Mr Ruto wanted to test Mr Odinga’s political strength and put Mr Kenyatta against the wall by exposing him as the leader who abandoned Jubilee.
I think Mr Ruto lost on both counts. Everyone knows that Jubilee is dead, and so the question of exposing Mr Kenyatta doesn’t arise.
He’s been called the “enigma of Kenyan politics.” Others call him Agwambo or Tinga. But he may perhaps have vindicated those who call him Baba after he humiliated DP William Ruto in Kibra. Like a literal baba, or dad in the English language, last week ODM supremo Raila Odinga swatted Mr Ruto out of Kibra as though the latter was a fly.
Mr Odinga had warned Mr Ruto, whom he bitingly referred to as Arap Mashamba on the campaign trail, that Kibra was Baba’s “bedroom.” The message was clear – you don’t just barge into your dad’s bedroom uninvited. It’s bad manners. Hyperbole aside, let me tell you why the Kibra by-election is a harbinger of things to come.
The Kibra parliamentary seat, once held by Mr Odinga, fell vacant after the death of MP Ken Okoth from cancer.
Immediately the seat was declared vacant, a number of party kingpins including Amani’s Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetangula saw an opportunity to show Mr Odinga they weren’t his political children. They would run their own non-ODM candidates.
Mr Mudavadi offered ANC’s Eliud Owalo, the one-time erstwhile protégé of Mr Odinga. Mr. Wetangula took Ford-Kenya’s Khamisi Butichi to the altar. In a surprise development, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka threw his weight behind Mr Wetangula’s candidate.
Nasa was at war with itself as three of its principals threw down the gauntlet on Mr Odinga, Nasa centre of gravity.
For his part – after ODM nominations – Mr Odinga backed the little-known Bernard Imran Okoth, the brother to the late Ken Okoth.
It was a no-brainer. The younger Okoth may have been a political greenhorn but he is a Kibra native. The man was born and raised there. What’s more, he was his late brother’s trusted confidante and the man who ran development projects when his brother started ailing. The people of Kibra know him as hardworking, honest, and an upright man who understands their tribulations. He’s one of them.
ODM couldn’t have picked a better candidate. He clearly stood to benefit from his brother’s “sympathy” vote. More importantly, he was Baba’s candidate, the man who’s an icon in Kibra.
The biggest shocker came when Mr. Ruto decided to “enter” Baba’s “bedroom” by fielding renown ex-footballer MacDonald Mariga as the Jubilee candidate.