DISMISSED AS A JOKE

Mukhisa's decision to vie for presidency elicits mixed reactions

He is already shopping for a new party he would use to run for the presidency

In Summary

•Kituyi whose term at the Geneva-based organization ends in August 2021 is likely to call it quits probably early enough to concentrate on his presidential campaigns.

•He joined the UN body in September 2013 and has served for two successful terms which end this year.

Mukhisa Kituyi speaks to the press in Kakamega
UNCTAD boss Mukhisa Kituyi speaks to the press in Kakamega
Image: JOHN NALIANYA

The decision by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development secretary-general Mukhisa Kituyi to vie for the presidency has elicited mixed reactions.

While some people view it as an effort to place himself as the Luhya community political supremo and edge out Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula, others have dismissed it as a pure joke.

Kituyi who was once a powerful minister during former President Mwai Kibaki's regime is a politician with great mobilisation skills.

Western youth leader and Mukhisa’s close allay  Wakoli Kunani says the Luhya community had lacked leadership for a long time and his entry will end this.

“The Mulembe community has lost too much grip on the national politics because of a  vacuum after the exit of the late VP Mike Wamalwa, Musikari Kombo and Mukhisa Kituyi,” he said.

Kunani said despite Mukhisa being outside on international assignments he was an outgoing guy who could reach out easily to the young generation.

Isaac Wanjekeche, a regular political commentator, described Mukhisa's declaration to vie for the presidency as yet another confirmation of a disunited region full of selfish and unrealistic ambitions.

“His entry threatens to divide the region further into small tribal pockets as well as rekindled he Bukusu- Maragoli rivalry that was gathering dust by Wetang'ula-Musalia unity pact,” he said

He said it goes without saying that his bid will be met with total resistance from the existing local leadership of Wetang'ula and Musalia who have installed themselves as regional kingpins.

Wanjekeche said the region risks a mushrooming of another faction led by Kituyi and the allies that will go on coalition path with the existing leadership.

“He, though, has a lot of assignment to do to penetrate to the masses  after a long political holiday to serve international assignments that disconnected him from the locals,” Wanjekeche said

Maurice Nyaranga, a political scientist, says it will be very hard for Mukhisa to claim his position in Luhya land after being absent for a very long time.

“Kituyi’s declaration has less impact on the Luhya politics since he exited Mulembe politics in 2007 and went mute like he swore never to return better for Kombo who lost and still remain active in politics of the member nation,” Nyaranga said.

Nyaranga said many voters who were born in the 1990s do not know him and it will be hard to sell him.

Political commentator Linda MMoji said Mukhisa’s declaration is one of those jokes you subscribe to because he can't even command his Bukusu tribe. 

Kituyi is already shopping for a new party he would use to run for the presidency

"I don't want to use anybody's party, my own party whose registration is at an advanced stage will propel me to the presidency in 2022,” he said.

Reports had earlier indicated that Kituyi was likely to vie for the presidency on Ford Kenya if the coup had succeeded and the Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi-led faction snatched it from Moses Wetang'ula.

Kituyi  has exuded confidence that he is best suited for the presidency  and his journey is unstoppable

"My journey to state house is unstoppable, currently am the best-placed person to lead this country owing to the experience I have earned during the international assignment," he said. 

Kituyi whose term at the Geneva-based organization ends in August 2021 is likely to call it quits probably early enough to concentrate on his presidential campaigns.

“Wait for the big news when I announce my resignation any time soon, Kenya is my country and am ready to serve it as the president,” Kituyi said.

He has so far met the key opinion leaders including the youth, women leaders, elders and political opinion shapers.

He joined the UN body in September 2013 and has served for two successful terms which end this year.

“I want to make sure that we raise the sinking economic boat, the country is bleeding while Kenyans are suffering, the majority are jobless while a number have lost their jobs,” he said.

During the burial of Mudavadi's mother in Vihiga county, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that he won't hesitate to support another person out of the two tribes who have ruled this country.

This was taken by a section of political pundits to mean that he had endorsed Mudavadi as his preferred candidate.

The announcement was opposed by deputy president William Ruto who dismissed Kenyatta's utterances.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris