With elections six months away, Musalia and Wamalwa are racing against time to have Uhuru's ear and possible endorsement as his running mate or replacement should he not run for president, leaving key central Kenya counties up for grabs
The minister, a younger brother to the late VP, says the trio will give a definite direction as to where they are headed during the event to be held in Kitale on August 23.
But the Mudavadi-Wamalwa drama could be spiced up by the presence of President Kibaki at the Kitale event. While the President has said he has no preferred candidate, there has been no end to speculation as to whether he has given silent blessing to Mudavadi. Thus, with a Uhuru-Wamalwa announcement expected, the President’s anticipated presence in Kitale is likely to generate political friction.
“Given that this anniversary will be the last during his final term in office, it would be a most welcome idea if the President graces the memorial service of his former loyal VP,” Wamalwa told The Standard. “However, probably because of his busy diary, we are yet to receive confirmation.”
Asked whether Mudavadi was part of the mix, Wamalwa was evasive: “Mudavadi’s UDF is not really part of the G7, although he has been stating during campaigns that he will work with Uhuru and Ruto. He is welcome to the grouping like any other like-minded political figure.”
Efforts to reach Ruto for comment over the Kitale event proved fruitless, as the URP leader was said to be busy on the campaign trail. However, The Standard independently established that Ruto is scheduled to preside over another function in Kilgoris on the same date.
“We are unable to confirm whether or not mheshimiwa will be in Kitale. What is clear, though, is that Ruto is engrossed in his own presidential campaigns as well as popularising URP,” said our source.
Since Mudavadi bolted out of ODM, he and Wamalwa have engaged in quiet but fierce battles to win Uhuru’s favour. One main factor persuades the scramble for Uhuru – the possibility of him opting out or being barred from participating in the presidential poll, and turning his numbers to another hopeful.
The battle is accordingly not just about Uhuru’s attention, but his possible endorsement for the big seat. Maintaining, however, that the DPM remains firmly in the presidential race, Uhuru’s spokesman, Munyori Buku says: “Mr Kenyatta is ready to work with like-minded leaders and parties as a basis of national unity, peace and reconciliation. This way, Kenyans will bake the national cake together and share it together.”
Nonetheless, tension over the Mudavadi-Wamalwa affair remains alive. Asked, who between the two the Gatundu South MP was in political partnership with, Mathira MP who is also chairman of Central Kenya MPs Parliamentary Group, declined to comment, citing the “sensitive nature of the matter”.
However, Mudavadi’s spokesman Kibisu Kabatesi maintains Mudavadi is not in any political contest with Wamalwa. This notion is shared by a host of MPs from western Kenya who believe the New Ford-Kenya party leader ought to give way for his politically senior Luhya kinsman.
“We are running an absolutely independent campaign and have little to do with the sideshows the Justice minister is trying to draw us into,” reacts Kabatesi.