How Mudavadi fell prey to the 2012 Uhuruto and Jubilee power schemes

President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) arrives for the launch of the 2014 Kenya International Investment Conference at KICC in Nairobi on November 18, 2014. President Kenyatta had committed himself to step down as the presidential candidate of the Jubilee Alliance in favour of Mudavadi, with Ruto as the running mate--prior to the 2013 General Election. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU |

What you need to know:

  • Kenyatta committed himself to step down as the presidential candidate of the Jubilee Alliance in favour of Mudavadi, with Ruto as the running mate.
  • Although the secret deal stipulated that Mudavadi would be the undisputed presidential candidate, the new deal said there would be a public nomination whose modalities were as vague as everything happening around the three men.
  • Most senior civil servants felt that the dramatic ways of Odinga and Kenyatta could lead to the reorganisation of the public service in ways that could render them jobless. Their only bet? Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi.

On December 2, 2012, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Najib Balala and Chirau Ali Mwakwere drove to Musalia Mudavadi’s home at Riverside.

The four abandoned their drivers and bodyguards for they were in a hurry. All the men were in high spirits, and Mudavadi swallowed the tales raw.

Then Kenyatta, in his usual convivial way, told Mudavadi that he (Kenyatta) knew that he was not saleable as a presidential candidate.

Mudavadi was all ears. He was told he had a national appeal and would therefore be supported in his bid for presidency.

From Mudavadi’s residence, the group drove to the United Republican Party’s offices where they agreed they would sign the deal.

Mudavadi then signalled his spokesman, Kibisu Kabatesi, to immediately dispatch a statement to media houses indicating that the Sabatia Member of Parliament would announce a coalition pact by the end of the week.

“Tell them a public announcement of the national people’s coalition will be made before the end of the week,” Mudavadi said.

Two days later, the group met again at Kenyatta’s residence near State House to sign the deal.

Kenyatta committed himself to step down as the presidential candidate of the Jubilee Alliance in favour of Mudavadi, with Ruto as the running mate.

SWEET DEAL
The three men signed the document, in addition to lawyers Desterio Oyatsi for Kenyatta and Dan Ameyo for Mudavadi. Curiously, Ruto didn’t bring a lawyer.

Mudavadi should have seen that the two men were working in league, but the deal was getting sweeter.

Kenyatta and Ruto informed Mudavadi that The National Alliance would get 45 per cent slots in the coming government, while URP would get 35 per cent and UDF the remaining 20.

TNA and URP would get more seats because of agreeing to surrender their ambitions in favour of Mudavadi.

Kenyatta and Ruto informed Mudavadi that the deal would remain secret for 14 days until the two men had prepared their supporters for the announcement.

Three days later, the three invited the media at Laico Regency to witness the signing of a coalition deal.

The public deal and the one signed in secret at Kenyatta’s home, were as unalike as chalk and cheese.

Although the secret deal stipulated that Mudavadi would be the undisputed presidential candidate, the new deal said there would be a public nomination whose modalities were as vague as everything happening around the three men.

NO KENYATTA FANS
Whereas the secret formula was 45:35:20, the new formula was 33:33:33. It seemed Mudavadi was not bothered by the fact Kenyatta and Ruto had also signed their own deal a week earlier.

Kenyatta had set a trap not only for his opponents, but also powerful mandarins in the civil service working against him.

As soon as Mudavadi was accommodated in Jubilee, they came out of the woodwork.

After Francis Muthaura quit as head of civil service because of the ICC cases, Francis Kimemia replaced him.

It was no secret in the corridors of power that Kimemia and others who included the head of National Security Intelligence Service Michael Gichangi, were no fans of Kenyatta.

The men from Harambee House and their security counterparts convinced President Mwai Kibaki that Raila Odinga and Kenyatta were wrong choices for the presidency.

Kenyatta and Odinga had never really belonged to the system. Of all government departments, it was only in the Treasury that Kenyatta had a cheering squad.

Unfortunately, it faded into obscurity at the sight of the men in security, intelligence and the Office of the President.

PUBLIC SERVANTS SUSPICIOUS
As for Odinga, only the men he personally brought into government cheered from the sidelines. The police had never been on Kenyatta or and Odinga’s side, and they happily tear-gassed the two during their opposition days.

Police Commissioner Matthew Iteere, though from the Mount Kenya region, was not in the Uhuru crowd.

Only Kinuthia Mbugua of the Administration Police, positioned several rungs from the security high table, and Gen Julius Karangi, the head of Kenya Defence Forces whom the conservative gang of Harambee House viewed with suspicion, didn’t mind the idea of a Kenyatta presidency.

