By PETER ATSIAYA
Mudavadi seems to have realised out-staging ODM in his backyard would not be effective with political rallies. He has now resorted to meet-the-people tours to sell his party and himself as a favourable presidential candidate.
Key leaders in the DPM’s campaign committee, led by Housing Minister Soita Shitanda, Ikolomani MP Boni Khalwale, Assistant minister George Khaniri and former Trade Minister Mukhisa Kituyi, say the new strategy has “messed up” ODM and Mudavadi’s opponents.
New kid in town
“We decided to go deep to the voters and sell our party and candidate and shed off ODM popularity,” said Dr Khalwale.
The Sabatia MP has toured Bungoma, Busia, Vihiga and Teso region where he received overwhelming support.
Said Dr Kituyi: “UDF is a new party in the region and has no structures on the ground. That is why we decided to meet the people in villages and markets, as we seek to strengthen the party’s base on the ground.”
Mudavadi, who seemed impressed with the reception he received from supporters at various market centres in Teso, said Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his ODM party should forget the Western region’s support.
The Youth support
“If Raila is still banking on votes from Western, I want to tell him sorry because UDF is the new kid on the block,” said Mudavadi.
His host in Teso, Vincent Sidai, who is gunning for the county’s governor seat, said Mudavadi had turned tables on ODM in the vote-rich region.
However, Raila’s decision to appoint youthful Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba as his point man in the region, replacing Mudavadi who broke ranks with the PM months ago, has earned the premier support among youths.
Although Namwamba has not done much to show he can fit in Mudavadi’s shoes, ODM supporters believe the young politician can use his eloquence and appeal among the youth to counter the Mudavadi wave in the region.
“Mudavadi is not going anywhere with his UDF party. Majority of residents of Western stand by Raila in the battle for State House,” said Namwamba.
He claimed Mudavadi was being misled by the likes of Khalwale, Shitanda and Kituyi, “who want to ride on his influence to win the governor and senator seats”.
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