UDA secretary general Cleophas Malala’s sustained attacks against Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi and National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang'ula has raised eyebrows with calls for unity among leaders from the western region.
Malala kicked the push for the dissolution of ANC of Mudavadi, and Wetang'ula's Ford-K in March at Sisokhe in Navakholo, Kakamega County, during a fundraiser presided over by Wetang'ula.
To the chagrin of leaders present, Malala asked; “Is it possible that we dissolve our parties and form one strong party?”
Malala's idea has been that all political parties under Kenya Kwanza should fold and join the UDA of President William Ruto.
Malala has since stepped up calls for the dissolution of these two major Western parties, especially after President Ruto appointed him the acting secretary general of the UDA in June this year. UDA is the predominant party among those that make up the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, including Ford-K and ANC.
However, despite repeated attacks by Malala, where he called ANC a village party, Mudavadi and Wetang'ula appear not bothered by his onslaught which some political pundits believe could be deliberate attempts by the former Kakamega Senator to paint the duo in a bad light.
Last Sunday, Malala was in Mount Elgon, Bungoma County, where he took a swipe at the two, mounting pressure on them to go ahead and fold their political outfits if they are serious about working with President Ruto.
“You cannot claim to be working with the president while clinging on to your parties. During the day, you claim to be with the president only to retreat to Western and start popularizing your parties in the night. It is high time that you disband them and join the president’s UDA party,” Malala said.
Mudavadi and Wetang'ula, who attended an interdenominational service cum fundraiser in Shinyalu, Kakamega County, about 105 kilometres away from Mount Elgon on the same day, appeared not to be bothered by Malala’s position.
Speaking during the event held at Shikulu Primary School, Mudavadi told leaders to rise above the politics of deceit and blackmail.
"Times have changed and we need to reconcile with the reality that William Ruto is our president, Moses Wetang'ula is our National Assembly Speaker and I am the Prime Cabinet Secretary. This is the reality and we are not competing amongst ourselves, so those peddling such rumours to our people must stop,” he said, adding that the unity of this nation, and more so that of Western Kenya region, must count for it matters a lot for the economic progress of the region and Kenya at large.
He added: “When I joined hands with my brother Wetang'ula, we tilted the political landscape of Kenya. The 'earthquake' was a game changer and therefore in the Kenya Kwanza government, we stand to be counted every day. We decided to put the interests of the people ahead of our own. You do not need rocket science to prove that this was the unity of purpose we have been looking for and in Kenya Kwanza, it is a new dawn”, he said
Mudavadi urged the people of Western to work on having a formidable formation that will help them pull together towards a prosperous future.
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Wetang'ula indicated that they will not be distracted in their endeavour to have a united region and country.
He stated that the region's unity was not an option, stating that it must count. He called out the leaders whom he said were "sowing seeds of discord" between him and Mudavadi, a reference to Malala.
“Musalia and I are working together and we will not allow negative voices to divide us," Wetang'ula said, quoting a famous saying that; "A wise man standing on the ground will see further than an idiot on top of a tree."
National Assembly Majority leader Kimani Ichung’wah, who also attended the event, urged the Luhya community to speak in one voice and hailed Wetang'ula and Mudavadi for teaming up to support President Ruto in the run-up to the August 2022 General Election.
“When the Luhya community speaks as one, there will be a shift in the political sphere,” said Kimani who noted that this could herald a significant shift in the political space.
Earlier, Democratic Action Party leader Eugene Wamalwa said Malala is being used to advance UDA interests in the western region.
Malala’s utterances do not only grate on Wetang'ula and Mudavadi. UDA Senate Chief Whip, Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has refused to recognize Malala as a bonafide UDA official. When Kakamega UDA officials held their joint press briefing to champion fair party primaries, Dr Khalwale, who hosted the officials, did not mince his words.
"President Ruto and UDA must be very wary of new members who joined us recently without dissolving their former parties. Who knows, they could be out on an espionage mission to cripple UDA from within," he said in a snide remark calculated to water down Malala's efforts of proving himself a credible leader in the ruling party.
The officials were open on who was to count on their support come the December primary polls, singling out the President and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua as the party leader and deputy leader respectively.
In the rest of the posts including the party SG one, the officials said they would find a ‘level-headed man or woman’ to vote for after gauging the suitability of the candidates' list.