Two leaders perceived to be close to President Uhuru Kenyatta have declared that central Kenya is not obliged to vote for Deputy President William Ruto in the 2022 presidential race.
Jubilee Party vice-chairman David Murathe and former Mukurweini MP Kabando wa Kabando, who said they were in western Kenya shopping for an ally, added there was no Memorandum of Understanding with Deputy President William Ruto guaranteeing him their support in 2022.
“We don’t have a MoU with anyone to support them in 2022. If they agreed that with President Kenyatta, that is their problem. Let us meet at the ballot,” said Murathe.
The leaders appeared to pitch for Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi to succeed Uhuru in 2022.
“In 2013, we had an agreement that President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto will leave the presidency for Musalia Mudavadi during the International Criminal Court case, this agreement should be revisited,” said Murathe.
“Musalia is a selfless man,” said Kabando.
The leaders spoke during the 39th edition of the Maragoli Cultural Festivals at Mbale, where they told Amani National Congress party leader Mudavadi, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa to decide who among them would vie for the presidency in 2022.
Murathe said Jubilee has not given an official position the proposal to change the constitution and took a swipe at those against the idea saying that it is time the country reconsidered the “winner takes it all” system and allowed for inclusivity in the government.
Ruto has opposed the changing of the Constitution.
“We have a saying where we come from that we don’t know what one person will do to us if he is given the presidency, and the other one that we know will finish us. But we have one person who we will be safe in his hands. And we all know him,” said Murathe.
He said if the Luhya community united and spoke in one voice, Jubilee would support one of their own for the top seat.
“Jubilee won because we came together. We united 13 parties. Make one party and come to us. If we see that, we shall come and unite with you,” he said.
Kabando said Western has contributed tremendously to Kenya’s history.
“If you go to Mukuruweini, you will find that former Minister Joseph Otiende said we must have a hospital in the area. Eugene Wamalwa stood by Mwai Kibaki. Musalia Mudavadi lost his parliament seat in 2002 because he supported us,” said Kabando.
In 2013, Lugari MP Ayub Savula was given the chairmanship of the agriculture committee despite it being a Jubilee slot. We are not talking on behalf of any group or any party. The tallest tree is where the birds perch,” he.
Wamalwa reiterated calls for Luhya unity ahead of 2022 poll to come up with a formidable presidential candidate to succeed Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mudavadi and Wetang’ula promised agree on one candidate to spearhead the community’s agenda in 2022 succession politics.
“We have heard enough lessons and we know what to do,” said Wetang’ula.
Governors Wilber Ottichilo (Vihiga), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma); MPs Ernest Kagesi (Vihiga), Alfred Agoi (Sabatia), Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga Women Representative), Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren), George Aladwa (Makadara), Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza) and Savula attended.
Kagesi and Agoi said two communities have enjoyed power since independence and should give way to another community.
Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli said the community was united.
“We know where we are going,” said Atwoli.
Tongaren MP Eseli Simuyu said the community’s presidential flag bearer should be known early enough.