Mudavadi focuses more on anti-Raila revenge than leadership quest
When ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi promised an earth-shaking declaration on Sunday, Kenyans reacted differently.
Many termed it the usual application of “elephant” words to make the usual political rhetoric, while others exuded confidence that the One Kenya Alliance was going to unveil their winning formation for August polls.
But it seems only Mudavadi knew how his plans would shake and tear Oka right down the middle.
Evidence to this is the spirited arrival of fellow principals at the event. When Deputy President William Ruto’s team showed up, the other principals, except Senator Moses Wetang’ula, walked out as a show of disapproval. Ruto’s arrival confirmed Mudavadi was not the ‘bringer’ of the earthquake but the host.
When he stood up to speak, Mudavadi made it clear that he was not considering a partnership with the Azimio la Umoja Movement led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Almost needless to say, he was declaring that his choice for a partnership was the Hustlers camp led by DP Ruto.
This put to rest the idea that Mudavadi, Wetang’ula and their parties were in the alliance to front an alternative third force. On the contrary, the team appears to have been driven by one motive, at least in the minds of both Mudavadi and Wetang’ula — to form a force that would frustrate Raila’s presidential bid.
To explain his decision, Mudavadi recited what has been a “chorus” for the last four years. He accused Raila of being a dishonest politician who could not honour his political pacts.
According to the trio of the former National Super Alliance, there was a pact that Raila would be a one-term President, and then support one of the principals. None of them seems to disagree with Raila’s agenda for Kenya. They are all angry that Raila is not ready to back down on his bid in their favour.
For leaders seeking to lead the nation, the endless whining over who should be endorsed by who shows lack of progressive drive and personal resolve.
Mudavadi’s pronouncement that they were certainly not considering an alliance with Raila’s camp only betrays his bitterness and anger, which are driving him to “punish” the ODM leader by denying him the presidency and hopes to achieve by leading his support base to Ruto’s camp.
That is not the definition of issue and ideology based politics. It’s politics of unconstructive vengeance that only paints Mudavadi and Wetang’ula as angry and selfish individuals who are taking their political supporters for a ride by using them to settle political scores.
As Cotu boss Francis Atwoli argues, Mudavadi’s latest move reinforces the perception that he is basically a hand-made politician who had to be hand-picked and hand-propelled by President Daniel Moi.
In 2002, he lost his seat, and this is attributed to the plummeted influence of Moi in politics. It is understandably for this reason that he is addicted to political spoon-feeding, hence the big fuss about failure to get endorsement from Raila.
Since Raila does not do political babysitting, Mudavadi has run to seek refuge in Ruto’s camp, where he hopes to get some goodies on a platter. As for the “Lion”, Wetang’ula, he has to stay close to Mudavadi to appear like he portends some political significance in elections. He appears to be a non-willing participant who was left with little choice, unless he was ready to disappear from the national stage.
While there may have been a pact in which Raila would endorse another of the principals, it was pegged on him winning the presidency, serving his term and then giving way. Raila has not won the presidency yet and has thus not broken his promise. If anything, they are the ones who ran away from the pact. They should have kept the fight until the team won the elections.
On partnering with Ruto’s UDA, Mudavadi’s political dishonesty must have shocked even himself. He is on record clearly stating he cannot work with the DP. He has openly accused him of being the one who has crippled the economy. He has challenged Kenyans to wonder with him how Ruto, “the architect of the country’s economic mess”, can claim to have the solutions. His speech was strongly worded to condemn corruption. He has previously accused Ruto of being the most corrupt person in Kenya. What changed?
Mudavadi’s revelation that he has been planning a working partnership with Ruto’s camp, a move that came as a surprise even to his closest political partners, is the greatest display of the dishonesty he is decrying. The only earthquake he delivered at the Bomas of Kenya was the utter shock to his supporters, as to just how dishonest he is!
Whatever formula the two new co-principals choose to employ, whether to run a joint presidential race or, as Mudavadi friends say, have them both appear to go the whole hog separately, it is clear that the ANC chief’s only motive is to spoil Raila’s chances. And that looks more selfish than the patriotic, country saving “safe hands” image the one-time Finance minister has struggled to portray over the years.