Of Hopscotch & Marriage.

Politics is often like a children’s playground game of hopscotch: The aim of this game is to retrieve a marker thrown onto one of the squares on a grid that’s marked on the ground by hopping on one foot across the lines adjacent to the object. In recent weeks our politicians seem to be hop scotching – leaping or jumping from their original or elective parties to other perhaps greener pastures- a lot, eager to find a new home that will sail them into either State House or the promise of a plum job in the government of a newly minted ally.

As with every move or strategy: something has to motivate it and in our politicians case one key motivator was the Ipsos Synovate Poll earlier this month which tabulated an outcome of the election were it to be held then. The opinion poll stated the Prime Minister would lose in a Run-off with his Deputy Uhuru Kenyatta. This reading sent Mp’s in search of new homes and in some cases to broker new deals or ‘Marriages’. One thing was painfully clear to all involved that one could not garner the 50.1% needed to win the election on their own, that they would need a helping hand or boost to get them that all important top job.
With the realisation that team work was a must the meetings, deals and rumoured partnerships and marriages began to either be forged or bandied about first came the meeting between Musalia Mudavadi, William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta then one between one time allies now supposed foes Raila Odinga and William Ruto. Politics like music can dream up the strangest most unlikely collaborations that will make millions and benefit both parties. This is the time when old perceived animosities are put to bed for the good of both parties involved. Both front runners-the two horses- Kenyatta and Odinga have declared multiple times that they have no qualms working with others for a greater good.

So when those looking to participate in the annual game of political Hopscotch received an extension on their then rapidly closing window of opportunity it was a more than welcome relief to both those who were dissatisfied with their current parties and those looking to plug the developing leak in their own and replace the runaways with new more loyal members. The president bequeathed them the room to breathe and time to assess their futures by extending their limit to January 4.

An extension many have already taken advantage of sailing the uncertain waters from safety into the unknown. Taking what some would call a leap of faith or confidence. Among those gutsy and ambitious enough are:

·         Gitobu Imanyara: who jilted CCM in favour of ODM

·         Linah Jebii Kilimo: The Maraquet East MP who was once party less when her Kenda party failed to meet the party registrar’s standards decided that TNA offered her the best deal.

·         Sam Ongeri: Ditched the ‘mama na baba’ party in favour of Uhuru Kenyatta’s TNA.

·         Rachel Shebesh’s move from ODM-with whom she was nominated MP- to TNA was given major screen time this week.

 It must have been statement like these that enticed Kilimo and  Shebesh to his ever growing and strengthening TNA:
 ‘I want to urge those who will not be lucky to win to remain in the party as they will be rewarded with various posts in my new government’ Uhuru Kenyatta. The fact that he has pledged to seek democracy within the party did not hurt him either.

One thing is certainly for sure these are not the last MP’s we shall see defecting from one camp to another in the jostle for political supremacy and with the constant fear of losing and going home to a life of retirement to spur them on Kenyans are assured of many more defections, ‘Marriages’ and subsequent ‘Separations’ that may lead to eventual ‘Divorces’ in the run up to March 2013 election date.


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