They have similar titles; are of a similar background; have a similar ambition, and even ran a presidential race one as the deputy of the other ten years ago.
However, the more the two Deputy Prime Ministers resemble, the more they pull apart. For Sabatia MP Musalia Mudavadi, there is need to win the General Election on round one and to do this, the central Kenya vote needs to go his way. Uhuru Kenyatta has not taken this lightly. He feels Mudavadi is being used to undermine his authority in the region.
To protect that authority, central Kenya vote is what Uhuru won’t let go while it remains Mudavadi’s strongest target.
It is for this reason coupled with immense mistrust and undercover antagonism over the ongoing by-elections that have caused the relationship between the two to collapse. Central Kenya is Uhuru’s political stronghold especially with the retirement of President Kibaki who hitherto was the political king pin of the Mount Kenya region.
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“The truth is that boss (Uhuru) is being rattled by what Mudavadi is doing in central Kenya. He feels Mudavadi is undermining him politically. Even though they may have been talking in the past, substantial trust has been lost and I do not see him engaging Mudavadi politically going forward. To put it plainly, there is no love lost between them,” said a source.
Mudavadi, sources said, feels a unity deal between him and Eldoret North MP Wiliam Ruto is more bankable and talks are under way.
The suspicion among the G7 parties has ran so high that none of the parties seems to trust the other anymore, a move that is likely to put the entire G7 Alliance in absolute political disarray.
Uhuru’s team believes the move to block the TNA parliamentary candidate in Kajiado North was the work of four parties within G7, to portray TNA as a party without capacity to carry out fair nominations.
One of the four parties, in fact, called two TNA candidates who lost in Kangema and Kajiado North with an intention of giving them a direct ticket. Refusal by Wiper Democratic Party to heed to TNA’s request to deny Solomon Kinyanjui a ticket in the Kajiado North by-elections whose presence is likely to eat into the support of Moses ole Sakuda has further complicated matters.
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Similarly, Uhuru, said our source, is reluctant to support Mudavadi who has gained the support of people close to President Kibaki because of the ICC proceedings, which the Sabatia MP has always supported. At the same time, a source in UDF said Mudavadi is equally suspicious of TNA’s hand in a move that saw his name enjoined in an integrity case in court recently.
Parties within G7, among them Grand National Unity, Alliance Party of Kenya, Democratic Party, and UDF feel supporting TNA would deny them an opportunity to win parliamentary and civic seats, a move that can easily drive them to extinction.
It’s worth noting Mudavadi was not invited to a recent meeting hosted by Uhuru, which was held at Nairobi’s Norfolk Hotel involving G7 Alliance presidential aspirants.
UDF Chief Executive Petronila Were confirmed her party did not received any official invitation.
“What I know is that we did not receive any invitation for the meeting. But if the two may have spoken somewhere else about the same, I may not know,” she said. Mudavadi and Ruto, a key member of the G7 Alliance, also did not attend the meeting.
But in what could tear apart the political relationship between the two even further, Mudavadi is said to have been annoyed by failure to invite him to the meeting. Contacted for comment, Mudavadi’s confidant in central Kenya, Laikipia West MP, Ndiritu Muriithi, said: “Well, there may have been contacts, but the way to develop this country is not to make a candidate a tribal chief. It is to make your candidate a national leader. I think UDF being one of the top three, is the party to watch. If you want to help your candidate, sell him to all Kenyans. A candidate should avoid people who make him look like a tribal chief,” he said.
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Although the Norfolk meeting agreed the parties with representation would work together and even formed a sub-committee, things have since changed with various parties saying their members attended the meeting in their private capacities.
Legislator Peter Munya of Kiraitu Murungi’s Alliance Party of Kenya said all decisions that the Energy Minister may have taken in the meeting were personal. “Kiraitu went to that meeting as a person, not as a party. Our party has organs and no meeting of any organ has met and agreed to work with this or that party. In fact, we are meeting on Friday as a party, to look at our constitution and nomination rules,” he said
But even worse, the Sabatia MP is understood to be pretty uncomfortable with Uhuru’s decision to engage Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa.
“Mudavadi is unhappy with Uhuru because of Eugene. Mudavadi feels there might not be much between him and TNA,” said an MP close to the Sabatia MP. Uhuru’s spokesman Munyori Buku said: “It is a free country for anybody to seek votes in any region and to contest any public office. In the fullness of time, the people of Kenya will decide.”
But debate on the report of the Parliamentary Account Committee over the De la Rue currency printing contracts, which had indicted Transport Minister Amos Kimunya and CBK Governor Njuguna Ndung’u is what is likely to lay bare the differences between the two.
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It is understood that the decision by the Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale-led committee to implicate heavily the Transport minister is a way of taking Uhuru head-on.
Kimunya is Uhuru’s link to PNU following the death of the former chairman and Internal Security Minister George Saitoti although Kimunya has received heavy opposition from a section of the party affiliated to Kilgoris MP Gideon Konchellah, who is acting PNU chairman.
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Uhuru Mudavadi politics