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Inside Ruto’s plan to ground Raila and secure another term in 2027

Details of Ruto's 2027 powerplay

File image of President William Ruto and DP Rigathi Gachagua

President William Ruto has embarked on an elaborate plan to systematically weaken and ground veteran politician, Raila Odinga even as the former sets his eyes on securing yet another victory in 2027 elections.

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Nothing is off the table for the president and his deputy who have set their eyes on reducing Odinga to a general without troops and a kingpin without a political bastion.

As was recently made clear by Rigathi Gachagua, the government appointments and Cabinet secretary slots are part of the plan to endear the Kenya Kwanza brigade to voters and win support from regions that have traditionally supported the former Prime Minister.

Coast region is one of the regions targeted, with Gachagua making it clear that he is hopeful that the recent government appointments will tilt the scales to their favour.

“We are hopeful that you will abandon the person you have been supporting because we have good plans for this region.

“We have given you cabinet secretaries – Salim Mvura (Mining) and Aisha Jumwa (Public Service) – principal secretaries, Senate Speaker (Amason Kingi) and we are still going to give you more,” Gachagua said in Mombasa on Thursday this week.

The DP on Saturday yet again pleaded with Kajiado governor Joseph Ole Lenku to dump Raila and team up with the government, a move that would significantly weaken eat into the former Prime Minister’s base among the Maa nation.

Ruto is also keen on teaming up with firebrand leaders from the Nyanza region, especially those who have fallen out with Odinga or his ODM party.

The group that is led by former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero and a host of others who lost in the August elections is keen on piling pressure on Odinga to retire from politics at best, or at least woo the region to Ruto’s side by championing calls to “work with the government and enjoy the benefits”.

Analyst however opine that the cohort backing Ruto and calling for Odinga's retirement lack the support of the masses and undoing the Odinga influence will be a tall order.

Currently, Kalonzo Musyoka is largely considered to be the favourite to inherit Odinga’s traditional bastions should the ODM leader retire and throw his weight behind the Wiper party leader.

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