Iteere left and David Kimaiyo, an obedient man with two Theology degrees, took over. Kimaiyo was the archetypal cop who knew his job was to obey orders from above – no matter their source.

He would work with anyone who became president.

Other State House Kenyatta foes, led by Kibaki’s private secretary Nick Wanjohi, echoed the tune first hatched at Harambee House after the departure of Muthaura.

Most senior civil servants felt that the dramatic ways of Odinga and Kenyatta could lead to the reorganisation of the public service in ways that could render them jobless. Their only bet? Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi.

BLATANT DECLARATIONS
The ink had not dried on the paper Mudavadi had signed, before a group of more than 40 MPs allied to TNA called the media and staged an orchestrated and vigorous protest.

Led by Mutava Musyimi who said he had stepped down as the DP presidential candidate to support Kenyatta’s bid, their highly charged gripe captured headlines.

The MPs declared they would rather decamp to ODM than join a Mudavadi-led coalition.

Journalists were left asking whether MPs from Central Kenya could issue such blatant, vehement and politically treasonous declarations without the blessings of Kenyatta.

Even as Kenyatta and Ruto played hardball on their partners, they were busy receiving those who felt they had been given a raw deal in ODM.

Charity Ngilu was the first to rush to Kenyatta and Ruto claiming that ODM had duped her into signing a deceptive coalition document, which gave her no significant role.

As the plot got thicker, Dujis MP Aden Duale started making official statements on behalf of Jubilee.

A cantankerous man from Garissa Town with a piercing voice that often sounded like a malfunctioning siren when in his element, Duale had been waiting for this dream job.

An alumnus of Moi University, he had close ties with the Kalenjin, who viewed him as an honorary Nandi. Duale had been in ODM with Ruto, where he was made the national Vice-Chairman.

MUSALIA ABANDONED
In a party dominated by old men who made all the important statements, life had been frustrating for the voluble Duale. When rebellions started, he had quickly cast his lot with Ruto.

Here was where his runway tongue, vast energies and unbound ambition found a home. Within no time, Duale was the URP rock star. Now he was the spokesman of the Jubilee Coalition.

Kenyatta and Ruto were not the only men leading Mudavadi down a cul-de-sac. The man from Sabatia had been abandoned at the altar by his best suitor, Peter Kenneth of the Kenya National Congress.

At the time Kenyatta was signing his exclusive deal with Ruto, Kenneth and Mudavadi had agreed to sign a deal at Freedom Corner in Uhuru Park.

A day to the signing of the pact, Kenneth switched off his phones. He had been with Raphael Tuju, discussing another deal.

Then they decided to go back to Mudavadi together. Unfortunately for them, Mudavadi had already been taken by Ruto and Kenyatta.

It was now the time for Mudavadi to switch off the phone on Kenneth and Tuju.

Unknown to Kenyatta and Ruto, before they went to Mudavadi’s Riverside home dangling a mouth-watering deal, Gideon Moi of Kanu had been there.

TOUGH STATEMENT
Moi knew about the frustrations Mudavadi was facing with Kenneth and he convinced Mudavadi to sign a deal with Kanu.

Mudavadi quickly summoned his allies Bonny Khalwale and Soita Shitanda, and signed the deal with Moi.

When Kenneth dodged Mudavadi, the latter had received a call from Ruto, enquiring on his whereabouts.

Before the end of the week, Kenyatta called journalists to issue a tough statement. “I am not stepping down for anyone!” he declared.

In the next one week, officials would keep Mudavadi going in circles. As Kenyatta and Ruto campaigned full-throttle all over the country, Mudavadi was waiting for a promised presidential nomination fete that would never come.

Then on December 18, coming from campaigning upcountry, Kenyatta called the media and disowned the deal with Mudavadi. Flanked by Ruto, he blamed some “dark forces” for forcing him to sign the deal.

Two days before Christmas, Kenyatta and Ruto went to Kasarani International Sports Complex to have themselves nominated as the presidential candidate and the running mate of the Jubilee Coalition respectively.

COPY-PASTED
Then followed a torrent of soaring and uplifting articles in the Kenyan and international media, co-authored by Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.

Jubilee, they wrote, was the only vehicle that could deliver the Kenyan dream.

With prose that trickled with the smoothness of a Beethoven Symphony, textured with colourful language and inspiring references to the greatest men of history, it was as if Kenyatta and Ruto were also promising to take Kenya to a literary nirvana.

“We go to the people of Kenya with the promise of economic transformation, national unity, reconciliation and equity. They have heard us. They trust us. We have no doubt they will give us the honour to make Kenya great,” they wrote.

Good prose and great thinking. While content could not be disputed, the byline was however copy-pasted. For the real writer was a young man called Eric Ng’eno.

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