Musalia Mudavadi

ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi addressing his supporters at Bomas of Kenya on January 23,2022 during the party's NDC meeting.

| Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Irony of Mudavadi’s scathing attack on Uhuru reign as Ruto looked on

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi yesterday January 23 launched a scathing attack on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration even as Deputy President William Ruto, who has been part of the ruling Jubilee party in the past nine years, looked on in silence.

Mr Mudavadi, in a hard-hitting speech, also ruled out the possibility of working with ODM leader Raila Odinga and instead embraced the deputy president, who led a high powered team of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) legislators and governors to his big day.

The ANC leader who has over the years cut the image of a humble, cordial politician, in a 45-page speech at his party’s National Delegates Congress (NDC) took a swipe at President Kenyatta, accusing him of presiding over grand corruption in his government.

Ruto says UDA will work with ANC and Ford Kenya

Ironically, DP Ruto, elected on a joint ticket with the Head of State in 2013 and twice in 2017, sat pensively behind the ANC leader as he hurled missiles at the Jubilee administration.

Mr Mudavadi appeared emboldened by the DP’s presence, firing several salvos at President Kenyatta and his ‘Handshake’ partner – Mr Odinga.

Handshake is the truce that ended the President’s political rivalry with the opposition leader in 2018.

While ruling out any chances of working with the Uhuru-Odinga team, Mr Mudavadi said: “We will not go with Azimio when it comes to partnerships. This thing called Azimio is neither an Azimio, nor about unity. Azimio is about the self-preservation of some cunning individuals. The patterns are only too well-known and predictable.”

The ANC leader said the country was hostage to robber barons under the current administration which, interestingly, Dr Ruto is part of.

“Those who should care are engrossed in political self-preservation, and grand corruption in government. If we do not create jobs for the youth and generate wealth, our country will explode,” Mr Mudavadi warned.

He said Kenya was at dangerous crossroads, warning that never again shall he continue taking a backseat as the country plunges into uncertainty.

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live on my knees in my own country. How can we be proud that the government has bankrupted itself and the people? How can we accept to live on our knees? Kenya is at a dangerous crossroads.”

“Kenya is on the verge of bankruptcy. Our creditors can hardly risk to lend us anymore than they have done. The retiring government has resorted to scorched earth tax policies,” he roared.

Mr Mudavadi, who was speaking moments after his party endorsed him as its flagbearer for the August presidential race and authorised him to negotiate and enter into pre and post-election coalition agreements with other partners, declared a new partnership with DP Ruto’s UDA.

The deputy president then immediately announced plans for joint political rallies with Mr Mudavadi, signifying a new alliance for the August 9 polls.

The DP revealed that beginning Wednesday, together with the ANC boss and other partners including Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula and Tujibebe party head William Kabogo, will hold joint rallies across the country.

"We will from now walk together and beginning Wednesday, we shall be in Nakuru before touring Western on Friday and Central Kenya on Saturday," the DP announced.

He termed the ANC conference as the beginning of a new journey for Kenya.

"I want to confirm on behalf of UDA and my team that we will work with ANC, Ford Kenya and all parties that want to walk this journey of bringing all Kenyans together," Dr Ruto announced at the meeting attended by more than 65 MPs allied to UDA, ANC and Ford Kenya.

The event was earlier marred by drama after Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his Kanu counterpart Gideon Moi walked out of the auditorium following the arrival of the DP and his allies.

The One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals, including Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula, were among attendees of the NDC before they left shortly after Mr Mudavadi launched his bid for the top seat.

Undaunted, the ANC leader said he would not look back to his political allies.

“I am not boarding that train of lies. Let me, instead, tell Kenyans the truth. Reckless and irresponsible loans have sapped financial resources from the productive private sector.”

“The private partners in these cartel-style deals are people in government, working with their close family members and cronies. These people are literally eating up our country. They are eating you up. For how long will we allow this to go on?” he questioned.

Punitive heavy taxation, he noted, was being applied to anything and everything “– from airtime, to fuel, electricity, agriculture and manufacturing – and the inputs.”

He pointed out that Kenyans had lost sight of the meaning of government.

“Government is now about formalised corruption, through budgeting to steal. We have allowed the criminal mind to take over the budgeting process. It budgets for corruption,” Mr Mudavadi said.

He went on: “I want to be your next President. I trust that through the will of God of all creation, you will give me the opportunity to get our country out of the morass of decay. I will place Kenya back on track where it once was, as Africa’s undisputed Tiger Nation.”

Mr Wetang’ula said Mr Mudavadi, like the proverbial phoenix, had emerged from the ashes and was ready to fly.

While revisiting his divorce from Mr Odinga’s ODM party, the Ford Kenya leader said it was only Mr Mudavadi who stood by him.

“Musalia stood with him shoulder to shoulder. Today I want to tell you my brother that you will not walk alone,” said Mr Wetang’ula as he pledged to work with the ANC leader in his new journey with the DP.

“We have started a new chapter in the history of this country. We are confining those who have not been able to keep their side of the political bargain and effected betrayal, to the annals of history.”

Mr Mudavadi urged Kenyans to back his bid and, in a jab directed at Mr Odinga, urged Kenyans to say no to political projects.

“I ask Kenyans to trust me since I come with clean hands, experience. I acknowledge that there are problems to be dealt with. I desire to lead the change back to economic prosperity; to reclaim the soul of our country. I offer trust; trust that I will always tell Kenyans the truth, do what I say and not promise what I cannot do,” said Mr Mudavadi.

He said his economic model, together with what the DP stands for, will better the lives of Kenyans.

“Unlike some eccentric experiments being bandied around, uchumi bora, pesa mfukoni is about creation of wealth and employment. Hata hustlers wanahitaji uchumi bora na pesa mfukoni (Even hustlers need money in their pockets). Together, we will do it,” said Mr Mudavadi.

Mr Mudavadi said never again shall he embrace leaders who cannot be trusted.

“We shall no longer countenance the company of those who cannot be trusted. No, never again. For the avoidance of doubt, the ANC stand, which I am privileged to pronounce is that the specter called Azimio is not an option,” he said.