By STEPHEN MAKABILA and ISAAC ONGIRI
The kingmakers seeking to shape the outcome of the General Election are making themselves felt within the ranks of the PNU side of the coalition. Their aim is to prevent the rise of a leader or group that owes them nothing politically.
Although President Kibaki Friday said he will not endorse? a successor, evidence has emerged of a plan among some of his allies to control the G7 alliance so as to ultimately have a candidate of their preference. It is this thinking that has led to concern over the apparent favoured status extended to United Democratic Forum leader Musalia Mudavadi by the State elite.
Mr Mudavadi is not part of the G7, but has hinted at a working relationship with fellow Deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta and, to some extent, Eldoret North MP William Ruto, to the annoyance of Western rival Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa.
He says leaving the Local Government docket after quitting ODM has freed him up for other duties, including deputising the President more, into which too much is being read.
However, political observers see a direct connection between the recent changes and friction in the alliance. The Standard On Saturday has established the emerging scenario is causing both excitement and discomfort within the alliance.
Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo cautioned Mr Mudavadi, Mr Ruto and Mr Wamalwa they were all being hoodwinked by central Kenya political elite.
“Mudavadi, Wamalwa and Ruto are all being manipulated by a political elite determined to retain power, with money as their greatest weapon,” said Jirongo, hinting at the rumours of Musalia being a State House ‘project’. Mr Jirongo says he is planning to talk Ruto and Wamalwa out of the G7 to form a Rift-Valley/Western alliance.
The Lugari MP, whose adventure in Ruto’s United Republican Party (URP) turned sour with the apparent endorsement of Chirau Mwakwere as a potential running mate, claims there are forces in central Kenya that do not want any united voting bloc outside the region.
These are the people he blames for fuelling the differences between Mudavadi and Wamalwa, as well as those between him and Ruto. They allegedly want to maintain the splits so they can help secure a victory by delivering the central vote.
Mandera Central MP Abdikadir Mohamed, a UDF member, warned against the “narrow mindedness” with which Mudavadi’s candidature was being viewed.