Mudavadi: Joining forces with William Ruto was in community's interest

Musalia Mudavadi

Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi addressing a consultative meeting at Mululu in Vihiga County on  February 25, 2022.

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang'ula have defended their decision to work with Deputy President William Ruto, hinting they could shelve their presidential ambitions in the ongoing negotiations with the Kenya Kwanza alliance.

Addressing 5,000 delegates at Mr Mudavadi's home in Mululu, Vihiga County, the two called on the vote-rich region not to demand that it must be the one to take the presidency.

Their sentiments could be seen as preparing their supporters in advance for any eventuality when Kenya Kwanza finally picks its presidential candidate to face off with ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Asking their supporters to stick with them, they said the decision is in the interest of the western region and that Mr Odinga could not be trusted anymore after the many years the community had invested in him.

Personal interests

Dr Ruto was represented at the meeting by Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali. He said the focus now was on Sugoi (DP Ruto's home in Uasin Gishu) and Mululu.

"The battle ahead of us is much bigger than our personal interests. The bigger threat is not our personal ambitions but the people who think they can sit on our heads forever and ever," Mr Mudavadi said.

He added: "As we close today, the rest can follow up later. Our parties will meet and consult. Today we are here to answer the question of why we are working with Dr Ruto under the Kenya Kwanza alliance and not Azimio la Umoja."

For his part, Mr Wetang'ula said: "We want to put our house (western Kenya) in proper order. Accept and move on with us."

Real change

He went on: "If you (people of western) demand it must be you, then this will break our course. Our alliance is going to form the next government.

"This region is as good as any other. Together with other Kenyans we shall deliver. We want to go to a real Canaan and get real change so as to address the plight of our people.

“Allow us to continue negotiating on your behalf so that we can grow our country. Allow us to walk with Ruto in the Kenya Kwanza alliance."

The Bungoma senator then asked the region to stick with them and pray at the oracles for the community's political future.

The two leaders said they broke up with Mr Odinga due to mistrust and asked their supporters to lock the ODM leader out of western Kenya.

Mr Mudavadi noted that their supporters have many questions and assured that the meeting at his home was intended to provide the much needed answers and rally the community behind them as ANC, Ford Kenya and UDA prepare to release their coalition agreement in the coming days.

They said they had supported Mr Odinga in the past and wondered why he was not ready to reciprocate.

Mr Mudavadi accused President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Odinga of plotting to impose a President on Kenyans, a move he said Kenya Kwanza leaders were not ready to accept.

Show direction

"It is not time to lament but show direction. I want to tell you that truth. We from this region have helped others before and invested in them but they have not shown us gratitude," Mr Mudavadi said.

The ANC leader said he and Mr Wetang'ula saw that President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga were taking other Kenyans for granted because they got the privilege to lead.

He said the President and the ODM leader were using their positions to arrogantly determine the next President.

"I am not a fool and I’m not about to have a leader imposed on us. We know it is at the ballot that a leader is elected," Mr Mudavadi said.

And added: "Uhuru went to Sagana State Lodge and allocated himself the role of 20 million voters and picked for us a President. This is not acceptable."

Mr Mudavadi hit out at Mr Kenyatta for claiming that his deputy was a thief going round the country to distribute proceeds of corruption.

He asked the President to also speak about the corruption that happened after the handshake so as to bring out the "real thieves".

He also told the people of western Kenya that they opted to abandon Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga because the two were derailing them by plotting to kill their two parties to slow them down.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga were also accused of coming up with several parties in the region to dismember ANC and Ford Kenya, a move Mr Mudavadi said angered them.

"They want it to look like many parties are in support of Azimio la Umoja. Let us not be hoodwinked and show them that Kenyans are with Kenya Kwanza," said Mr Mudavadi as Mr Wetang'ula wondered how the small parties formed in recent days were allowed to hold NDCs before conducting grassroots elections.

39 constituencies

 The ANC leader then asked the 39 constituencies to elect MPs, governors, senators and MCAs who are in Kenya Kwanza to keep Mr Odinga from the region.

Mr Wetang'ula said they met their supporters to discuss pertinent matters that needed their backing.

"We want to leave here with a social contract to deconstruct political brokers from our region. Time for political conmanship has ended. A neighbour (in reference to Mr Odinga) who seeks support for himself every time is not a good person," said Mr Wetang'ula.

They then asked the community to look at the bigger picture in the Kenya Kwanza alliance.

"What hidden plans does Uhuru have in supporting Raila this time? Western is locked as we rally behind Mudavadi and Wetang'ula," said Mr Washiali.

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said the two Luhya leaders will lead the community to go into government after the polls.

"The Luhya must go into government and that can be done through our neighbour, William Ruto," Dr Khalwale said.