Raila as head of Economic Recovery Council could be a setup by his highness Uhuru Kenyatta
I have not seen the official announcement, but everyone on Twitter is talking of how Raila is poised to take over the Cabinet as Chief of Economic Recovery Council. The Economic Recovery Council is said to be a council that has been setup (waiting official announcement) that will be mandated to steering the economic recovery post COVID-19, the pandemic that has brought almost every nation to its knees.
If Economic Recovery Council is true, and if indeed Raila and his henchmen (no women in leaked list) will be mandated to steer the council, then the question anyone ought to ask is the political game being played here ahead of the 2022 General Elections. An immediate and seemingly obvious reason for the move is so that the President finally drills the nail on William Ruto’s coffin. In the past days, Jubilee has been in turmoil with the President making moves that are totally against the wishes of William Ruto. The first move was the registration of new officials at the National Management Committee of the Jubilee Party without the blessings of the party’s National Executive Council.
Days after the registration of the new officials, President Kenyatta called an urgent Parliamentary Group Meeting for Jubilee Party at State House, and what followed thereafter was the ouster Senator Murkomen and other William Ruto loyalists from the leadership of Senate and respective committees. It then didn’t take long for the rumours that the President had formed a new council, the Economic Recovery Council, that is supposed to be spearheaded by Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga. Names currently circulating in social media as members of the council include:
- Raila Odinga – Chairman
- Hon Billow Kerrow
- Dr. Sabdiyo Dibo Bushina
- Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi
- Dr. Martin Oduor Otieno
- Eddie Njoroge
- Isaac Ruto
- Prof. Terry Rhyan
But getting back at William Ruto (whatever the good DP did to H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta) cannot be the only reason Uhuru Kenyatta is entrusting Raila with the country’s economy. My hypothesis is that Uhuru is setting up Raila either for success or failure.
Setting up Raila for success with the Economic Recovery Council
Raila Odinga is someone who has setup himself as someone who can turn around Kenya’s economy ever since he vied to be the country’s President back in 1997, every time promising to deliver double digit economic growth. In 2002, this promise came closer home when he made Mwai Kibaki the country’s third president, but the country didn’t come close to experiencing a double digit economic growth, a fact that is largely blamed on how Kibaki treated Raila Odinga.
After Raila parted ways with Kibaki in 2005, a partying away that led to PEV in 2007/2008, the country witnessed one of the slowest economic growths, but this growth would slowly recover after Raila was appointed Prime Minister. However, when Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto took over the challenge of implementing the 2010 constitution, we saw the country’s economy stagnate and loans books skyrocket, a situation that Raila saw as an opportunity to build on during the 2017 campaigns.
Thus, when Uhuru is giving Raila the mandate to recovery the country’s economy after he has messed it up, it might be because he genuinely believes Raila is better placed to figure out the best policies that will drive Kenya to the Canaan he had promised Kenyans during the 2017 campaigns.
Also, there is a possibility that the deep state is actually considering to let Raila Odinga take over from Uhuru Kenyatta as the country’s next President. If that be the case, then Uhuru Kenyatta is allowing Raila to showcase his prowess and leadership skills in steering Kenya to economic stability, where if he proves his worth, then Uhuru and the deep state will rally behind Raila to becoming the nation’s fifth President. Of course Raila must demonstrate that he can ensure continued growth of Uhuru’s business empire while at it.
The failure setup
It is actually easier to setup Raila for failure than for success. We all remember how Mwai Kibaki set him up with Mau evictions, where he ended up eating a humble pie. If Uhuru is borrowing from Mwai Kibaki’s playbook, then all he will need to do is to frustrate Raila in every turn whenever Raila sets to implement any of the policies his Economic Recovery Council shall have come up with. The question one may have is, “why would Uhuru setup Raila for failure?”
Raila Odinga still has a massive support base, and it is very hard to find ways of dealing with him once and for all. The Economic Recovery Council could therefore be the best bait aimed at getting Raila out of political play.