Mudavadi this way, or Gideon that way?
Even if the principals in the newly formed One Kenya Alliance agree on Musalia Mudavadi as the flag bearer, the question is, does he have what it takes to beat Raila Odinga or DP William Ruto in the 2022 presidential elections?
Can the Mudavadi-Gideon Moi- Kalonzo Musyoka ticket upstage, battle-hardened contender Raila Amolo Odinga and his erstwhile ally turned bitter foe William Ruto? Like it was in 2013 and 2017, in fact since the 2002 transitional elections from President Moi, elections in Kenyans have always been a “two-horse race”.
The rest as Raila Odinga keeps claiming, are “punda” or “spoilers” and political watchers are keen to see how this “third force” can make a difference and re-write history.
Many say any alliance without Raila Odinga, considering Kenya’s political history, is “dead on arrival “But others argue that “brand Odinga” has reached its “expiry date”
The One Kenya Alliance is already split down the middle about selecting a flag bearer with many saying if Odinga is not in the alliance then it is “still born’ and doomed to fail. Both ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka were running-mates to Odinga since 2007, 2013 and 2017.
Many say any alliance without Odinga that seeks to create a third force, considering Kenya’s political history, is “dead on arrival “But others argue that “brand Odinga” has reached its “expiry date” and that it is time for a fresh pair of hands that signal a complete break from the past. Many however beg to differ saying Kenya’s heavily tribal driven politics is always about regional kingpins carrying their supporters on their “backs” as they bargain to join new alliances.
KANU’s Gideon Moi faces “mission impossible” in wresting support of the vast vote-rich Rift Valley from the iron grip of Deputy President William Ruto, who has spent most of his second term in office mobilising and consolidating support for the 2022 presidential duel. Ruto, who has been winning by-elections in central Kenya.
All the four men in the new alliance have told their communities it is them or “nothing” as the 2022 poll draws closer, raising the stakes for the ticket to the next tenant at State House. Big factors in their negotiations will be how many votes each will bring to the table and how popular each man would be at the national level.
For instance, if Musalia Mudavadi gets the baton, he may peg his hopes on the more than 2.8 million voters of Western Kenya, going by the 2017 IEBC voter register, whether he gets the votes or not is a story for another day. Musalia and Moses Wetang’ula of FORD Kenya have pledged to stick together to consolidate their Luyha voting bloc and buttress their bid for a clean sweep within their backyards.
The duo used the twin Matungu and Kabuchai by-elections to assert their authority as the region’s kingpins, despite a spirited effort by ODM boss Raila Odinga to assert his influence.
Deputy President William Ruto failed in his attempt to use the same by-elections to gain a foothold in the region through his new UDA outfit.
Kalonzo’s three Ukambani counties have nearly 1.7 registered voters, according to the 2017 IEBC register. He is likely to harvest more from the diaspora Kamba votes. Gideon Moi faces mission impossible as the vote-rich Rift Valley remains “locked” within William Ruto’s corner. Despite being the son of former President Daniel Moi, he has yet to become his own man, especially among elderly voters.
But Raila’sOdinga’s camp has accused the group of positioning themselves for a possible endorsement by President Uhuru Kenyatta. Raila’s allies claimed One Kenya was out to elbow the ODM boss from the heart of the BBI campaigns to tilt the scales in their favour.
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