The March 9, 2018 handshake between the erstwhile political enemies President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga, completely changed the political landscape in unexpected ways.
At the threshold and during the neonate period of handshake that gave birth to Building Bridges Initiative, Kenyans had three different views.
The first view was that it is a way of crippling the then strong opposition and allow President Uhuru to serve his second term peacefully- a ploy to cage Raila.
The second view was that it was a way of handing the coveted throne to Raila and to block Deputy President William Ruto from climbing the stairs of State House as the fifth president of the Republic of Kenya. In short, a political betrayal to Ruto who was publicly promised support by President Uhuru during the last two presidential campaigns.
The third view, to allow President Uhuru to extend his term in the office.
A lot of things have transpired in the political scenes since the juggernaut handshake had its first breath.
Above all is the political annihilation being witnessed in the second in command’s camp. The two dearing political friends, President Uhuru and DP Ruto are now not in good political relationship.
At first it was said that the rivalry was being stage managed to delude Raila into believing that he will get the support of President Uhuru. But according to the latest president’s moves, it is now clear that Ruto is unlikely to get the blessings of Uhuru Kenyatta.
During the burial of ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi’s mother, the president said that the time has come for other tribes apart from Kikuyu and Kalenjin to take the mantle. A daring open indication that the president was set to walk the talk.
Since handshake, Ruto’s camp has been politically annihilated by President Uhuru and his handshake partner Raila. Senator Kipchumba Murkomen, Susan Kihika are some of the victims of the wrath of handshake.
The political rivalry between the erstwhile political friends is now dividing the ‘Mountain’. The Mountain is now divided between handshake and anti-handshake. And for the first time in the history of Kenya since independence, Mt Kenya might not vote as a bloc.
This is a threat to Ruto who need Mt Kenya votes as a bloc and an advantage to Raila. The Mountain is always slippery for Raila, he has been demonized in the region, but despite being hated, he has garnered votes in the region. He is likely to get more votes. With handshake, he might slowly succeed in climbing the Mountain.