By Stephen Makabila
Details of the talks the two leaders had suggest they could run on a joint ticket. However, they say the question of who will be the other’s running mate is still open.
“If the country wants Wamalwa, I am ready to work under him,” Uhuru said.
This explains Wamalwa’s insistence just days later that he will not abandon his presidential ambitions to become Uhuru’s running mate. Uhuru told the meeting the Saboti MP was the G7’s pointman in the region.
“I have nothing to do with any other person’s presidential bid from Western,” he said, addressing rumours he is seeking a deal with fellow Deputy PM Musalia Mudavadi. “If anyone else from the region joins us, he should be ready to work under Wamalwa, who is our point man in Western.”
However, the two camps have to overcome internal feuds in the informal G7 alliance as well as the suspicions that stalk political deal making. Yesterday, Forestry Minister Noah Wekesa threw a spanner in the works alleging a scheme to divide the western vote. This may have been the sort of reaction Wamalwa was trying to battle when he sought to stress he was still running.
Uhuru, 50, met Wamalwa, 43, and his supporters from western Kenya at 9pm on Sunday night at the Deep West restaurant along Lang’ata road. During the talks, Wamalwa’s allies sought assurances their man wasn’t being taken for a ride. The claims of the enticement of Mudavadi out of ODM have left some in the region unsure what political cards are being hidden from them.
The two leaders later headed to Uhuru’s residence near State House, Nairobi, where the Deputy PM hosted other guests, including Eldoret North MP William Ruto, at a party to celebrate the launch of TNA.
It was not clear whether the Deep West meeting had been planned, but it was certain that Uhuru wanted Wamalwa in the spotlight on the day he unveiled his vehicle to contest the presidency.
At the TNA launch, Wamalwa gave an address in which he answered “Why not?” to the question of whether Uhuru was eligible to run for president. The Gatundu South MP has been committed to trial at the International Criminal Court at The Hague on five counts of international crimes.
The Saboti MP formally welcomed Uhuru to the podium. Thereafter, the two shed their formal look, rolling up their sleeves for an Obama-like photo opportunity as they joined a youthful crowd at a concert at Kenyatta International Conference Centre grounds.