Mudavadi: Why I cannot work with DP Ruto
Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi yesterday scoffed at political overtures from Deputy President William Ruto for the two to work together, claiming the former Eldoret North MP “is a key architect of the economic crisis in Kenya” whom he cannot team up with.
“He has asked me to support his 2022 presidential bid yet he is the same man who has been in the forefront in subjecting our country to debts.
Now he is seeking my support, which implies that I should be part of this problem. That is not possible,” said Mudavadi.
The former Deputy Prime Minister was speaking at Nairobi’s PAG Church, Makina Ward, in Kibra constituency, where he said the DP and his Jubilee administration were guilty of authoring the financial crisis facing the country.
Addressing a rally in Sabatia, Vihiga County, on Saturday, Ruto asked Mudavadi to support his presidential bid in 2022.
Western Kenya is the political home turf of the ANC leader. In fact, Sabatia is Mudavadi’s rural constituency and which he served as MP between 1989 and 2013.
Ruto’s choice of Sabatia as venue to invite the one-time vice president for teamwork was not accidental.
It was a statement meant for the right audience and meant to achieve a major political impact. However, Mudavadi and his backers have regarded the move as an affront at the ANC’s political doorstep.
Stating that Ruto was a political competitor in the 2022 poll, Lugari MP Ayub Savula was categorical that his party leader was neither considering teaming up with the DP nor supporting him.
“ANC looks forward to work with a clean politician but our friend is tainted. But assuming that is not the case and we decided to team up with Ruto, who will deputise who at the polls?
Mudavadi cannot play second fiddle to the DP and similarly Ruto cannot be anyone’s running mate for a third time, because the Constitution does not allow. So ideally the notion of a Ruto-Mudavadi political pact is neither workable nor attractive,” says Savula.
The notion of Mudavadi teaming up with Ruto was first came to the fore after ANC secretary-general Barrack Muluka who, in a recent live TV show, said his party boss could find himself working with Ruto “to defeat the Building Bridges Initiative” since the ODM leader Raila Odinga and Wiper Party counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka “had politically gone to bed” with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Muluka’s sentiments generated a lot of reactions with some in support and others criticising him.
Savula is among those who dismissed the “Ruto-Mudavadi pact” as the secretary general’s personal sentiments.
Speaking in Sabatia on Saturday, Ruto gave the impression he was owed a political debt by Mudavadi and urged the ANC leader to reciprocate his earlier favour in 2007 by supporting his vice presidential bid.
“The first time I came here was in 2007 when we were campaigning for a Raila Odinga presidency.
Raila became the Prime Minister and Mudavadi his deputy as I settled for a Cabinet slot. Now I have come back to ask Mudavadi to join my team so that we can form a government,” Ruto said.
Responding to Ruto’s request yesterday, the ANC leader declined the offer.
“In the last five six years, Ruto and Jubilee have authored the complicated economic situation we are in today. So they cannot be part of the solution. They cannot tell you they are bringing a candidate here as a solution,” he said.
Mudavadi was campaigning for the ANC candidate for the Kibra seat by-election, Eliud Owalo.
Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi asked Kibra voters to consider Owalo stating he was not a greedy politician.
“If he had wanted to go to Parliament courtesy of a political a wave, he could have chosen ODM. But he has opted for ANC because of its vision for the poor,” he said.
Speaking to People Daily via phone, Matungulu MP Stephen Mule accused Ruto of trying to coerce Kenyans to accept him.
“We must deal with the issue of corruption in this country first because it has now reached unimaginable levels.
I don’t understand why the DP is obsessed with the presidency three whole years from the election. He should be more focused on the many problems ordinary Kenyans are experiencing.”
But Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa said the pursuit for Mudavadi by Ruto’s camp would continue until the ANC leader succumbs to pressure and accepts to support the DP’s quest for the presidency by consolidating the Luhyia community.
“We will not give up on Mudavadi. We will continue pursuing him the same way a man pursues a woman until he accepts to work with the DP.
We will continue persuading the Mulembe nation to accept Ruto, so that once we convince the Luhyia community, Mudavadi will have no option but to come into the fold,” he added.
The MP claimed that Mudavadi’s problem was his wait-and-see approach. “He likes waiting in the wings hoping to be identified as a compromise candidate.
However, we are telling him that we have reserved space for him as our eldest political brother (Luhyia community) to spearhead our bargain with the DP,” he said.
As Mudavadi walked through Kibra alleys to access the various campaign venues he came face to face with stalled projects in the slum settlement.
“Look at what they have done. So many unfinished projects here and yet those are the same people you want me to work with,” he quipped.
ANC secretary general started the Ruto-Mudavadi alliance debate when he suggested the two would team up to defeat the agenda of the Building Bridges Initiative.
But Lugari MP Ayub Suvula dismissed Muluka’s sentiments saying they were personal and did not represent the thinking of the party.