Home Politics Ruto, Mudavadi surprise alliance – Weekly Citizen

Ruto, Mudavadi surprise alliance – Weekly Citizen

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They say in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies; only permanent interests. That Musalia Mudavadi could mull joining hands with William Ruto in a new alliance ahead of 2022 transition makes the age-old adage, once bitten twice shy, a child’s play.

But first things first! Going back to 2013 in the runup to the Mwai Kibaki succession polls, four weighty scenarios hovering over Kenya’s uncertain political future appeared to rear their ugly heads, birthing curiosity and excitement in equal measure.

One, Kibaki seemed to waver on Kalonzo Musyoka, his principal assistant and presumed heir apparent to the throne – at least on paper. It did not help matters either, that Kalonzo had precariously chosen to save Kibaki during the murky turmoil that attended to the infamous 2007 presidential poll and its killer aftermath.

Two, there was a wounded Raila Odinga waiting to pounce. Kibaki’s co-principal in the grand coalition government bringing together the two protagonists in the high-octane political warfare. Raila, then prime minister, looked determined to seize the moment – with a killer instinct for that matter – and reclaim what was believably grabbed bang under his jaws – a stolen presidency.

And three, there was this new kid on the bloc – the dynamic duo of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto – painting the town red, literally speaking. To be fair to them, the UhuRuto juggernaut traversed the width and breadth of the country like a colossus, even in adversity as an ominous date with the International Criminal Court at The Hague lay in wait.

Waxing digital formulae, UhuruRuto’s Jubilee formation elicited fanatical following across the country, especially in Central Kenya and the Rift Valley, the populous Uhuru, Ruto bastions. Riding all the way to State House in the eventual presidential contest, the charismatic UhuRuto presidency notably came at the expense of Mudavadi, he of the madimoni (satan) infamy in the aftermath of a political chicannery bred right at his Riverside home. The rest, as they say is history.

Fast forward to 2022, Mudavadi seems to have put his 2013 nightmare behind, in the wake of emerging revelations that he is crafting a partnership with Ruto ahead of the much-anticipated referendum on the one hand, and the 2022 transition poll on the other.

The foundation of Mudavadi’s new alliance with Ruto, his 2013 tormentor, is laid in the high profile March 9 2018 handshake between Uhuru and Raila. Mudavadi camp believes, Raila is using the handshake deal to mend fences in Kikuyuland and Kalenjin then run for presidency by bringing on board new regional faces to benefit in new power structure via a referendum.

Kiraitu

Just like with Ruto, the handshake, a political truce between the two leaders that would culminate in the Building Bridges Initiative – the presumed brainchild of a referendum that will herald changes to the constitution ahead of the 2022 succession polls – apparently rubbed Mudavadi the wrong way.

The ANC boss has been on the offensive, going out hammer and tongs as he rubbishes Raila and Kalonzo, his co-principals in the moribund Nasa coalition, for going to bed with the government.

In fact, Mudavadi has since declared himself leader of the opposition. More recently, Mudavadi’s spokesman Barack Muluka made it known that ANC’s intentions attributable to the new alliance.

Muluka declared Mudavadi would be teaming up with Ruto and other political leaders opposed to the handshake to vanquish Uhuru and Raila in the event of the BBI leading a referendum that will usher in constitutional changes expected to bring with it new political dispensation.

Insiders say that just like Ruto, Mudavadi believes he will win the presidency in 2022 and if a referendum whittles down current powers by the presidency, his presidency will be diluted compared to that of Uhuru.

In fact, word has it that Mudavadi and Ruto will team up to oppose the referendum but if they lose, they will accept defeat but use the new created positions of prime minister and his two deputies and the current president and deputy to form a formidable alliance to counter that of Uhuru and Raila.

To show that Mudavadi does not want to strike any power deal with Raila, he has been of late bringing on his side forces who have fallen out with Raila on his campaign team 2022. One is Eliud Owalo and Muluka. They both worked at one time in Raila strategy team but were shown the door. Political analysts aver that Muluka and Owalo cannot allow Mudavadi to sit and negotiate power with Raila but will be comfortable with Ruto side.

As a curtain raiser to Mudavadi’s charm offensive, the ANC boss recently tapped Owalo, a former top Raila aide and campaign manager. As widely expected, Owalo went on to bag the ANC ticket to run against ODM in the November 7 race for the Kibra parliamentary seat left vacant upon the recent demise of ODM’s Kenneth Okoth.

At the time the ANC bravado was playing out in Kibra, Ruto was mounting pressure on the pro-handshake faction of Jubilee to offer its candidature in the race. It is worth noting that ANC legislators were busy sending feelers to the DP and Kalonzo to support their cause, just to spite Raila.

Buoyed by the significant presence of Luhyas in Kibra, Mudavadi had hoped ODM’s ill-fated participation in the Embakasi South and Ugenya would catapult Ruto and Kalonzo to tag along, with Raila and ODM as the common enemy.

Mudavadi’s singular decision to recruit Owalo and hand ANC ticket to him is a culmination of making big capital out of successive fallouts in ODM, where Raila has previously lost key lieutenants to the competition.

Like Owalo before him, Muluka was a senior cog in Raila’s presidential campaign engine before taking off. Both Muluka are believed to hold invaluable secrets on Raila’s modus operandi, which observers say informs Mudavadi’s capture of supposed prized political assets.

