Mudavadi angles for Uhuru endorsement in ’22 contest

Monday, December 23rd, 2019 00:00 |
ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi. Photo/PD/FILE

Emeka-Mayaka Gekara

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi is now actively lobbying for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s endorsement ahead of the 2022 General Election, his allies told People Daily.

Mudavadi, who last week launched his autobiography, Soaring above the storms of passion, indicated that his journey in public was far from over.

He raised eyebrows when he accompanied the President to Garissa for the opening of the Modika Army barracks, Kenya’s newest military base and home to the Kenya Army’s Sixth Brigade.

It was not clear under what circumstances—or what informed—the invitation of a politician, who is not government functionary, was extended  for a security event in a far flung region.

When asked how he ended up joining Uhuru to the Garissa event, Mudavadi told People Daily: “The President asked me if I could join him there and I obliged.

The President is the Head of State and a symbol of nation unity. I cannot decline an invitation from him if it is geared towards building peace and enhancing development in the country.

What is more, he is my long-time friend. I support him on national issues that are beneficial to the rest of the country.” 

But speaking to the People Daily, his supporters indicated that the ANC boss was following the script and wisdom of key members of the Luyhia community who have asked Uhuru to back him for the presidency in the 2022 election. 

Those urging the ANC leader argue that Uhuru owes him a debt with the latter having supported him during the 2002 election which they both lost.

To some the Uhuru endorsement will also exorcise the 2013 “demons” when a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between him and the two Jubilee alliance leaders—Uhuru and William Ruto—for the presidency race collapsed. 

The two had promised to back him for the country’s top seat but backed out leaving Mudavadi to go it alone on the United Democratic Forum(UDF).  

 “It is not a secret. Mudavadi is actively reaching out to Uhuru to seek his endorsement for presidency in 2022.

The President might be realising that it is important to ensure that the presidency does not oscillate between two communities,” said Ayub Savula.

His views were corroborated by Nambale MP John Bunyasi, a close Mudavadi ally.

The other argument is that Opposition chief Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto, who are seen as main candidates for the 2022 contest, are “polarising figures” and the need for unifying figure.

“Mudavadi will be the ideal compromise candidate. The country is yearning for a Luyhia presidency,” says Savula.

The People Daily has learned that the endorsement campaign was discussed at a meeting  convened by Cotu secretary Francis Atwoli in Nairobi attended by a section of Luyhia leaders 

Bunyasi said Mudavadi had been invited to the Garissa event by the President at a State House dinner after Jamhuri Day. 

Energy Cabinet Secretary Charles Keter and other officials, who were present during the inauguration of the 54.66MW solar plant left for Nairobi immediately after the launch but Mudavadi, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and the Defence PS Ibrahim Mohammed proceeded with the President to Modika.

“The President said come we go to this thing. He must have picked on Musalia because he doesn’t like to politicise every matter.

You realise that he has not issued any statement after the event.  The two are also old friends. You remember they vied together in 2002,” said Bunyasi, a member of the ANC.

Mudavadi was Uhuru’s running mate in the 2002 poll which they lost to the Rainbow Alliance’s Mwai Kibaki.  It was a double blow for Mudavadi who also lost his Sabatia parliamentary seat.  

Mudavadi contested in the 2013 State House race in which he came a distant third behind Uhuru and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Amolo Odinga. He was Raila’s chief presidential campaigner in 2017. 

But his lobbying largely revolves around the 2002 experience. Mudavadi made what he thinks was a politically costly retreat to Kanu shortly after defecting with other stalwarts led by Raila.

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