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Focus on Mudavadi, not Raila, Wanga tells ANC politicians

By Mireri Junior | September 9th 2021

ODM leader Raila Odinga and ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi at a past function. [File, Standard]

Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga has asked leaders affiliated to Amani National Congress (ANC) to concentrate on popularising Musalia Mudavadi nationally, and not to launch attacks on ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Wanga claims ANC politicians’ key agenda has been to discredit Raila Odinga’s presidential bid at the expense of endearing Mudavadi to the electorate. 

“Mudavadi will not ascend to presidency by attacking Raila. Let them (ANC politicians) just work on [his potential voters’] numbers, which are currently not adding up,” Wanga said during an interview on Citizen Television on Thursday, September 9.

The lawmaker further urged Mudavadi and other One Kenya Alliance (OKA) leaders to reconsider their decisions to go it alone in the 2022 presidential contest, saying they stand a better chance of being in the winning team if they team up with Raila Odinga.

The legislator drummed up support for a Raila candidature in the upcoming polls, saying the ODM leader has a historical and political understanding of Kenya’s main challenges.

“He (Raila) has realised with time that elections without a united country have derailed development,” she said.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, who is an ANC member, however, maintained that Mudavadi was the best candidate, among those in Opposition, to gun for the presidency.

“ODM is an isolated political party. It has lost support in Western Kenya to Mudavadi; in Coast, smaller political parties have cropped up, and in Ukambani, Kalonzo [Musyoka] enjoys a stranglehold,” said Malala, who was also a guest on Citizen Television’s breakfast show.

The senator dismissed Raila Odinga’s selling point as a unifying political figure, claiming the former prime minister played a strong role in the disintegration of the now-defunct NASA coalition that brought together Mudavadi, Musyoka, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and Chama Cha Mashinani’s Isaac Ruto.

“Raila divided NASA after the [March 9, 2018] handshake with President Uhuru Kenyatta. He has also managed to wage a rift between Uhuru and his deputy, William Ruto,” said Malala.

Wanga claimed her lawmaking counterpart was piggybacking on Mudavadi to increase his (Malala’s) chances of clinching the Kakamega gubernatorial seat, which he is gunning in the 2022 General Election.

“Malala is not interested in Mudavadi winning the presidency. He wants to be seen as popularising Mudavadi in Western Kenya, while at the back of his mind he believes the action would increase his chances of being elected the next governor of Kakamega County. However, he is overdoing it.”

Earlier September, Mudavadi urged Kenyans not to vote for Raila Odinga or William Ruto as President, describing the two as “angry leaders”.

“When you look at Ruto's face, you see anger; when you look at Raila's face, you see anger. Where there’s anger, there’s bitterness,” Mudavadi said during a visit to Nandi County.

The ANC leader stated he has a calm demeanour, which would make him relate well with Kenyans if elected President in 2022.

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