ANC, Ford-K leaders’ headache as allies quit, join Azimio

Musalia Mudavadi

ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi (left) with his then deputy, Mr Ayub Savula, on December 2 last year. Mr Savula has since quit the party and joined DAP-K, which is part of Azimio la Umoja.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya chief Moses Wetang’ula are facing a big test in their quest to replace allies who have joined Azimio la Umoja led by ODM boss Raila Odinga.

The defections were triggered by the two leaders’ partnership with Deputy President William Ruto, which was sealed on January 23.

ANC and Ford Kenya have been battling an onslaught from Azimio and the Democratic Action Party-Kenya (DAP-K) in their Western region strongholds.

In an interview with the Nation, Mr Mudavadi shrugged off the defections, saying all parties had been affected.

“The media is not telling Kenyans how many have defected from Jubilee. How many ODM MPs have abandoned the party? Such as Aisha Jumwa and others? Tell Kenyans the truth,” he said.

ANC has lost MPs Ayub Savula (Lugari), Peter Nabulindo (Matungu), Tindi Mwale (Butere), Titus Khamala (Lurambi), Christopher Aseka (Khwisero) and Oku Kaunya (Teso North).

Mr Savula, who was the ANC deputy party leader, joined DAP-K in a similar position. Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala has been picked as the ANC party chairman in the county, replacing Mr Khamala.

Mr Malala is expected to revamp ANC in the county and identify candidates who will fly the party’s flag in the August 9 elections.

“We are looking for credible aspirants to ensure we reclaim all the seats in the region,” he said.

Parliamentary hopefuls Stanley Khainga (Lurambi), Laban Atemba (Matungu) are widely expected to run on ANC tickets. Former Butere MP Andrew Toboko will also be seeking to reclaim his seat via ANC.

“Those who moved out should understand that there is no vacuum in leadership,” said Mr Malala. “As ANC, we are determined to lead our people into the next government.”

In Bungoma, Governor Wycliffe Wangamati ditched Ford-Kenya for DAP-K, accusing his party’s leadership of instigating perennial wars against his administration using members of the county assembly.

“They frustrated me so much and made my work difficult. Let them stay with their party,” said the governor in Tongaren.

Senator Wetang’ula has, meanwhile, been trying to rejuvenate Ford-Kenya in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties. The party is facing a big challenge from DAP-K, which is associated with Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa has replaced Dr Eseli Simiyu as the Ford Kenya secretary-general.

Mr Wetang’ula has also been trying to court Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka to join Ford-Kenya and join the Bungoma gubernatorial race on the party’s ticket.

Reports by Benson Amadala, Shaban Makokha and Brian Ojamaa