Flip-flopping Injendi leaves trail of confusion, guessing

Monday, April 19th, 2021 23:03 |
Malava MP Malulu Injendi addressing area residents during a past function. Photo/PD/FILE

Dennis Lumiti

“Is he for real?” Is the question on many a people’s lips after Malava MP Malulu Injendi indicated he had ditched the Tanga Tanga bandwagon for the One Kenya Alliance through Amani National Congress.

The 55-year-old former Sociology lecturer at the Catholic University of East Africa is regarded in Kakamega as the master of political somersaults, deception and flip-flops.

Typically, he will one morning be attending a funeral at Mugai in his constituency beseeching mourners to support their neighbour, Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid, then sound a warning to critics of ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi in the afternoon, this time at Butali, on same day.

When you meet him later in the evening, at Kakamega Sports Club, he will just laugh everything off, saying, “I was working.”

Entangled in formations

Thus, news that he had ‘disentangled” himself from the “Tanga Tanga” formation in favour of ANC has kicked up a major debate in Kakamega. The MP’s critics claim that he is up to some mischief and cannot be trusted.

“We have sent him there on a mission,” a resident of the county, who is allied to the “Tanga Tanga” wing, claimed in a social media post.

Malulu is no stranger to controversy. Yet he is a sought-after politician in Kakamega and elsewhere because of the lucrative number of voters in his constituency, the most populous in the county and where Mudavadi drew the highest support countrywide in his 2013 presidential bid.

He knows how to read the mood and survive politically. For instance, he is currently walking a political tightrope due to the ANC’s wave sweeping the county, including his Malava constituency and the scramble for his seat which has so far attracted six competitors, most of them allied to the Mudavadi party.

Those who have already declared their interest in the seat include his main rival in 2017 Joab Manyasa of Ford Kenya, Kakamega county Leader of Minority David Ndakwa, secretary-general of Kenya National Union of Nurses Seth Panyako, former management lecturer at Kenya School of Government Caleb Sunguti and Kakamega County Deputy Speaker John Shimaka.

The ODM candidate in 2017, Nathan Saidi Khasavuli, has since defected to Ruto’s Tanga Tanga group from where he intends to be the running-mate of former Kakamega senator Dr Boni Khalwale who is angling to replace Wycliffe Ambetsa Oparanya as area Governor.

Most of Malulu’s opponents led by Ndakwa gravitate around ANC. Malulu won the Malava seat on two different parties and it is most likely that he is seeking for another vehicle to use in the next polls.

Courting controversy 

The legislator won the seat in 2013 on little-known Maendeleo Development Party. But he immediately alienated himself from the party which saw him cross swords with its founder and leader Amisi Omukanda, a former Kakamega councillor.

The party disowned him but he still served his full term. He switched to Jubilee whose ticket he used to retain the seat in 2017.

He has since been coalescing around Tanga Tanga and ANC. He even joined the “Kieleweke/Handshake” wing briefly but bolted out saying Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya had wanted to “con him by trying to force him support ODM leader Raila Odinga”.

However Malulu told People Daily on Saturday that he was his own man and that his decision to work with ANC and support Mudavadi’s presidential bid was “out of clean heart and honesty.”

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