Raila Odinga hints at reunion with Musalia Mudavadi in 2022 polls

Raila Odinga

ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) condoles with his ANC counterpart  Musalia Mudavadi and family during the burial service of Rosebella Mudavadi in Sabatia, Vihiga, on December 18, 2021.

Photo credit: Isaac Wale | Nation Media Group

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga yesterday hinted at uniting with Amani National Congress (ANC) counterpart Musalia Mudavadi ahead of the 2022 polls, days after the latter gave his Azimio la Umoja declaration at Kasarani, a wide berth.

Mr Odinga said he did not use his sole bullet in 2017, keeping his next year’s presidential ambition alive.

The former Prime Minister was speaking at the burial ceremony of Mr Mudavadi’s stepmother Rosebella Mudavadi, 82, in Budira, in Sabatia, Vihiga County.

The two leaders then told mourners that their friendship dates back to many years with Mr Mudavadi noting that they only differ in opinion and they are not enemies.

The deceased was the second wife of the former powerful Minister Moses Budamba Mudavadi and stepmother of the ANC leader.

“I will speak to Mudavadi. We will discuss the issues that are existing between us. Let us embrace friendships because we will work together again,” Mr Odinga said.

“I have heard it being said I had only one bullet in 2017. I am yet to use it. I used a spear in 2017 but the bullet remained.

Work together

“I know Mudavadi and I know we will work together. Mudavadi and I have had long friendship ties. At one time we went different ways but reunited in 2017.”

The ODM leader who recently declared he will contest in 2022 noted that their plan for 2017 did not work, making them return with bare hands from the hunt.

This, he said, left them with nothing to share a move that affected the working unity.

He urged the ANC leader’s supporters to let them address the issues between them to ensure a strong political alliance in 2022.

Mr Mudavadi noted that they are friends and fondly call each other using their late mothers’ names.

He said Mr Odinga calls him “Mwana wa Hannah” in reference to his mother, the late Hannah Atsianzale Mudavadi who was buried on January 9 this year.

Peaceful election

He told the mourners that he calls Mr Odinga “Wuod Mary”. Mary was Mr Odinga’s mother.

“Let us not be enemies because of politics. I am happy Raila is here. We can differ in opinion but let us not be enemies. We remain friends who want a peaceful election and not chaos. We want a free and fair election. Let us shake hands with the winner and soldier on,” said Mr Mudavadi.

He said should he win, he will be happy and that should it be Mr Odinga, then he will know they have “arrived”.

Narrating what he termed as their long and close family history, Mr Odinga said the father of the ANC leader was a great friend of his father Jaramogi Oginga Odinga.

“The late Mudavadi helped Jaramogi when he was being harassed by the State. I did not attend Rosebella’s funeral service in Nairobi and said I would not miss her burial ceremony today (Saturday),” he said.

And in what appeared to be a swipe at the hustler versus dynasties narrative being propagated by Deputy President William Ruto, the ANC leader said theirs was a family that began from a humble background.

Mr Mudavadi said his father was educated by clan members and this forced him to sometimes work as a farmhand to make ends meet.

“I am saying this so that people can know that we came from far. We were not born in riches. We rose from the dust through God’s blessings and hard work,” he said.

Call for unity

Kisumu governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, who accompanied Mr Odinga, called for unity between the two leaders.

“We worked together and we will continue to work together. We must be together as this is our strength,” he said.

Earlier, Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi had indicated that after 20 years, they are not ready to support Mr Odinga again.

The MP said ODM and UDA parties were disrespectful to his party boss despite the support Mr Odinga had been accorded previously. He also cited the one-bullet narrative and asked Mr Odinga to use the 2022 polls to return the favour to Mr Mudavadi.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala also asked ANC leader not to fall back to Mr Odinga as his latest stance was according him political stamina.

The Senator said ANC already has a proposal for the One Kenya Alliance that has Mr Mudavadi as the president, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka as his deputy and Baringo Senator Mr Gideon Moi as the Prime Minister.

He challenged the other parties in the alliance to make their counter proposal in time so as to enable it have a presidential candidate for the 2022 polls.