Palace wars over Uhuru, Musalia
Last updated on 29 Jul 2012 12:04
By Francis Ngige
Intrigues and power games are afoot within President Kibaki’s inner circle as his presidency enters the homestretch.
According to a source close to State House, the President’s men are pulling in different directions over who they should support to succeed him. Battle lines appear drawn as rival groups of powerbrokers jockey for places behind various presidential aspirants in readiness for the Kibaki succession.
A source close to one of the aspirants being courted says their support would be the kiss of death to their campaign. He adds the State House powerbrokers are obviously angling to remain in the corridors of power after Kibaki retires. “I can tell you for a fact that some of these men are worried they will be left in the wilderness once Kibaki retires,” our source says.
It is the machinations of these powerful individuals that prompted State House and the President to issue statements denying any role in a succession plot.
Matters got to a head late last month when speculation over the role of State House in the succession games dominated political meetings.
In a tough-worded statement issued by the Presidential Press Services (PPS) earlier this month, State House officials dismissed the talks as “careless and irresponsible”. They were particular incensed by Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, who was alleging a State plot to register and support many political parties that would eventually rally behind a preferred successor.
President Kibaki’s aide Nick Wanjohi, who Jirongo linked to one of the parties, also released a statement denying any hand in the party or any succession plot.
Insiders say some of the President’s men are split between backing Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and his colleague Musalia Mudavadi. Others are said to be warming up to Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who still leads polls on the voters’ choice to replace Kibaki.
The men perceived to be close to Kibaki, including University of Nairobi Chancellor, Joe Wanjui, former Kenya Airports Authority Managing Director, George Muhoho, and KenGen Managing Director, Eddy Njoroge, are at a crossroads, our sources said. Wanjui and business magnate SK Macharia are said to be warming up to Raila. Muhoho, who is Uhuru’s uncle, has remained unusually quiet as the succession battle rages.