Deputy President William Ruto yesterday challenged the Luhya political leadership to walk the talk in their calls for a united community by standing with the Jubilee Party candidate for the Kibra by-election, MacDonald Mariga.
The DP who hit out at Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford-Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang'ula, said the two leaders had failed in their quest to unite the community politically and he had set a stage for them to realise that dream by supporting Mr Mariga.
Speaking during the requiem mass for Adelaide Shikanga, the wife of former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, Dr Ruto said he wanted to meet with Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang'ula.
"I have wanted to meet Mudavadi and Wetang'ula to agree to work together especially in supporting one of their own (Mariga) in the Kibra by-election. This should be the beginning of a unified Luhya community," he said.
Earlier, Dr Khalwale had told mourners at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology that working with the DP was laying ground for Mudavadi's quest for the presidency. The former senator said even with a solid Luhya vote behind Mudavadi, he still needed to make friends with other communities for him to ascend to power.
"My brother Mudavadi knows it's a fact that the western votes alone cannot make him President and my working with the DP will ensure the community will be in the next government. The deputy president wants to work and walk with us," he said.
Khalwale said he was committed to having a Luhya presidential candidate forming the next government with Ruto. “Today, I am standing before you as I mourn my wife to tell you that I will ensure what the late Vice President Kijana Wamalwa stood for will be accomplished in 2022 through Mudavadi,” said Khalwale.
He added: “I made a difficult decision to support him in 2013 and I am still for him in 2022. However, he can’t make it to State House alone, and he (Mudavadi) knows this as the Constitution of Kenya has placed the bar of becoming Kenya’s President very high.”
Khalwale said he had made the first step of making Mudavadi the next president by warming up to Ruto, who he hoped the ANC leader would team up with at an opportune time and make a formidable force to form the next government.
“My son had his eye gouged out because of politics and even my late wife told me to quit, but I told her I will be in politics until the Mulembe nation is liberated. Politics is not easy, but despite that, I will ensure Mudavadi is part of the team forming the next government,” Khalwale said.
Mudavadi, who steered clear of the proposal, maintained that his name would be on the ballot box come 2022, saying he was the ideal candidate to replace President Uhuru Kenyatta. “In 2022, I will be there and my name will be on the ballot. I am officially in the field and there are no two ways about it. It is my time and I am ripe to be the fifth President of the Republic of Kenya,” he said.
Mudavadi, responding to Khalwale’s calls for him to work with Ruto, said he would play second fiddle to anyone as it was the case in 2002 and 2017 but he will go all the way to the ballot.
“As we gather here united as one to mourn the demise of Khalwale’s wife despite being in different political affiliations, this should be the spirit that should guide us to the future and make Mudavadi president,” he said.
According to Mudavadi, there is runway corruption in the Jubilee government, which has deprived Kenyans of their rights and more so killing the economy. He said he was the ideal candidate to contain the mess.
“As much we may say that I should work with leaders from other regions, those leaders must be of good reputation, whose image is not tainted with scandals related to corruption,” said Mudavadi.
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