By ISAAC ONGIRI
Powerful State agents are pushing to have Mr Musalia Mudavadi and Mr Uhuru Kenyatta run together in the first round of the upcoming General Election. Other leaders in the G7 Alliance are to be prevailed upon to support this ticket.
Allies of the Deputy PMs say the pressure for the pairing is coming from their supporters at the grassroots. Rivals, however, see a hidden hand at work.
An earlier plan to have G7 alliance candidates test the waters first and then come together in the second round will be dropped in favour of the new scheme.
Sources say it will see Uhuru prevailed upon to be Mudavadi’s runningmate, with Ruto being offered a place as Leader of the Majority in the House. The plot is not without its detractors, particularly in the Uhuru camp. “Mudavadi and his group should stop this wishful thinking that Uhuru will be cajoled into stepping down after a cup of tea or boardroom chat,” says Assistant Minister Kareke Mbiuki.
Fellow Assistant Minister Nderitu Muriithi concedes that talks are ongoing, but says nothing has been decided yet.
“It is very early for the formation to be clear, but I can tell you that these leaders are always talking,” the Laikipia West MP said.
The brains behind the strategy believe it is the best plan to defeat the frontrunner, Prime Minister Raila Odinga. Buoyed by support from key Kibaki insiders, teams working with the two Deputy Prime Ministers are said to be crafting a formula that could end up in a pre-election deal featuring Mudavadi and Uhuru as partnersto push for a first round victory against the PM.
Top civil servants known to be very close to Kibaki have been working on the plan, with night meetings at a hotel in Nairobi’s Utawala area, The Standard On Sunday has established. The meetings discuss how to support a Mudavadi campaign and drive the entire PNU side of Government into his camp.
The State operatives, who include top security officials and political scholars, are said to prefer a Mudavadi candidacy to Uhuru’s to avoid an ethnic backlash in the run-off, which could favour an “unwanted” candidate. The move comes amid uncertainty created by Uhuru’s upcoming International Criminal Court (ICC) trial, and other investigations over the 2008 post-election violence. The new scheme puts to rest a previous working arrangement between Uhuru and Eldoret North MP William Ruto, in which the two would have run alongside each other.
It also comes at about the same time speculation was rising that the Deputy PM might not run for the highest office. Uhuru’s spokesman Munyori Buku maintains his boss will be on the ballot in the General Election. He says if another leader in the G7 Alliance is nominated freely and fairly, Uhuru is ready to support them. In the same breath, Uhuru expects other leaders to support him if he wins the ticket.
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