The cord leader Raila Odinga may have no option but to court his Amani National Congress (ANC) counterpart Musalia Mudavadi to remain politically relevant at the 2017 general elections and thereafter because the former province wants the Presidency.
At long last realization appears to have hit hard the voters in the region of their potential to rule Kenya after having played second fiddle through Mr. Mudavadi himself, the late Wamalwa Kijana and Moody Awori – hence the determined need to consolidate the power of the superiority of their numbers as a block rather than a free for all fishing ground or a stronghold for a non-indigenous political party.
This is where Raila Odinga, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto squarely come into the picture hoping to exploit the once highly divided or fractured voting patterns of the previous years that they too have benefited from.
This time round it may be a totally completely different ball game altogether considering the fact that the region’s leaders and voters are acutely aware of the fact that during the two constitutional referendums and the rejection of Kanu dominance of the area they voted as a block and emerged winners – then go for it yourselves is now the credo.
Therefore, the country’s galloping political temperatures ahead of next year’s general elections are a clear pointer that the voters in the former western province are going to play an extremely powerful critical in determining the Presidency – hence the desperate seductions by both the ruling Jubilee and Cord coalitions, yet they want that Presidency in the region.
The most critical questions that arise from the emerging scenario is whether Raila is aware of the fact that Mudavadi may be the most critical force to oust Uhuru? Whether Uhuru is also aware of the same? Is he going to depend on his financial powers to scatter it? Whether the powerful western Kenya voting block will weather the monetary and job seductions to stand as the determining factor for the Presidency at that election? Why Mudavadi and not Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula?
The national statistics clearly show that the western Kenya region has the leading population and numerical voters. If President Uhuru and his Deputy Ruto can use the numerical tyranny of numbers of their communities, why can’t Raila and Mudavadi do the same? He has no numbers.
In the emerging political equation Mudavadi is taking centre stage in the region not only because of his experience in politics but also including the rejection that he was forced to endure when he was forced to be Uhuru’s running mate by retired President Daniel Arap Moi at the end of his tenure, the humiliation he got at the last general elections after being duped by Uhuru and Ruto, but also to endurance being in the political cold.
Though Wetangula has already made his declaration to vie for the Presidency within the cord coalition, that remains to be seen, but that aside he is yet to stamp the power of his presence or ability within the western Kenya region, unlike Mudavadi who has done so but also been able to make his mark acceptable not only in Western, but also Nyanza, Coast, Rift Valley and other pockets in various parts of the country.
Besides it is an extremely tall order to expect that Cord is likely going to sanction Wetangula whose influence is largely limited to one county of western Kenya as its flagbearer not to mention the fact that Wiper’s leader Kalonzo Musyoka is also right on the forefront eyeing for the same – who will accept to be running mate then?
It is also a highly possible equation that President Uhuru may weather the pressure from his central Kenya and Mt. Kenya strongmen to hand over power as a one tern president to Mudavadi and not Raila Odinga who is apparently a total anathema to this strongmen who may also accept Mudavadi with the conviction that he is manipulatable compared to Raila.
On the other hand considering the humiliation that Mudavadi endured at the last general elections after being duped by Uhuru and Ruto and inside knowledge of their operations and machinations, particularly using the power of cash to lure and influence voters, it is clear that voters in the western Kenya region are ready to eat that cash and give their own the votes.
Apart from the sitting political leaders especially Members of Parliament under the Western Parliamentary caucus led by Nambale legislator, John Bunyasi fighting for this block vote, the region’s professionals led by the COTU secretary general Francis Atwoli have been swept into the roiling political imbroglio which has since seen Orange Democratic Movement’s (ODM) bosses Ababu Namwamba and Paul Otuoma quit their party positions.
The critical issue now being to neutralise the ODM and the United Republican Party presence in the region who have MPs and some Members of local County Assemblies (MCAs) mostly because of the bad manipulations ODM played during the nominations of party candidates at the last general elections.
Now with ANC, Ford Kenya and the Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) entrenched in the region and apparently not fighting each other, this spells big trouble for outsiders like ODM, URP, TNA among others and perhaps that’s why there is plenty of talk about western Kenya re-inventing itself after being misused for decades.
This state of affairs brings in the possible Raila/Mudavadi merger that is likely to turn tables on Jubilee and possibly make Uhuru a one term president since Uhuru betrayed Musalia at the last general elections after conveniently forgetting that at Moi’s behest the man campaigned for him for the presidency all over the country even if he lost to retired President Mwai Kibaki.
There of course is also the critical issue of the Coast province voters who are more likely to be comfortable with Mudavadi as the flag bearer and perhaps one of their own as the running mate in politics that have over the years largely marginalised them like their colleagues in western Kenya.
The question of Kalonzo and Wetangula falling out in the emerging political scenario is highly likely since Musyoka is most unlikely to play second fiddle as Wetangula’s running mate, but again comparatively at the national scenario he is less acceptable than Musalia Mudavadi for presidential material to bundle out Uhuru
Outside Ukambani where he is also facing an unconsolidated vote block and Uhuru eyeing it with a predatory interest Kalonzo who is likely to be left out in the cold just like now with a second Uhuru win has no option marshal his force further and combine with Mudavadi to ensure an early Uhuru exit from power.
This may also completely turn around the country’s power politics from being dominated by two communities from central and Rift Valley provinces which have held onto power since independence another factor that is consolidating and solidifying the Western Kenya vote into a singular block
The command Mudavadi has in western and the country at large compared to Kalonzo/Wetangula is a foregone factor in that the latter’s vote in western Kenya is limited as already mentioned.
Indeed it is clear that Raila has no option but striking a deal with Mudavadi if he was to remain relevant and push Uhuru out of statehouse not only because of his limited though fanatic vote base in Nyanza, it will not endear him in central/Mt. Kenya, Rift Valley, western and Coast regions compared to Mudavadi who can.