Most Kenyans are well aware that the current Prime Minister (and presidential candidate) Raila Odinga, spent much of the 1980s being shuttled in and out between the courts and remand prison or detention. This was his fate, as the man seen by the Moi government of those days, as its most dangerous enemy.
All the same he was to eventually form a short-lived political partnership with this very same President, Daniel arap Moi in 2001, and to serve Moi as a Cabinet Minister. Less well known is that the two men now mentioned most often as Raila's likely running mates for the upcoming General Election, were both for much of that time highly-placed insiders of the Moi government.
The MP for Tinderet, Henry Kosgey, was a Cabinet Minister; and the current Roads Minister, Franklin Bett, was a senior State House technocrat for most of that time. This is the pattern you will find over and over again in politics: the people you would rationally expect to be on opposite ends of the political spectrum are the very ones you will find working together in a bid to gain power.
Shakespeare famously noted that "Misery acquaints a man with strange bedfellows". But in politics, it seems that a close acquaintance with such strange bedfellows is the prerequisite for success. And there are examples, far stranger than those of Raila working with Moi; or working even more closely with Bett and Kosgey. Consider the case of Dr Chris Murungaru and Revd Mutava Musyimi:
Go back to the year 2006, and you will find that Murungaru was named by the anti-graft crusader, John Githongo as one of the principal suspects in the Anglo-Leasing scandal. This, more than anything else, defined the Kibaki administration's first term as a continuation of "business as usual" for the corruption networks which have long preyed on the Kenyan taxpayer.
At this time, Revd Mutava Musyimi, was the long-serving Secretary General of the National Christian Council of Kenya (NCCK) and was an authoritative and much-respected voice on the burning issues of the day. I cannot remember if he condemned the Anglo-Leasing scam, but it is the kind of thing he was more or less obliged to do, as Secretary-General of the NCCK.
Well, come back to the present, and what do we have? Revd Musyimi is now a candidate for the presidency. And who is his new best friend? Why, none other than 'Dr. Chris' of Anglo-Leasing fame. They are working closely together within the Democratic Party (DP) which is Revd Musyimi's chosen vehicle for his presidential bid.
But all these odd political partnerships pale into insignificance when compared to the current political alliance between former Cabinet Minister William Ruto, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta.
In this case, it is definitely a case of misery acquainting a man with strange bedfellows, as there really cannot be any fate more miserable for a leading Kenyan politician, than to have a rendezvous at the International Criminal Court prominently on his calendar.
But go back to early 2008. At that time, nobody had ever thought that the ICC might come into the picture. And we had heart-rending reports of massacres of Kikuyus in the upper Rift Valley; and equally bloody retaliatory attacks against Luos, Luhyias and Kalenjins in Naivasha. Along with these reports was TV footage of endless convoys: hundreds of thousands of people fleeing under police escort, from those who had evicted them from their homes.
At that time, would anyone have predicted that a Ruto-Uhuru political partnership would flourish in the next few years?
Yet the fact is that this is perhaps the most potent political partnership of the current election cycle.
Basically, if Ruto and Uhuru agree not to run for president - or are prevented from running - and they make a binding decision to throw their weight behind a 'neutral' candidate, then Raila's long dominance as 'the man to beat' in the race for the presidency would come to an abrupt end. This is what the latest opinion polls plainly confirm.
Any candidate from anywhere in the republic, who has the unqualified support of these two 'strange bedfellows' will almost certainly be the next president of Kenya. It is a tragedy indeed, that they are influential enough to determine who our next president will be, but not influential enough to restore the smallholder farms around Eldoret to those who were evicted from them. But that is just one more strange fact of politics.