“He can only be equated to a rolling stone that gathers no moss. He has tried an alliance with everyone including with members of the outlawed Mungiki, Jimmy Kibaki of the Simama Kenya, and now Uhuru – all with little success,” he claims.
The bitter exchanges among Mudavadi and Eugene’s camps are indeed demonstration of how the two leaders of the populous Luhya community are locked in a do-or-die political battle.
Pundits say if Mudavadi clinches the presidency, Eugene might be technically locked out of the race for donkey years, “since Kenyans may not quickly embrace another Luhya for presidency”.
Curiously, the two have very different campaign strategies. While Mudavadi’s approach is national and widespread, Eugene seeks to place the Luhya region under lock. This partly explains why his strategists settled on the leopard as his political outfit’s symbol.
The leopard is also the mascot of the AFC Leopards soccer team, 13-time Premier League Champions, which enjoys fervent support among the Luhya.
“Our people know exactly what type of candidate they want. And the candidate is definitely not a puppet of forces outside Luhyaland,” says Jack Wamboka, an ally of Eugene.
Claiming that Mudavadi is a hard sale in western Kenya, Wamboka, who is eyeing the Bumula parliamentary seat, says Eugene and Mudavadi “will never” – as before – be in one political camp: “If he (Mudavadi) moves to work with our current allies then we shall be forced to cross over to his foes”.
Having initially egged Mudavadi to bolt out of ODM, some of the key politicians are no longer enthusiastic about his campaigns or have since been subdued by the focus on Mudavadi.
Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka and Eldoret North MP William Ruto, in particular, have since been relegated to the back seat since the DPM’s entry.
“It all seemed rosy when we jumped into the ring with support coming from everywhere. But some of the MPs initially enthusiastic about UDF have since been warned against associating with us, meaning we have either become a threat to other competitors or the game has become rough,” concedes an MP allied to Mudavadi, who declined to be named.