but mourning covertly, it is none other but Dr William Ruto.
The DP must be wondering how with all the efforts, resources, propaganda, and bravado, MPs Rigathi Gachagua, Moses Kuria, Kimani Ichungwa, Gathoni Wamucomba, Ndindi Nyoro and team could not whitewash Jubilee candidate in this epic battle that pitted him against his boss, Uhuru Kenyatta.
Ruto must be regretting the day he decided that time was ripe to challenge Uhuru at his political backyard. The adventure has backfired terribly.
What next for the DP and Tangatanga after the Kiambaa half-life?
As usual, Tangatanga and UDA will try to convince those with poor political knowledge that they have dealt a political death blow to Uhuru Kenyatta and buried the Jubilee party in Mt Kenya.
They might also go a step further to convince Ruto to launch more misadventures within the mountain.
The DP should however listen but ignore such advice for the time being.
However, with the impending consequences that await him, the DP might be forced by circumstances to fight for his political life by staging Kamakize (suicidal) follies within Mt Kenya and other regions.
Choices have consequences.
Meanwhile, the DP should find out why voters in Mt Kenya are reluctant to do his bidding.
From where I sit, I see a very frustrated Ruto whose ambitions are being thwarted by an electorate that he had banked all his hopes of becoming the leader of this country.
What frustrates Ruto more is the fact that other regions are likely to take a cue from Kiambaa and render his advances in those regions futile.
Suffice to note that in the absence of full Mt Kenya votes, Ruto’s chances of taking power after President Uhuru is limited.
The DP is literally locked out of other regions due to another smoldering critical ethnic factor.
Since independence, Kenya has been ruled by leaders from two regions, Rift-Valley and Mt Kenya, a thing that has not gone too well with other regions.
In fact this factor played a big role in past Presidential elections to the extent of bringing unlikely political competitors on one side since 2007.
This factor is so live that in 2022, it is expected to yet again birth and shape coalitions and political partnerships.
For this reason, Ruto could be denied the opportunity to forge a strong and reliable coalition to win power.
Ruto and brigade should therefore not take Mt Kenya for granted or prepare to occupy opposition benches in 2022.
The little matter of BBI Bill and the referendum is also a headache that UDA must prepare to deal with because these two are likely to be handled through a popular political process away from legal ambit in the event the BBI appeals fails.
This is likely to happen because according to leading political giants, there is no way 2022 elections can be held without a reconstituted IEBC and reformed electoral process to name but a few pending contentious constitutional issues.
Fortunately, this is an arena Ruto is good at having cut his teeth during the last referendum, whereby he single-handedly led the NO side with great determination.
Furthermore, going by the results of BBI vote in the county assemblies and the two Houses, the forces for constitutional changes are extremely forceful.
That as it may, unless the DP stops believing falsehood from political minions within Mt Kenya that Kiambaa hunting party killed an elephant and not an antelope, the die is cast.
With hindsight, Kiambaa after all is a win within a win for Uhuru Kenyatta and Jubilee Party.
Kaunda wa Muchunku
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