More defections rock Mudavadi’s ANC
The uncertainty surrounding Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi’s political future continued to drain his party yesterday as more allies abandoned him claiming they were not sure where their leader was headed.
On a day Mudavadi accompanied his new partner Deputy President William Ruto to Eldama Ravine and Nakuru for public rallies, his close allies in Nairobi and Western were racking their minds as they pondered their next political moves.
Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula, who is also a member of the new alliance, accompanied them in the Rift Valley tour.
A sizable number of Mudavadi allies told People Daily that they were considering leaving the party altogether in favour of outfits allied to Azimio La Umoja saying the new partnership was likely to deny them chances of re-election.
The Ruto-Mudavadi-Wetang’ula partnership that was announced during the ANC National Delegates Conference in Nairobi on Sunday has rattled the political scene.
The ramifications have been more prominent in Mudavadi’s Western region where a majority of leaders of his allies have jumped ship. This despite his insistence on Tuesday that he was still in the race for the top seat.
Lurambi MP Titus Khamala is the latest Mudavadi ally who is said to be on his way out of ANC to ‘Azimio’. Khamala, who is the party’s Kakamega county chairman, was among leaders from the region who were hosted at State House by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday.
Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba told People Daily, however, that Mudavadi was firmly in the presidential race adding that they were in discussions to firm the partnership with Ruto. “We have formed teams involving senators and MPs and other units within the party to look keenly into the partnership which is still at the formation stage,” he said.
The lawmaker refuted claims the group was split over the partnership saying they agreed to look into the deal but added the NDC decision was final. “It is also important to say the party’s parliamentary group cannot overrule NDC’s decisions,” he added.
On Sunday, the NDC approved Mudavadi’s quest for presidency and allowed him to seek partnership with like-minded parties. Even so Mudavadi has already also lost other allies including Khwisero MP Christopher Aseka, Lugari’s Ayub Savula and his Matungu counterpart Peter Nabulindo, who have quit his party.
His Vihiga Senator George Khaniri and the MP for Teso North in Busia Oku Kaunya also decamped. This leaves the former vice-president with only Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malalah and Mwale, besides Malava MP Malulu Injendi who was, however, elected on Jubilee Party.
In Kakamega where Mudavadi had enjoyed more support than home county, Vihiga, those who are in Azimio are Oparanya, his deputy Philip Kutima, Muhanda, County Assembly Speaker Morris Buluma and a majority of the MCAs.
The MPs with Raila are Aseka, Khamala, Nabulindo, Savula and his Mumias West counterpart Johnston Naicca. So are Navakholo MP Emmanuel Wangwe, Ikolomani’s Benard Shinali and Kizito Mugali of Shinyalu.
Some leaders told People Daily yesterday that they left Mudavadi’s camp because they felt they were being fooled around. “I joined Azimio after it became apparent that my brother Mudavadi was not that serious in vying for the Presidency. He kept blowing hot and cold,” said Aseka.
“I told him several times that in any event that he would enter into a coalition, then Raila would be the ideal partner because the two are easily sellable here in Western. But to make matters even worse, he ended up joining Ruto, who is very unpopular here,” he added. Aseka said more leaders would leave ANC “very soon”.
He said he would be hosting Raila in his constituency next month while President Uhuru Kenyatta promised to tour the region by March.
“The President assured us during the State House meeting that he would soon tour our region to restart and launch new development projects while also campaigning for Raila,” said the MP.
Likuyani MP Enock Kibunguchy, who is yet to align to any of the two coalition’s but who was elected on Ford-Kenya ticket, said he would decide once it becomes clear Mudavadi will not run for president.
“I am keenly watching the unfolding events but I had made it clear that I would vote for my brother Mudavadi if he is on the presidential ballot. If not, I will look elsewhere,” he added.