I usually don’t give too many predictions but here is one for you. The current political situation will change dramatically before we go to the polls. I will not go further to be as arrogant as some commentators here who are fond of adding statements like; you can take that to the bank.
This time round, it is the electorate who will set the agenda and you can be sure that corruption will be very high on the list of issues that will dominate this election with the Kroll report and other reports that have not yet been released dominating center stage.
Ultimately these will be the elections where Kenyans will vote strongly against corruption.
However the current reality on the ground is that the same party whose presidential candidate seems to be leading in polls, are also currently set to win the highest number of parliamentary seats if the polls were to take place today (but please don’t get too excited, I told you that things are bound to change.)
The issue of predicting which political party will win the majority of parliamentary seats is fairly simple in Kenya. You just need to look at one province and the party that wins the majority of seats in that province is bound to win that same competition nationally, That province is of course the vast Rift Valley which has the highest number of parliamentary seats.
In spite of the strong Kikuyu influence in this province, the party that is currently leading in Rift Valley is ODM. There are several factors that have contributed to this state of affairs.
One of the major ones is historical. The Kalenjins in the Rift Valley have always felt extremely wary of members of the house of Mumbi. This hostility dates back to the Kenyatta administration when many members of that community settled in fertile land in the Rift Valley most of which was grabbed from Kalenjins. It is therefore pretty difficult for a Kalenjin on the ground to be convinced to cast their vote for a Kikuyu candidate when they have a choice to cast their lot with another community, unlike in 2002.
The president’s men have clearly recognized this fact and their strategy for the Rift Valley is to use Kanu. The reason why this is not proving to be successful leads us to the second major factor. And that is the fact that most of the strongest and most influential parliamentary candidates are in ODM. It will be an uphill task for anybody to unseat the kingpins from the vast Rift Valley that are now milling around the ODM ship.
The fact that ODM is currently leading in the parliamentary seats stakes is further confirmation of the leaked polls that seem to suggest that Raila Odinga is leading. But let’s be careful here with predictions on winners, parliament has not adjourned sine die yet. The Major realignments and defections that will take place then will set the stage for the final showdown, where I can assure you at this early date that the game in Rift Valley will be extremely dirty.
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