The much-hyped President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga-led Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) could turn out to be another major setback for the veteran opposition leader. He lost the 2017 presidential poll.
Raila, who has been the major force pushing the BBI, had termed it as a “tsunami” to sweep out all the “dirt” (referring to the politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto, who were then against it), could have miscalculated his steps.
Fast forward, those who were opposing the BBI are now for it, while the former Prime Minister and his political foot soldiers, seem to have taken a back seat.
Raila and his supporters have been rooting for a parliamentary system of government, but what the BBI has recommended is the retention of the presidential system, but with an expanded executive.
This has, apparently caught the opposition off-guard.
Raila, speaking at State House, Nairobi, during the presentation of the BBI report to President Kenyatta, said these were not the final recommendations, adding that the document might be reviewed again.
He said the recommendations had been made by a small team of Kenyans, but would now be subjected to public debate.
“This is not time to fight. We will review it, if necessary.”
It was a surprising about-turn.
Will the opposition leader be forced to go back to the drawing board?
Does this mean that DP Ruto, who seeks to succeed his boss in 2002, has secured a symbolic first win?
Let’s say, if Ruto and Raila will battle it for the presidency in 2022, it means that the loser will become the official opposition leader by direct nomination to Parliament.
However, whoever Uhuru supports might have an upper hand and do not forget that there was a deal with Ruto for 2022.
Could Raila be the loser again in this scheme? Only time will tell.