DUALE AS ‘GRIOT’ OF JU­BILEE

When Duale ad­vises Raila against pick­ing Joho as his run­ning mate, he is not speak­ing for Cord co-prin­ci­plals Kalonzo Musyoka or Moses We­tang’ula. He is speak­ing for him­self

The Star (Kenya) - - Voices -

The griot of the Ju­bilee Party, Aden Duale, might not be a Cord mole in the rul­ing out­fit, but he sounds one.

The ma­jor­ity leader’s ad­vice to the op­po­si­tion co-prin­ci­pals be­trays his anx­i­ety about the 2017 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Mom­basa Gov­er­nor Has­san Joho’s gravitas has some­thing to do with Duale’s di­min­ish­ing con­fi­dence. While Joho’s sup­port­ers ap­pre­ci­ate his re­cent rise, Duale claims the ODM deputy party leader is not up to speed.

As ODM sup­port­ers con­grat­u­late the Mom­basa Gov­er­nor for his ris­ing po­lit­i­cal star, Duale claims Joho, 40, is too ju­nior to be a pres­i­den­tial run­ning mate. Not that Joho has claimed the tro­phy.

Last month dur­ing the ODM 10@10 cel­e­bra­tions in Mom­basa, Joho en­dorsed his party leader Raila Odinga as the ODM pres­i­den­tial can­di­date in 2017. Two weeks later at an ODM rally in Kisumu, Gov­er­nor Jack Ranguma, ODM chair­man and Suba MP John Mbadi, Se­na­tor Anyang’ Ny­ong’o, and Kil­ifi Woman rep Aisha Jumwa en­dorsed Joho as fit to be Raila’s run­ning mate.

Joho played a star­ring role dur­ing the Mom­basa ODM@10 fete, which en­joyed a lot of view­er­ship in Nairobi, given it was par­al­lel to the Ju­bilee Party merger and launch at Kasarani Sta­dium.

ODM youth lead­ers also asked Raila, who dou­bles as the Cord leader, to name Gov­er­nor Joho as his run­ning mate.

Joho’s ex­cep­tional role in ODM is sec­ond only to Machakos Se­na­tor John­son Muthama’s in Cord. Joho is vig­or­ous, suave and abra­sive; bold and will­ing to pick up any gaunt­let. He says he does not crave the en­velopes that Ju­bilee dan­gles in front of other op­po­si­tion MPs and gov­er­nors. He shares these qual­i­ties with Se­na­tor Muthama.

The Mom­basa Gov­er­nor has picked on Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto as his check­mate, while the icon of lib­er­a­tion, Raila, takes on Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta in the 2017 race.

Dur­ing the Malindi par­lia­men­tary by-elec­tion on March 7, Joho han­dled the mon­eyed Ju­bilee politi­cians well enough to re­tain the ODM seat. Willy Mtengo won the seat, gar­ner­ing 15,582 votes against Ju­bilee’s Philip Charo’s 9,243 votes. The by-elec­tion came after for­mer Malindi MP Dan Kazungu “fell for the Ju­bilee car­rot”.

Joho was de­fi­ant when at­tempts were made to close down his fam­ily busi­ness at the port of Mom­basa. His stature has since grown beyond the Coast. The ODM 10@10 par­ties have ac­cel­er­ated his rise.

The fear of an al­ter­na­tive nexus of power in the op­po­si­tion, at the Coast and among Mus­lims, in­spires Duale’s doubts.

His fear is this: Joho is a Mus­lim, and seems to speak for the marginalised at the Coast. He also speaks for the sec­on­drated population of more than 7 mil­lion Mus­lims. Duale as a Ju­bilee courtier, So­mali and Mus­lim an­chor, be­lieves he is the king­pin of this con­stituency. He is now afraid Joho could run away with the Mus­lim vote bloc..

When the ma­jor­ity leader in the Na­tional As­sem­bly ad­vises Raila against pick­ing Joho as his run­ning mate, he is not speak­ing for Cord co-prin­ci­plals Kalonzo Musyoka or Moses We­tang’ula. Duale is speak­ing for him­self.

“You are leav­ing Kalonzo with more than 1.5 mil­lion votes and We­tang’ula with the mas­sive Luhya fol­low­ing for Joho? You will fall, my friend,” Duale said when he ad­dressed the So­mali com­mu­nity in Mom­basa last week. Duale, the courtier of the Ju­bilee regime, ad­vises Raila that Kalonzo and We­tang’ula are his win­ning cards.

“Please do not pick a deputy [Joho] ‘who hardly com­mands more than 1.5 mil­lion votes. Pol­i­tics is about num­bers, the one with the most car­ries the day,” Duale said. He prefers the fa­mil­iar eth­nic faut­lines of Kalen­jinKikuyu for Pres­i­dent Uhuru and DP Ruto, and the Kam­baLuo-Luhya al­liance for Cord. The re­li­gious tra­jec­tory that Joho may rep­re­sent wor­ries him. Duale passes a coded mes­sage when he says Joho is an up­start with­out a ‘tribal’ ladder for the climb.

DUALE’S FEAR IS THIS: JOHO IS A MUS­LIM, AND SEEMS TO SPEAK FOR THE MARGINALISED AT THE COAST. HE ALSO SPEAKS FOR THE SEC­OND-RATED POPULATION OF MORE THAN 7 MIL­LION MUS­LIMS

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