Kenya’s political landscape is witnessing a fascinating development: the internal divisions within the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition, once a formidable opposition bloc to President William Ruto, are presenting unexpected advantages for his administration.
Cracks within Azimio emerged in the wake of the National Dialogue Committee (NDC) report, a document aimed at addressing national issues like electoral reforms and inclusivity. While some Azimio leaders, like Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, supported engaging with the Ruto administration through the NDC, others, like Raila Odinga, remained firmly opposed.
This disagreement has led to public spats and accusations of betrayal, weakening Azimio’s united front. “Since it was their project (NADCO report) to find solutions, you can bet the ruling party is rolling with laughter,” said Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, Wiper party vice chairman, reflecting the sentiment within Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza camp.
For Ruto, Azimio’s division presents several strategic advantages. A fractured opposition makes it easier to pass legislation and implement policies without facing strong parliamentary resistance. Additionally, it reduces the risk of coordinated political attacks and public demonstrations against his government.
“With a divided opposition, it is easier for the government to focus on its agenda without the constant pressure of a united front,” explained political analyst Mutahi Ngunyi. “This allows them to make progress on key issues and potentially build public support.”
Despite the apparent benefits, Ruto’s path is not without challenges. Public dissatisfaction with the rising cost of living and other issues remains high. Additionally, internal dissent within Kenya Kwanza could emerge, particularly if perceived as benefiting from Azimio’s disunity at the expense of addressing pressing national concerns.
Furthermore, the potential for Azimio to reconcile and present a united front in the 2025 elections cannot be discounted. History has shown that Kenyan politics can be dynamic, and alliances can shift quickly.
Azimio’s internal divisions offer temporary advantages for Ruto’s administration. However, these benefits come with the risk of public backlash and the possibility of Azimio reunifying. Ultimately, the long-term impact of this development on Kenya’s political landscape remains uncertain, and the coming months will be crucial in determining how both Ruto and Azimio navigate this complex situation.
It is important to note that while Azimio’s division presents some advantages for Ruto, it is not without its drawbacks. A divided opposition can also lead to political instability and make it more difficult to address national issues effectively. Ultimately, the Kenyan people will be the ones to decide whether Ruto’s administration can capitalize on this opportunity to improve the country or whether Azimio can overcome its internal divisions and pose a serious challenge in the 2027 elections.