Busy Mudavadi realigns self ahead of 2022 presidential race
Mukalo Kwayera @kwayeram
The political star of Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi has been shining in the last few weeks, in what appears to be a spirited bid to take a share of the national spotlight ahead of the 2002 presidential race.
The soft-spoken politician has been engaging in highly-publicised activities as party politics takes centre stage in the country.
Last Friday, Mudavadi, his Narc Kenya counterpart Martha Karua, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and former MP Sally Kosgei held a meeting at Nairobi’s Runda estate where, according to a press statement released later, “they discussed the challenges facing the nation and agreed to, jointly with other like-minded people put heads together in search of sustainable solutions.”
The meeting came hot on the heels of similar others that Mudavadi had held with an array of politicians allied to Deputy President William Ruto.
Mudavadi, Karua and Kenneth were unsuccessful presidential candidates in the 2013 General Election.
On the other hand, Mudavadi, Karua and Kosgei were part of the 2008 Serena Peace talks chaired by former United Nations Secretary General, the late Kofi Annan, that brokered the accord that led to the formation of the Grand Coalition Government.
The Runda meeting came the same day that some Luhya leaders were hosted by trade unionist Francis Atwoli at his Kitengela home to discuss the perennial subject dubbed ‘elusive Luhya unity.’
During the talks, a declaration was made to support President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition leader Raila Odinga in their bid to unite Kenyans, with Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, his Bungoma counterpart Wycliffe Wangamati and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa as the community’s spokesmen.
A week earlier, Mudavadi had separately hosted Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and Kiambu Senator Kimani wa Matangi and later on met outspoken Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, Malava MP Malulu Injendi, his Bumula counterpart Mwambu Mabonga and John Waluke of Sirisia at his office in Nairobi’s Lavington.
Both Mandago and the five MPs are close associates of Deputy President Ruto, whose relationship with the President is rumoured to be frosty.
Though Mandago has remained silent on the issue, Mudavadi has twice stated that their meeting centred on matters relating to devolution, agriculture and revival of the economy.
However, that has not dampened speculation that the governor might have been Ruto’s emissary on a mission to explore possible avenues of working together ahead of 2022 elections.
During a morning talk-show on Milele FM radio last Thursday morning, Mudavadi stated that he views Ruto as a competitor.
He also declared that he will not back any candidate in the contest, having previously supported Uhuru in 2002 and Raila twice—in 2007 and 2017.
Speaking to the People Daily yesterday, Mudavadi said time was long past for him to be fronted as a leader of an ethnic group.
“I am a Luhya and I am proud of my heritage. I speak the language and practice traditions of my people.
However, I am not going to market myself in this country as the leader of my community.
I am reaching out to like-minded Kenyans with a view to striking consensus on how this country should be governed in future,” he said.
“It is a pity that in this time and age some grown-ups are breaching all guidelines and regulations relating to the Covid-19 pandemic to congregate in the homesteads of other people to plan how to become tribal chiefs. That is too cheap,” he added.
At the weekend, Mudavadi strongly protested the ouster of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula as the Ford Kenya party leader blaming it on Raila.