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Five theories on why Raila reached out to Ruto

In a statement that has raised eyebrows, opposition leader Raila Odinga has asked Deputy President William Ruto to ‘seek’ his help in his bid to ascend to the Presidency in five years’ time.

“Does Ruto think he can be a President without Raila?” posed Odinga in Kedowa, Kipkelion East. “I can help him get there if he wants.”

But what, exactly, could this mean? Here are some of the most probable political theories for Raila’s overtures:

1. Vintage Raila playing to the gallery – Considering the location where Mr Odinga made this statement, the veteran politician may just have been telling the crowd what they wanted to hear. Remember, Kipkelion is more or less Ruto’s stronghold and almost every one would dream of a Ruto presidency, considering Kenya’s ethnic-political affiliations.

2. Baba has finally accepted he will ‘never’ be president – Unless there is something the public doesn’t know, then it is, technically speaking, almost impossible for Odinga to constitutionally become Kenya’s President before 2022 when the next general elections will be held.

Now, assuming he is ‘willing’ to back Ruto then – and he will be 77 at the time – you start thinking maybe, just maybe, the son of Jaramogi has given up on his bid to rule the country.

3. Raila is scheming to ‘shortchange’ Nasa co-principals – Those in the know suggest Odinga has a gentleman’s agreement to back one of his three co-principals in Nasa come 2022. Others claim the agreement has been documented.

Speaking of which, why would Raila let Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula or Musalia Mudavadi back him and then leave them high and dry in favour of Ruto? Refer to point (1) above.

4. Raila was ‘truly’ reaching out to Ruto – For some other reason, other than supporting him for the presidency. This is a kin to a beautiful man taking a lady on holiday, from where he will propose. Remember the same proposal would have been made from home, in a car or even on the road.

5. Politicians are just politicians – Importantly, always remember politicians are just politicians. It may be a cliché, but its true that in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies. Remember Raila and Ruto were once bosom buddies, politically speaking. And so were Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Similarly, Raila, Kalonzo and Mudavadi once fell out politically and traded barbs to the extent no one thought they would ever share the same political platform. That’s politics.