In Kenyatta’s succession plan, several members of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s cabinet suspend their ambitions for elective office.
This has averted potential falling-out within the coalition president Kenyetta is building behind his preferred successor.
In the recent past, nearly half of the 22 Cabinet Secretaries announced their intention to run for seats in the August 9 elections.
Only four of them, however, resigned by the law-mandated deadline of February 9 for appointed public officials seeking political office.
Three of the departing ministers have proclaimed their support for Mr. Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja Movement coalition, while the other three have pledged their support for Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
In the race to succeed President Kenyatta, Mr. Odinga, and Mr. Ruto are the main leaders.
President Kenyatta and Mr. Odinga, who are keen to avoid fallout within their nascent Azimio alliance, will be relieved by the decision by a majority of the Cabinet to postpone their ambitions for political office.
Several Cabinet Secretaries, including Peter Munya (Agriculture), Ukur Yatani (Treasury), Mutahi Kagwe (Health), Eugene Wamalwa (Defense), Najib Balala (Tourism), and Fred Matiang’i (Interior), are among CSs who previously had political ambitions in the coming general election.
Their return to electoral politics risked reigniting local turf fights with opponents who are now supporting Mr Odinga’s presidential bid.
Meanwhile, President Kenyatta’s success in persuading key ministers to stay implies that he is going all-in on his succession plan.
On Monday, he said he was finally ready to launch a more aggressive campaign for his preferred successor, breaking his self-imposed political silence for the better portion of his second term, which had lasted since 2018.
A no-holds-barred political struggle between the country’s two most powerful men is poised to be a prominent focus of the campaigns in the six months leading up to August, with the President also announcing he is prepared to roll up his sleeves.
The battle lines have been painted most clearly in the populous Mt. Kenya region, the President’s traditional political base, where he will be hoping to fend off a Ruto wave and turn it to Mr. Odinga.