By Oscar Obonyo
Two months since declaring he would run for president, it is emerging Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi’s move has hurt ODM and disorganised the G7 Alliance even more.
Although the two camps claim Mudavadi’s presidential bid has “changed nothing”, the situation on the ground tells a different story. Whereas ODM’s strategists were worried they would sink with him as Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s running mate because of a condemned western region ticket, there has since been suppressed celebration.
And within the G7 and PNU affiliates, whereas there was panic that a united Raila-Mudavadi pair would be difficult to beat at the polls, there has equally been muffled celebration after Mudavadi was lured out, or quit the Orange party.
Mudavadi is more like a fresh wrestler just eased into the ring in the Royal Rumble amid “tired” wrestlers, who have been on the beat much longer. Under the Royal Rumble professional wrestling match, a number of wrestlers aim at eliminating their competitors by tossing them over the top rope.
Incidentally, Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa and Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo, from Mudavadi’s Luhya backyard, are the first targets on the edge of being tossed out of the ring.
Row in New-Ford Kenya
Those cheering on include Housing Minister Soita Shitanda and Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale. The MPs, who are embroiled in a battle over control of New Ford-Kenya party with Eugene, instead want the minister to back his senior and more experienced kinsman – Mudavadi.
But Nominated MP and former Cabinet minister Musikari Kombo is opposed to “manoeuvres to arm-twist” certain players to give room for or support others politically.
“The two have never walked the same political path and neither did Musalia and Eugene’s elder brother, Michael Kijana. To expect the two to engage in a quick fix and easily support one another is wishful thinking,” says Kombo.
The underlying message of Kombo’s sentiments has partly got to do with the voting patterns in western Kenya, where residents of Vihiga County ordinarily never vote alongside their colleagues in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties. The rest of the counties usually vote alongside either side.
If the voting pattern takes the traditional sub-tribal trend, then on paper Eugene starts off with an edge over Mudavadi. But Khalwale insists Eugene is an overrated paperweight weight politician.