Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi has defended his spirited push for voters in Vihiga County to elect only candidates allied to his party, saying even his ODM counterpart Raila Odinga is rooting for six-piece voting in his Nyanza backyard.
Mr Mudavadi also said voters in Uasin Gishu County, Deputy President William Ruto’s home bastion, will also elect candidates who are allied to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
Speaking yesterday in his home turf of Vihiga County, Mr Mudavadi said his party had sought balance in the choice of candidates and that voters should support the ANC in the August 9 polls.
This was the third time Mr Mudavadi was telling voters in his home county to consider only ANC candidates as ANC faced stiff competition from UDA, ODM and UDP, which is led by Vihiga Senator George Khaniri.
Mr Mudavadi told his supporters at Kisasi in Hamisi sub-county that Mr Odinga had used his recent tour of the Nyanza region to ask voters in Siaya and Homa Bay counties to vote for ODM candidates amid growing competition from other parties and independent candidates.
When he first made the call about two months ago, Mr Mudavadi told Vihiga’s 310,000 voters that failure to elect his candidates would leave him exposed and turn him into a laughing stock.
He also told voters that victory for his party in Vihiga would give him strength in the Kenya Kwanza alliance.
“Even when Raila was in Siaya, he campaigned for ODM candidates. He did not vouch for other parties or independent candidates,” Mr Mudavadi said.
“He (Mr Odinga) asked the voters to vote for his party’s candidates. Even in Uasin Gishu County they will vote for UDA candidates. What is the mistake in voting for the ANC here in Vihiga? This is our home.”
In Sabatia constituency, Dr Emmanuel Ayodi is facing stiff competition from UDA’s Mr Clement Sloya, with Mr Mudavadi’s allies questioning Dr Ruto’s motive in fielding a parliamentary candidate in the ANC leader’s sub-county.
Ruto withdrew UDA candidate
But Dr Ruto withdrew UDA’s woman representative candidate, Ms Jackline Mwenesi, from the race in favour of ANC’s Mrs Beatrice Adagala.
However, ANC’s Mr Kennedy Butiko is facing stiff competition in the Senate race from Mr Godfrey Osotsi (ODM) and Mr Jackson Swadi (UDA).
The fight by ANC to clinch the governorship for the first time since the start of devolution in 2013 is also facing stiff competition from the incumbent, Dr Wilber Ottichilo (ODM), Senator Khaniri (UDP) and former Governor Moses Akaranga (PPoK).
Speculation is rife in the county that Dr Ruto has a soft spot for Mr Akaranga even as Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi, an ally of Mr Mudavadi, seeks to catch the DP’s eye to help him take over the county government.
While feeling the pinch of resistance from the vote-rich Hamisi constituency, Mr Mudavadi said his party had allocated the sub-county the seats of woman representative and deputy governor and urged voters to reciprocate by supporting ANC.
The mothers of Mrs Adagala, the woman representative candidate, and Ms Joyce Mmaitsi, Mr Agoi’s running mate, are from Hamisi.
Mr Mudavadi then reminded voters that Dr Ruto, Senator Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) and himself had entered an agreement that will see the region bank 30 per cent of the government and urged voters to rally behind the Kenya Kwanza alliance.
“Ask Azimio to show you their agreement. They don’t have and I ask you (the voters) to listen to me. The Kenya Kwanza alliance has the way for the Western region,” he said when he campaigned in Kisasi, Hamisi constituency.
He claimed that President Uhuru Kenyatta had abandoned Mr Odinga and that the former stands with Azimio during the day and campaigns for Kenya Kwanza at night.