Other big names once beholden to the ODM maestro but later jumped ship to embrace the other side include Ngunjiri Wambugu (now Nyeri Town MP), Gender CAS Rachael Shebesh, nominated senator Isaac Mwaura, media personality Tony Gachoka and, of course, exciled lawyer Miguna Miguna.

Unknown to many, Raila does not see eye-to-eye with Owalo, whom he remotely associates with alleged romantic relationship with his daughter Rosemary Odinga on the one hand, and his son Fidel’s sudden death in January 2015, on the other.

Working behind the scenes to hitch Mudavadi to Ruto are former Kakamega senator Bonnie Khalwale and Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana, who are said to have convinced the ANC leader that it will be difficult to work with Raila for the 2022 cause.

It is instructive to note that Kibwana accompanied Ruto to Lodwar, Turkana county, during the recent cultural fete. A possible running mate to Ruto in 2022, Kibwana was until recently entangled in longrunning duel with Kalonzo, culminating into the now severed ties.

Last year, Kibwana was also a guest during Maragoli cultural festival in Mbale. Apart from Kibwana, another face behind Ruto, Mudavadi power deal is Meru governor Kiraitu Murungi.

Those cobbling the alliance want to bring Martha Karua on board. They argue, with Kirinyaga governor Anne Waiguru having thrown her weight behind Raila, it will be impossible to have Karua in the Raila camp.

Like Ruto, Mudavadi strongly believes he will be president come 2022, hence the desire for an undiluted presidency and opposition to a referendum. With the two egos at their peak, this is where their convergence of minds starts.

While opposing the referendum in public, Ruto and Mudavadi actually relish the prospects of more positions that will help their new alliance share power without much ado. It is a two-sided sword Uhuru and Raila are sharpening this BBI thing and it could end up actually benefitting those they want to disadvantage with it. For if it is dangling positions to their side to win support, Ruto and Mudavadi can also use the same to lure people to their side.

The Ruto-Mudavadi cast primed for major positions in the post-BBi referendum also includes Kibwana, Kiraitu, senate speaker Kenneth Lusaka, national assembly majority leader Aden Duale, Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, Kimani Ichungwa of Kikuyu and Kiharu’s Ndindi Nyoro.

Sources say the Ruto-Mudavadi alliance will sideline Kalonzo so as not to offend Kibwana. They want Kibwana to bring on board governors Charity Ngilu of Kitui and Alfred Mutua of Machakos.

Times back, Mutua, true to his mundu wa sinema (cinema man) tag rolled out the red carpet and mounted a full guard of honour for his visiting counterparts Ngilu and Kibwana. The reception for the two governors was fashioned like those stages for visiting head of states as the two even inspected the guard of honour.

Speaker Muturi

In January, the three governors formed the People’s Empowerment Movements to fight poverty and generate wealth in the region.

The movement according to the Ukambani governors is also to galvanise sharing resources among the three counties.

The movement was also to champion unity and cohesion among residents and leaders in the three counties.

Kibwana and Mutua are serving their final terms in office while Ngilu is serving her first term.

Mutua has since declared interest to succeed Uhuru in the upcoming 2022 general election. Kibwana has fallen out with Kalonzo and was dropped as Wiper party chairman and replaced with Chirau Makwere.

The alliance is likely to bring on board Bungoma senator Moses Wetangula whose party Ford-K MPs have of late been leaning towardsRuto moreso after Wetangula was stripped of the coveted leader of minority in senate by Raila and replaced with Siaya senator James Orengo. It is impearative to note, Khalwale who was Ford Kenya deputy leader is a key strategist in Ruto 2022 team. Those in the know say, Wetangula has no kind words for Raila and will never agree to share a political desk with him but is comfortable with Ruto. Mudavadi and Wetangula are aware, Raila is fronting Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya allied to ODM in new power structure in Luhya politics to checkmate them. Oparanya has declared interest for presidency.

Martha Karua

In Central, those working for alliance are aware that Ruto and Mudavadi can easily be sold in the region as opposed to Raila and Uhuru alliance. They say that the two handshake gurus have been unable to tour Kikuyuland ever postponing their planned tour due to hostile political ground where locals say Uhuru presidency has benefitted the Kenyatta family alone just like Raila’s power has benefitted the Odinga family alone in Luoland. In fact, it is If Ruto and Mudavadi plan a joint rally in Kikuyuland to campaign against the referendum, then the function will send shockwaves on the country’s political terrain.

Weekly Citizen political desk could not establish who they plan to be their pointman in Coast politics but word has it that they are eyeing the Mijikendas to counter Mombasa governor Hassan Joho who is seen as an Arab of hated Sultan lineage.

In North and North Eastern, Ruto believes he has the network compared to Raila. The only region they are trying to fight is Gusiiland headache, putting in mind that CS Fred Matiang’i factor is sweeping the region by storm. In Embu, National speaker Justin Muturi has a soft spot for Ruto and is targeted in the alliance. Kithure Kindiki is one of the key strategists in the alliance.

Already, two governors Josphat Nanok of Turkana and John Krop Lanyangapuo of Kanu (West Pokot) have deserted Raila-Gideon Moi alliance in favour the emerging Ruto camp.

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