How Kibaki's Betrayal Made Raila and Ruto Partners

  • Image showing former President Kibaki (l), Raila Odinga (c) and William Ruto (r) at a past briefing File
  • An unexpected change of mind and betrayal by the former president - Mwai Kibaki, led to an alliance between Raila Odinga and DP William Ruto back in 2002.

    Renown constitutional lawyer- Professor Yash Pal Ghai, on Wednesday made the startling revelations of the inner machinations during the historical 2002 general elections during an interview on KTN.

    After Raila Odinga coined the infamous 'Kibaki Tosha' phrase thereby guaranteeing a landslide victory, members of the Rainbow Coalition sat down to lay out their blueprint including the various posts and allocations.

    Image of Professor Yash Pal Ghai at a past interview

    Kibaki and Raila drafted a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which clearly stated that once in power, Kibaki would push for a parliamentary system which entailed whittling down of presidential powers to make room for a powerful Prime Minister (a position that had been promised to Raila).

    Kibaki was fully on board with the entire plan as he expressly stated that a single person should not be granted that much power.

    “As we progressed with the process, Kibaki said he wanted a parliamentary system. He said he didn’t want an imperial presidency and that he wanted a parliamentary system that would not concentrate power on one person,” Ghai disclosed to KTN.

    However, the entire coalition was turned on it's head when Kibaki changed his mind about the entire agreement as soon as his victory was secured, leaving Raila out in the cold.

    Raila felt betrayed to the core and was reportedly extremely angry at the former president leading him to embark on his famous rebellion.

    He turned to the fast-rising Rift Valley politician- William Ruto (who was a member of the KANU party at the time), and together they were able to rally the country to oppose the Kibaki - backed Draft Constitution.

    "Raila was so bitter that he led then KANU chairman Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Joe Nyagah and Najib Balala in rejecting what was popularly known as the Wako Draft," Mr Ghai divulged.

    Raila and Ruto's win angered the former president so deeply that he dismissed his entire Cabinet. 

    Image of former president Mwai Kibaki