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Revealed: Ruto power plan with Mudavadi, Wetang’ula

Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula, Deputy President William Ruto and ANC's Musalia Mudavadi. [File, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula agreed to work together under the Kenya Kwanza Alliance after crafting a water-tight power-sharing deal.

The Saturday Standard has learnt that sharing of Cabinet and choice of a running mate are among the political considerations uniting the three, who are also keen on who will contest the Nairobi governor.  

Sources privy to the horse-trading said the deal spells out how the three parties would share out Cabinet positions and insulate partners from cannibalising each others’ political bases by creating zones and spheres of influence.

The secret agreement indicates that in the event Ruto wins, Mudavadi will be appointed chief minister, a position similar to prime minister and would run the Finance docket alongside other two ministries including Devolution.

Wetangula’s party will be allocated two Cabinet slots and a number of appointments to the government. It is not clear, at this stage, however, if the alliance plans to push for constitutional amendments to anchor some of the proposed positions.

ANC will also produce the candidate for Nairobi governor’s seat with the running mate coming from UDA. Mudavadi’s party plans to field Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja as the alliance’s governor candidate while UDA will front a running mate from Mt Kenya.

“The seats of Senator and Woman Rep will go to Ruto’s party in Nairobi,” said a source. “There will also be appointments like Principal Secretary and ambassadorial positions earmarked for ANC members,” the source added.

In other elective seats, the three agreed UDA will not field candidates for governor in Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties. In the deal, Senator Cleophas Malala has been designated as the coalition’s candidate for Kakamega governor while ANC will get priority in Vihiga. Wetangula’s party will produce governor candidates in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties while UDA will have the senatorial candidate for Trans Nzoia County. 

Former Sports CS Rashid Echesa addresses a political rally in Bungoma as Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi look on. [File, Standard]

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka has been mentioned as possible governor aspirant for Bungoma while Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa could fly the Ford Kenya flag in Trans Nzoia battle for governor.

Bungoma Governor Wycliffe Wangamati defected to Democratic Action Party three days ago. Yesterday, when The Saturday Saturday contacted Lusaka, he confirmed he would contest Bungoma governor’s position but was non-committal on his party.

“After a lot of soul searching and pressure from the people of Bungoma, I have decided to sacrifice any other higher ambitions and come back and serve them. The voice of the people is the voice of God,” Lusaka said. He added: “You will know my party soon, but politics is local and I will go with the popular party on the ground.”

Wetang’ula is keen on retaining his senatorial seat in Bungoma and then be the Majority Leader in the Senate should Ruto win the presidency.

Another sources said the coalition will seek consensus for various parliamentary seats in Western and Nairobi, while UDA will be allowed to run the show in Rift Valley and Mt Kenya. “In Coast, Northern Kenya and Nyanza, the alliance will use private opinion polls and consensus to provide formidable candidates to face off with Azimio La Umoja,” said the source.

However, the negotiations steered off the running mate’s position which has been reserved for Mt Kenya region. The sources also said Ruto, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula had firmed up the deal by December last year, and were only waiting for the right moment ‘to cause enough excitement’.

Even at the time President Uhuru Kenyatta was meeting the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals Mudavadi, Wetang’ula, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kanu chairman Gedion Moi in separate meetings twice in Mombasa and another in Nairobi, the principals were already deep in talks with Ruto.

The agreements by what is now called Kenya Kwanza Alliance are into two parts. The deal before the General Election and the one after, including sharing of government slots. Sources say before they entered into a deal, several scenarios were considered, and a number of opinion polls conducted.