Fresh from his unity pact with a section of western Kenya leaders, Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa hit the road with Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.
The move is seen as an attempt by Wamalwa to consolidate his stature within the G7, but could also work in the DPM’s favour if it helps put a cap on Sabatia MP Musalia Mudavadi’s rising clout in the region.
“I think the plan was to see how he can organise the western team, so that he can regain his clout within the G7 alliance,” said a close Uhuru ally.
Uhuru is equally wary of Mudavadi because he has also emerged as an equally big force in Mt Kenya politics.
It was therefore not surprising that for the second time in as many days, Trade Minister Moses Wetangula launched a scathing attack on Mudavadi as he continued his gospel for Luhya unity.
Wetangula said Mudavadi’s move to walk alone has cast his standing as a senior-most leader in the Luhya community in bad light and advised the Sabatia MP to change tact and join the rest of his colleagues in seeking unity.
Speaking at Sirare Primary School in his Sirisia Constituency, Wetangula said the unity declaration with Wamalwa and Dr Noah Wekesa made on Saturday still stood.
“We decided to unite and we are still in talking terms with my colleagues. Even today I have spoken with Eugene on phone four times and our message is still the same, we are united this time round and nothing or no one is going to divide us again,” said the minister.
Call for unity
Speaking in Kisii County, Uhuru urged leaders to shun selfish political ambitions for the sake of the country’s unity.
He called on G7 leaders to shelve party politics and unite under a strong alliance that will win the General Election.
“TNA, New Ford Kenya and Ford People have agreed to work together,” said Uhuru.
The announcement followed another one on Saturday where Wamalwa and Wetangula hinted at a possible re-union of Ford Kenya and New Ford Kenya.
On Monday, Wetangula said he was ready to sacrifice his own presidential ambitions for any other person favourable to the community if that will bring the much-sought unity and challenged Mudavadi to do the same.
“It’s prudent that all leaders from this region come together so that we can be respected by the rest of Kenya who also want to see a strong leader from amongst us,” said Wetangula.
Since decamping from ODM to seek the presidency on a United Democratic Party ticket, Mudavadi has worked closely with Housing Minister Soita Shitanda, Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale and former Trade and Industry minister Dr Mukhisa Kituyi, among others.
Mudavadi and his team were conspicuously absent during the new unity declaration on Saturday that brought together Wetangula, Wamalwa, Wekesa and MPs Bifwoli Wakoli, Cyrus Jirongo and Musikari Kombo.
The declaration was made during the burial of Bukusu spiritual preacher John Manguliechi at Kibingei village.
In Kisii, Uhuru seemed energised by the fact that Ford People, a party associated with former powerful minister Simeon Nyachae, had given him a hand and its leaders publicly declared that they were supporting him.
Speaking at Marani in Kitutu Chache Constituency during the second day of his Kisii tour, the DPM said he was ready to support any presidential candidate who wins in a free and fair nomination process within the alliance. Ford People Chairman Henry Obwocha said his party would work with TNA and back Uhuru’s presidential bid.
“Kisii’s 1.2 million votes can significantly boost any presidential candidate’s bid and it is important that we vote as a bloc to merit a place in the next government. Without joining forces, we shall be divided,” said Prof Sam Ongeri.
Wamalwa called on MPs to back the anti-terrorism Bill when Parliament resumes sittings, saying the war on terror cannot be won without a legal framework.
“The right to security is enshrined in the Constitution. To end the terror threats posed by Al Shabaab, local terrorists and Al Qaeda, we need institutions and laws and that is why we shall back the anti-terrorism Bill,” said Wamalwa.
The Saboti MP said the next polls would be a choice between the past and the future and dismissed the reform tag being bandied by some presidential contenders.
By Kenan Miruka and Robert Nyasato, The Standard