Bullish Mudavadi faces his opponents head-on
Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi has confounded both friend and foe since he joined forces with Deputy President William Ruto.
Like a wounded lion, Mudavadi appears determined to crush his political detractors, especially from the Luhya nation.
He was back in the Western region Saturday for a rally at the historic Amalemba grounds during which he took a direct dig at his opponents.
This was after touring all the five counties in the region last week.
An emboldened Mudavadi has lately been uncharacteristically aggressive since joining the Ruto camp.
Mudavadi’s allies told People Daily that the ANC leader has resolved to stamp his authority and put his community and region under lock and key as the country heads towards the August 9 General Election.
“Mudavadi is fast metamorphosing into a go-getter and brave political leader. He has been this way but many people took him for granted because of his calm nature,” said former Cabinet Minister Amukowa Anangwe.
“His critics have been accusing him of being a coward, indecisive, fence-sitter, too sober for politics, name it. But not anymore,” he added.
Prof Anangwe, a political scientist, is also Mudavadi’s presidential Chief Campaign Manager.
The ANC leader is said to have been smitten after being deserted by close associates, whom he helped get elected in the 2013 and 2017 elections. They include Lugari MP Ayub Savula, Titus Khamala (Lurambi), Christopher Aseka (Khwisero), Tindi Mwale (Butere) and Peter Nabulindo (Matungu) who was only elected to Parliament on March 10 last year on the ANC ticket in a bruising by-election.
In his Vihiga backyard are Senator George Khaniri and Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba.
Milemba left only a day after chairing ANC’s Parliamentary Group meeting.
They joined Godfrey Osotsi, who was nominated to Parliament by Mudavadi but immediately aligned himself with ODM.
Osotsi is also accused of nominating relatives as Ward Reps in Kakamega and Vihiga counties.
While campaigning in Vihiga last Sunday, Mudavadi said his “gentlemanly” nature had cost him over the years.
“Many people that I helped from the mud have always betrayed me at some point. Look at somebody like Osotsi whom I picked from the streets, dusted and made him MP. He has been fighting me all these years. Not any more,” he said.
Local political analysts and leaders said Mudavadi’s decision to join forces with Ruto was “an act of bravery and the beginning of a new phase in his political life.”
Mudavadi used last week’s rallies in the Western region to explain himself on why he decided to team up with Ruto and not ODM leader Raila Odinga.
“Mudavadi is a man on a mission. And he might just emerge the victor against his competitors allied to Azimio la Umoja,” said Desterio Okumu, a political commentator.
“Those huge and euphoric crowds everywhere be it in Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia, Bungoma or Trans Nzoia were very responsive. No jeers, they were always screaming for more. That tells you a lot,” he added.
Mudavadi’s triumphant entry into Khwisero, the backyard of Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary-General Francis Atwoli, one of his leading nemeses, was also telling.
The same was witnessed in the Butere constituency, the home of Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya.
There is also a surge of people seeking ANC tickets with as many as 10 aspirants in one constituency.