Jim Wanjigi And The ODM-MT Kenya Matrix
By Antony Oyugi
Last week was very interesting on the political front. The most significant event was the Uhuru Raila Kalonzo Musalia Gideon and Wetangula meeting at Statehouse Mombasa. Sections of the media speculate that ODM Party Leader was ‘endorsed’ as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s successor at the meeting with some of those who attended protesting the ‘endorsement’.
The second event may not have been so significant since its political ramifications aren’t very clear. Businessman Jimi Wanjigi made it public that he would be vying for the Presidency on an ODM ticket. This revelation is being dismissed by many as a joke for several reasons. Firstly ODM is Raila’s party and he has made it clear that he’s vying for the Presidency on his party’s ticket. Jimi is therefore challenging Raila to a duel in ODM. Secondly Jimi is not what we can call a politician. We can actually state that he’s politically inexperienced since our politics is about being vocal and very public. Jimi is neither. The third matter of surprise is that Jimi is from the Mt Kenya region seeking to run for President on a party whose presence is unexciting in Mt Kenya.
It’s this third element that’s the persuasion behind this article. What’s Jimi’s plan. What’s the strategy that most of us aren’t seeing?
I have a hypothesis. Jimi is either moulding himself or is being moulded to be the face of ODM in Mt Kenya. ODM is getting into Mt Kenya through him. Though Raila has always had political allies in the region, they’ve not effectively penetrated the region effectively enough to secure Raila numbers there. My take is that Raila has devised a strategy to bring in a new face into the Mt Kenya strategy. It’s on record that Jimi has been visiting Mt Kenya counties and it’s whispered that he has financed the setting up of ODM branch offices in the region. He has even mobilized people to be ODM delegates and is about to set off on an ODM membership recruitment drive.
Another factor to be taken into account is the Politics of Wealth vis a vis the Mt Kenya region. General talk is that Mt Kenya has always been uncomfortable with a Raila presidency since they feel that he will not safeguard their wealth. They actually believe that he’ll snatch it away. With Jimi in the mix this fear may be dissipated. Jimi belongs to the old money class. Born and bred in wealth. His family has links both political and business with the who is who in Mt Kenya. He may therefore be the ‘protector’ of the region in a Raila government. Inasmuch as he may not be his running mate and therefore deputy, he may get appointed to an influential position in cabinet or otherwise which position will enable him protect and safeguard the regions interests.
As we say all this is speculation. But then….why do I feel that in the upcoming ODM reorganization, Jimi Wanjigi will be appointed a senior ODM official. Why do I feel that ODM will have more than two Deputy Party Leaders with Jimi as one or them. Hypothesis they say