Politicians sing Mudavadi's praises, advise Uhuru on Jubilee rifts

Uhuru and Ruto

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) and Deputy President William Ruto.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Many leaders, among them President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM boss Raila Odinga, travelled to Vihiga County on Saturday to condole with politician Musalia Mudavadi and his family as they buried their mother.

Mama Hanna Mudavadi, who died last week, was termed a matriarch for being a pillar for her family as well as the community.

Politicians praised her for raising the "bull" that is Mr Mudavadi, leader of the Amani National Congress (ANC) party.

They heaped praises on Mr Mudavadi, some saying he is capable of leading the Mulembe nation in the 2022 race to succeed President Kenyatta.

Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu said President Uhuru should bring all leaders under one roof, knowing "Kenya is greater than us all".

"Hannah brought together the whole country, so we have to talk to each other. We know who is against us," she said, in apparent criticism of Deputy President William Ruto.

DP Ruto did not go to Vihiga. He attended the burial of James Ngui Ndambuki, uncle of Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr, in Mbooni Constituency.

Mr Francis Atwoli, Secretary-General of the Central Organization of Trade Unions (Cotu), told the President to be as serious as his father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, was on matters of national peace.

"Crack the whip. If not, you will lose the good work you have done. Your deputy says the BBI has derailed the Big Four agenda yet these two projects are yours," he said.

He also spoke about the United Democratic Alliance (UDA), which was officially launched on Friday, by DP Ruto's allies.

"Which party is this that does not have a removal clause?" Mr Atwoli asked. "We are supporting you. Protect your foot soldiers."

When Ruto becomes President you will be the first prisoner, Atwoli tells Moses Kuria

Elusive Luhya unity

Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said Western leaders will not let Mr Mudavadi walk alone.

He reminded President Kenyatta that the ANC boss has remained supportive of him since the 2002 General Election.

He noted that the bid to revive the economy, especially after the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the BBI quest both require unity.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who chair the Council of Governors, said he has worked closed with Mr Mudavadi since 2002, when he first joined Parliament.

"Mudavadi was on the forefront of starting devolution as he helped craft laws governing it," he said.

He told Western region politicians that it is time for them to come together and plan the way forward.

To the President, he said, "Your legacy will be upheld if you leave the leadership in safe hands. If not, there will be a mess."

Let us be patient enough to entertain dissent in the BBI push, Martha Karua says

Kenya's priorities

Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua noted the need to welcome opposing views as debate on the BBI continues.

“When one is opposed to any opposition, that is intolerance. If you propose a BBI, know that people like Karua will oppose it. Give out the books for people to read and don't brand those with opposing views as followers of a certain person.” she said.

She added, “Let us focus on health, the economy, unemployment, public debt and corruption. Let us ensure solutions to our problems and free and fair elections.”

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka spoke of the need to liberate Kenya and ensure inclusivity.

"The BBI is for every Kenyan. We have to debunk the myth of the 'hustler' that is dividing this nation," he said.

Ford Kenya party leader and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula regretted that the country seems more preoccupied with the top leadership than circumstances on the ground.

Senator Wetang’ula highlighted key national issues such as the ailing sugar sector and the tea sector.

On politics, he said he and Mr Mudavadi are working together for the sake of Luhya unity.

Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o reminded the country that its problems will not be resolved by the mere choice of a President.

"Many politicians take complex problems and give them simple solutions. Let us give this country time to develop," he said.

ANC leader's tribute to his mother, Mama Hannah Mudavadi

Divided house

While carefully noting that he wasn't being tribalistic, politician Musikari Kombo said "anyone who wants to come to Western should speak to Musalia first".

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja described Mr Mudavadi as a leader with national acceptance.

Mr Sakaja thanked President Kenyatta for making him chair of TNA party when he was just 27 years old.

"My contract ends in 2022 and the transfer window opens. With the skills you have given me in politics, I will join Musalia and work with him," he said.

Siaya Senator James Orengo said Kenya is a divided house so it was necessary for the President and Mr Odinga to reach a unity deal.

"The entire opposition has agreed to work with the government of the day," he said, adding President Kenyatta still has time in office so talk about 2022 should not take over as he continues to serve the people.

"The President has a divided house. Let him bring in minds to help him now and not wait for then. Bring in Mudavadi so that he can help restore the economy now, not then. Also bring in Kalonzo. You have about four people here who can work with you," he said.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala also noted that Kenya is united because of the handshake between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga, which saved the country from the unrest usually seen during elections.

"Raila has his people intact in the handshake. Uhuru's side is the problem. We call on him to bring his troops to order. His people are undermining him," he said, and made reference to Murang's Senator Irungu Kang'ata, who wrote a letter to the President, explaining why the BBI's position is weak in the Mt Kenya region.

"Today I expected Kang'ata to ask for forgiveness for the letter he wrote. Your people should be brought back in line," he said.

He added, "The question is, in whose hands will Uhuru and Raila leave the country? The two have a political debt owed to Mudavadi. It is time for you leave Kenya in the safe hands of Musalia Mudavadi."