Flip-flop Waititu jumps in UDA
The year looks promising for a pair of Ferdinands. While Ferdinand Omanyala keeps shattering 100-metre sprint records, politician Ferdinand Baba Yao Waititu is making huge strides towards being the father of rapid allegiance-shifters.
Since his impeachment as Kiambu governor in January 2020, Baba Yao’s political affiliations have been fluid.
Like porridge that finds its level and takes the shape of whatever container it is poured in, Waititu has publicly shown support for Jubilee, Kanu, Wiper and the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) over that period, depending on the function he is attending.
As he accompanied Deputy President William Ruto in Kiambu on Sunday, Waititu said he is considering contesting the county’s governorship on a UDA ticket next year.
“Can those who want me back as governor raise hands?” he asked the crowd.
“I am with you and will be with the Deputy President in UDA.”
He campaigned for Kanu in March 2020.
At a Mt Kenya delegates meeting organised by Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, Waititu declared his support for the independence party.
“I want people to know that I’ve not lost my way. When I hit a dead end, I do an about-turn and return to the road with a clear course. When residents affairs are with Gideon, they are in the right place,” he thundered.
In an NTV interview on January 27, 2021, Waititu apologised to President Uhuru Kenyatta for playing “hard” politics when the President wanted his troops to go slow.
Waititu was asked if he was part of the Jubilee Kieleweke side that supports the President or the Tangatanga wing allied to Ruto.
“I’m not in Kieleweke or Tangatanga. I’m in the middle. I’m an ordinary citizen,” he replied.
Three days later, Waititu was one of the Mt Kenya leaders who attended a Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) caucus addressed by the President at Sagana State Lodge. After the function, it appeared Waititu would champion the President’s interests.
“Led by our President, we have agreed to support the BBI so that big constituencies with many residents can be split,” Waititu said.
“Let no one cheat you. Mt Kenya supports the BBI 100 per cent because it is of great benefit.”
During the campaigns for the Machakos Senate by-election in March, Waititu drummed up support for Wiper candidate, Agnes Kavindu Muthama, who was competing against UDA’s Urbanus Ngengele and several others.
For a man who once swore to remain in Tangatanga, no one appeared to understand him anymore.
Barely a year earlier, in May 2019, Waititu had declared unwavering support for the Ruto-allied side.
“I’m inside Tangatanga. I cannot support Raila (Odinga) by force. Nobody can force me,” he said.
“Naogopa mwenyezi Mungu na uji moto peke yake (I only fear God and hot porridge).”
Waititu made the remarks as corruption allegations against him mounted, leading to his impeachment by Kiambu ward representatives and subsequent removal as governor by the Senate.
The former county boss appears to have used the lemon that was handed to him by the impeachment to spice up some porridge that will fit any container – porridge that has a blend of whatever political ingredients Mr Waititu thinks can benefit him in the short or long term.
In his last three elective positions, Waititu secured tickets of parties that had a majority of Mt Kenya backing.
In 2008, Waititu was a member of PNU when he won the Embakasi parliamentary seat in a by-election occasioned by the assassination of Mugabe Were.
He was in The National Alliance, through which he contested the Nairobi governor position in 2013.
He lost to Evans Kidero of the Orange Democratic Movement.
Waititu used Jubilee Alliance Party to clinch the Kabete seat in a 2015 by-election while in 2017, he secured the Jubilee Party ticket to become Kiambu governor before being kicked out barely three years later.
It is clear the UDA announcement made on Sunday is written in pencil.
The ink might spell something different.