A meeting of all political leaders from Nyanza is expected in the next few days where the Matiang’i development will be discussed.
There is talk the meeting will seek to harness the unity of Nyanza, including on fielding candidates to avert discord in the region.
A senior state official who asked not to be named told the Star the grand plan is to groom the CS for a face-off with DP Ruto in the 2022 duel.
“He is being viewed as the best candidate for President Kenyatta and Raila’s handshake side,” the official said.
The idea of elevating the Matiang’i to the role of Nyanza spokesman is to propel him to be among the sons to whom Raila might consider handing the baton.
Matiang’i is treated as the senior-most government official in the region, and one who can easily mobilise leaders to a roundtable.
This follows his role as the chairman of the National Development Committee of Cabinet in President Kenyatta’s administration.
The CS was appointed to the role through Executive Order No 1 of 2019, putting him on a collision course with Ruto and his allies.
Matiang’i is set to meet a governor from Nyanza on Monday as part of their joint efforts with Raila to consolidate the region.
When asked about the developments that stand to tilt not only the politics of Nyanza but also the President’s succession, Raila’s allies declined to comment.
Calls and messages to Raila’s aide Dennis Onyango on the reports went unanswered.
Luo Nyanza Parliamentary Group chairman James Nyikal (Seme MP) said the matter has not been brought to the attention of his team.
“I wouldn’t want to speculate since I have not officially been given that report,” Nyikal said on Sunday.
ODM chairman John Mbadi said Matiang’i is not someone to be dismissed.
“Raila would want to work with many people. The Cabinet Secretary has carved out a niche for himself, maybe not so much of a politician so far; he is more of a technocrat,” Mbadi said.
The Suba South MP is Minority leader of the National Assembly.
“He has been working very closely with us save for the issues in the by-elections. He has already been playing a significant role to us and largely as a friend,” the MP said.
Mbadi said, however, said he was “not privy to any suggestion or idea to make him anything bigger than what he is now”.
“If there will be anything like that, we will hear…but for now, I don’t know what role that would be.”