President Uhuru Kenyatta’s notable absence in Azimio’s campaigns despite publicly endorsing flag-bearer Raila Odinga has raised eyebrows, particularly as to whether he still supports his handshake brother.
Speaking to NTV on Wednesday, June 22, political analyst Herman Manyora opined that the retreat by Uhuru was a well-calculated strategy that could work in favour of Raila in the long run.
Manyora explained that by taking a back seat in the campaigns, the President disarmed Kenya Kwanza, who have been using the ‘project’ notion to attack Raila and undermine his presidential bid.
File image of political analyst Herman Manyora
“It could be counterproductive for him to show his face in the campaigns because it enhances the narrative of Raila being a project,” he explained.
His sentiments were echoed by Jubilee party Vice Chairperson David Murathe, who claimed that Deputy President William Ruto’s camp was upset by the absence since they could no longer ride in the project tag.
Manyora further read into Uhuru’s change of heart, stating that it could be an attempt to save political face as he had come to the realization the Mount Kenya region was resisting his advances.
“There is idea of him not being well received in his home area and there is a risk of him being heckled and that would really dent his image and the entire campaign,” he reiterated.
Notably, the analyst stated that the Head of State intentionally took a step back to allow running mate Martha Karua to get down to work – water down Kenya Kwanza’s influence while push the Raila agenda in the region.
“Uhuru is using Martha in an eclipse manner so that she blocks and filters the hatred that the people have of him,” he added.
However, Manyora maintained that the president had not abandoned the ODM leader since the August 9 poll was of great importance to him. He added that while the Jubilee Party leader did not want to impose a leader on the people, he still indirectly campaigned for Odinga.
Uhuru recently endorsed the Azimio presidential candidate during the celebrations marking 100 years of the Akurino religion. On Wednesday, June 22 during the issuance of title deeds at the KICC, he also called on Kenyans to elect leaders that will advance the ongoing reforms.
“Do not vote people who will return us back to where we have come from. We want those who will continue with this agenda and ensure that every Kenyan has their right and property,” he stated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking at an event at State House Nairobi on June 14, 2022.
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