Only time will tell. Generally speaking, power is never given. It is taken … fought for.

If you sit back and wait to be given at the pleasure and out of the generosity of other politicians, you will either sink into irrelevant sycophancy or become a lapdog leader.

But if you must make a move against the pack leader, you have to be certain you are strong enough to strike a knockout blow.

I think Mr Kenyatta’s counter is not bad. By bringing opposition leader Raila Odinga and his Nasa band into play, he scored two good goals.

First, he got himself a good pair of political legs. He can mix it up in Parliament, move his agenda and avoid impeachment — if it comes to that.

LEVERAGE

Secondly, he pacified the country and got a chance to take the political high ground, where he is seen to be fighting corruption and unifying and developing the nation.

This is good chess, I think. A partnership between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, especially with the benefits of incumbency, is politically lethal.

If you throw in the other senior politicians gravitating around the ‘handshake’, then you have a formation with the political talent and resources to lock Dr Ruto out of the presidency.

And thus, Mr Kenyatta recaptures the initiative, gaining the leverage to dictate the course of events.

Assuming, of course, that Mr Odinga, the ruthless grandmaster, does not pull off the mother of all upsets and do a deal on the sly with Dr Ruto, isolate and knock out Mr Kenyatta.

But, like I said, none of it is a matter of life and death for the average Kenyan.

And none of it is really about lightening the tax burden or lighting up your street.

* * *

Speaking of chess, Congolese President Joseph Kabila is feared to have pulled a fast one on the opposition.

He apparently had a candidate in the race — only it was not necessarily that of his party, Mr Emmanuel Shadary.

According to some, it was Mr Felix Tshisekedi, the eventual winner with seven million votes.

The other opposition candidate, Mr Martin Fayulu, who got 6.4 million votes, says he has been robbed of victory and that Mr Tshisekedi struck a deal with Mr Kabila.

As Mr Fayulu cries foul, Mr Tshisekedi is singing Lingala in praise of Mr Kabila: “I pay tribute to President Joseph Kabila and today we should no longer see him as an adversary, but rather, a partner in democratic change in our country.”

Meanwhile, Mr Shadary has conceded defeat and welcomed the election of Mr Tshisekedi as a victory for democracy, saying “the Congolese people have chosen and democracy has triumphed”.

Smells to high heaven, methinks, but much better than bloodshed or a refusal to hold elections.

mmutuma@ke.nationmedia.com

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