Third Eye

Western leaders must unite in quest for presidency

Friday, August 20th, 2021 00:00 |
One Kenya Alliance principals (from left to right) Musalia Mudavadi, Gideon Moi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula during a 2022 election strategy meeting at a Nairobi hotel yesterday. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA


The One Kenya Alliance  (OKA) introduced itself as a “third force” that would change the politics of Kenya.

The coalition brings together Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper Party, Musalia Mudavadi of ANC, Moses Wetangula of Ford-Kenya and Gideon Moi of Kanu. 

Five months since they first went public, the leaders are yet to formalise the alliance. 

As things currently stand, the principals seem far from settling on a flag-bearer in next year’s presidential election. 

 Each one of them insists he they has what it takes to lead the group and capture the top seat. 

Mudavadi ran for president in the 2013 General Election and came a distant third with 483,981 votes, which was 3.9 per cent of the total votes cast. 

Kalonzo Musyoka vied for the presidency in 2007  and also came a distant third, with 879,903 votes which was 8.91 per cent of the total votes. 

Senators Wetangula (Bungoma) and Moi (Baringo) have never ran for president but their parties have a number of representatives in Parliament and County Assemblies. 

Mudavadi and Wetang’ula, both who come from Western Kenya, insist their parties will field a candidate. It will take some work to get either of them to back down and support the other. 

The situation would become more complicated were Kakamaga governor Wycliffe Oparanya to join the alliance. 

Oparanya is also the deputy leader of ODM. Oparanya has also declared interest to run for presidency on an ODM ticket, but with the rider that he would not run if his party leader Raila Odinga will also be running. 

Were he to join OKA, Oparanya would still eye the presidency. 

Pundits would advise on a Mudavadi ticket as opposed to Oparanya’s. This is due to the fact that Mudavadi has a wider experience of politics at the national level.

With a few months to the next general election, it would be a tall order to selling an Oparanya candidature across the country. 

That Wetangula’s party has members elected outside his Western region also means he cannot be ignored in the political matrix.

He commands a following and one would be interested to see how he would fare should he set his eyes on a political horizon beyond his home county of Bungoma. 

The experience of heading a political party would place him ahead of Oparanya politically.

But Oparanya has also been a deputy party leader and some would argue that he contributed to the popularity of the party in the region.

Then, so did the other governors and other leaders elected on ODM ticket in Western Kenya. 

The three leaders from Western region who are eyeing the presidency need to come together and decide who among them should be supported to work on a winning deal with other national leaders. 

The much-talked about Mulembe Nation unity could be the key to one of them emerging victorious. — The writer is a public policy analyst —[email protected]

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