• Musalia says DP's political overtures in Western are futile
• Dismisses Raila's referendum idea of creating a three-tier government system
ANC party boss Musalia Mudavadi has laughed off DP William Ruto’s political overtures in Western as inconsequential, saying his so-called allies from the region are after his fat wallet.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Star, Musalia in a bold move also urged ODM leader Raila Odinga to live up to the NASA agreement that excludes his party from the 2022 presidential race.
Mudavadi has been marketing himself as the de facto opposition leader. He has been quietly rebranding, setting up a new campaign secretariat and reaching out to new territories, especially President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Central turf.
Despite Mudavadi's new political tact, Ruto has literally camped in his Western backyard, with analysts warning that the move could easily turn the region into a battleground.
ANC party boss Musalia Mudavadi has laughed off DP William Ruto’s political overtures in Western as inconsequential, saying his so-called allies from the region are after his fat wallet. See story https://bit.ly/2KnTJNs
Musalia, however, dismissed Ruto’s vote hunt as an exercise in futility orchestrated by individuals after his cash.
“The frequency of visits does not guarantee you votes,” he said. “Some people are just interested in the wallet of some of these visitors. There is no serious political partnership being built. It’s a commercial arrangement.”
Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale is among Ruto’s latest recruits in Western, a region where the DP has held numerous visits and big fundraisers.
Mudavadi added, however, that leaders should be allowed to visit any part of the country unconditionally.
“There should be no closed area in this country. Let's not go back to zoning the country and say this area is a no go zone for so and so,” he said.
Two weeks ago, Mudavadi stirred political interest following a visit to Jubilee politician and business tycoon Nginyo Kariuki that was loaded with political symbolism.
He was accompanied by top politicians and businessmen, some close associates of retired President Mwai Kibaki.
There are speculations some powerful individuals close to State House are fronting Mudavadi as a compromise candidate. The former Deputy Prime Minister said his time for the country’s top job has eventually come.
“I believe I have a lot that I can offer this country. I have the requisite experience and 2022 is clearly my year. I believe in myself, I have the confidence that Kenyans have had an opportunity to look at some of the characters that are planning to contest,” he said.
“Kenyans are also seeing the issues of mismanagement in Jubilee. As such, they want change. They want a safe pair of hands, they want somebody they can believe in.”
Mudavadi said Raila should honour his word that ODM will not contest the presidency in 2022. If the NASA political deal is trashed, Musalia warned that Raila risks losing the trust of the people.
“We should learn to live up to the agreements that we make. That is a very essential element about growing democracy and having your word taken for what you stand for … One would expect that going forward, if there is a commitment that NASA should remain, then we should live by what we agreed,” he said.
“But if somebody somewhere wishes to renege on that, then it’s also their right. But going forward, you put yourself in a situation where people will never trust you.”
For the first time, Mudavadi strongly dismissed Raila’s referendum proposal of creating a three-tier government that will see the formation of 14 regional blocs.
He said the proposal was a tactic to create jobs for governors who are doing their second terms in office, some of whom, he said, have looted public coffers.
“Governors in some areas have looted. But then you now say, create another layer of super governors, at whose expense? Who pays for it? There are some suggestions that are weird,” Mudavadi said.
On the political parties fund, he said ODM had held on to all the cash and refused to share according to the NASA agreement.
"We also had provisions for sharing resources, which is not being done. We have every intention of asking our management team to initiate dialogue," he said, admitting, however, that NASA only exists as a legal entity.
"Clearly, we are not enemies. Let that be understood. Informally, we meet and talk. Sometimes, we meet at the gym, sometimes at social or public functions, but we are not having the regular meetings we used to have," he said.