OLD KINGPINS

Mudavadi, Wetang'ula losing grip on Luhya politics

If they lack political clout in their own backyard, they won't be of much use to the DP.

In Summary

• They are facing an onslaught from Oparanya and CS Wamalwa who want to wrest grassroots support from the duo in the vote-rich Luhya land.

• Mudavadi and Wetang'ula are reportedly angling to join Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 bid. 

ANC Leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetangula.
ANC Leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetangula.
Image: FILE

They say a day in politics is such a long time that the unimaginable can happen and change the entire political landscape.

A paradigm shift is likely in Luhya politics.

It's likely to pull the rug out from under Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang'ula.

They are facing an onslaught from Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa who want to wrest grassroots support from the duo in the vote-rich Luhya land.

 
 

And then there's Cotu boss Francis Atwoli.

The bitter scramble for the Luhya bloc ahead of 2022 realignments is a clear manifestation that the two veteran kingpins are losing their grip.

The Oparanya-Wamalwa- Atwoli axis supports the handshake through which President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga are calling the shots.

Mudavadi and Wetang'ula are reportedly angling to join Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 bid. 

But if they lack political clout in their own backyard, they won't be of much use to the DP.

By now, the ANC leader whose party  in 2017  won a substantial number of seats in Western Kenya, should not be shouting from the rooftops, breathing fire  at Oparanya and Wamalwa.

He ought to be flexing his muscles and demonstrating is is a force to reckon with, a leader to bargain with for a national seat.

Mudavadi and Wetang'ula should be at ease, just pressing the buttons so things work their way - if they were in charge.

They should demonstrate their party machinery is at their disposal to avert any national or local threat - instead of crying foul. 

 
 

The 'confident' duo should be revered on the ground, their critics silenced and intruders kicked out.

The fact Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala is leading another splinter group to champion the interest of youths is writing on the wall that all is not well for the son of Margoli.

It signals the wider danger in Mudavadi and Wetang'ula's future that only Raila can resolve but not for good.

However, you can't expect to permanently unite your backyard through the efforts of an outsider. Once the bankrolling outsider loses interest, it's the end of the road.

As captured by former Vice President Moody Awori in his autobiography Riding on the Tiger, Mudavadi should realise Central Organisation of Trade Unions (Cotu) boss Atwoli is formidable because of his financial acument.

Failure to ignore Atwoli’s pronouncements is tantamount to committing political suicide.

It is also emerging that no one should dare underrate Oparanya in Luhya politics. He ensured the majority of MCA Orange Party aspirants clinched their civic wards in 2017 against the ANC wave.

Oparanya, through experimentation at  the grassroots, even denied ODM candidate Seth Panyako a senatorial victory and easily handed the same to Malala of ANC without Mudavadi's effort.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi hosts Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana, CS Eugene Wamalwa and Senator Moses Wetang'ula at his Mululu home on Wednesday, December 26, 2018.
WESTERN KINGPIN? ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi hosts Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana, CS Eugene Wamalwa and Senator Moses Wetang'ula at his Mululu home on Wednesday, December 26, 2018.
Image: COURTESY

Were it not for his fierce differences over industrial issues with nurses, Panyako could have been the Kakamega senator today. This is a lesson the ODM brigade should take note of as realigments unfold.

Oparanya's victory as Council of Governors' chair shocked both friends and foes as it was unexpected. Nasa governors are a minority compared to Jubilee in 2013 and today.

During homecoming party for Emuhaya MP Omboko Milemba last year  in Mudavadi's home turf, the crowd amazingly went dead silent when both Oparanya and Atwoli rose to speak. They were considered outsiders.

When the time came for the guest speaker - Mudavadi -  some walked away.

Troubles in Ford Kenya and the non-compliant ANC may further deepen the duo's projected political demise.

The combined efforts by the five governors from the community - Kakamega, Busia, Trans Nzoia, Bungoma and Vihiga -area real threat that if not countered with a thunderbolt, will shatter Mudavadi and Co to the four winds.

Why? Because in Kenya today, we have two levels of government that work in consultation and concurrence with the national government. 

The two levels control huge resources and if they consolidate a political fortress, it's virtually impossible for a politician without a huge and fanatical following to crush.

Only Raila can manage that. In his backyard, even the impeachment of a governor, however glaring and stinking the evidence of abuse of office may be, remains a mirage wthout his approval.

That is the kind of support Raila has such that, if combined with the Deep State and resources, he and his team are invincible.

That support is what scares DP Ruto and his confidants since the Deputy President no longer enjoys government power to execute his plans.

Bringing Mudavadi and Wetang'ula on board cannot surmount the challenges Ruto faces.

If Ruto had that immense power, he could have stopped President Kenyatta a long time ago from axing his lieutenants from Jubilee committees, et cetera.