As the old adage suggests, history has a tendency to repeat itself, and it appears that the events of 2018 are destined to recur.
Following the 2017 repeat elections, a momentous ruling by a seven-judge bench, led by Chief Justice David Maraga, nullified the victory of the Uhuruto government.
In response, the opposition leader Raila Amolo Odinga chose not to participate in the repeat elections and instead declared himself ‘The People’s President.’
Raila’s self-inauguration took place amidst chaotic circumstances that also saw General Miguna Miguna deported to Canada.
However, the tension eventually eased when Odinga initiated a reconciliatory gesture by shaking hands with President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, the then-sitting president.
Following the handshake, everything quickly went back to normalcy with the government having no opposition to hold it accountable and to maintain checks and balances when it comes to delivering their mandate and utilizing public resources.
Post handshake, Kenya witnessed an increase in borrowing by the government, failed attempts to implement the BBI (Building Bridges Initiative), and a surge in scandals like the Covid-19 and KEMSA scandals, among others.
The aftermath of COVID also led to a rise in the cost of living, with subsidies being introduced but with minimal impact on reducing product prices across the country.
The opposition’s influence in Kenya dwindled, and at one point, Raila Odinga was captured on video saying:
Leo nimesikia ati wanasema ati deni imeenda juu zaidi. Hiyo deni wao ndio wamepandisha. Lakini sisi tuna dawa ya hiyo deni. Wacha Baba na watu yake waingie pale. Hakuna haja ya kupiga kelele tu, kubweka. Unabweka kama mbwa. Ati ooh, gharama iko juu, Nchi gani ambayo haina deni.
It is clear that after the handshake very little changed and in fact, things got even worse with many Kenyans being reported to sleeping and dying of hunger.
Expectations for change were now pinned on the 2022 elections, with Raila boasting of government support while William Ruto advocated the Hustler vs Dynasty narrative.
The Looming Handshake 2.0
The past few months have been bundled with chaotic demonstrations over the cost of living orchestrated by the opposition across the country.
All this comes after Kenya Kwanza took over the government following the controversial 2022 elections. They said it is a win for the hustlers and mama mboga.
The anti-government protests have been gaining momentum, with the opposition leading the charge, criticizing Ruto’s administration as incompetent and incapable of fulfilling their promises.
Unfortunately, the protests have been marred by multiple violent incidents which have seen dozens lose their lives and several people left nursing injuries in various hospitals across the country. Police have been called out on multiple occasions for brutality and exacerbating bodily harm to protesters.
Interestingly, the protests seem to be materializing as there seems to be a truce coming soon between opposition leader Raila Odinga and President William Samoei Ruto aka The Ruto and Raila handshake judging by the latest remarks by the two politicians via social media.
The forthcoming article will delve deeper into the implications of the Ruto and Raila handshake for ordinary Kenyans. Stay ahead and be the first to receive this informative piece by subscribing to our newsletter below.
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