Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

National Assembly Speaker and Ford Kenya party boss, Moses Wetang'ula, finds himself in a precarious political position after his ally, Musalia Mudavadi, entered into talks to dissolve Amani National Congress (ANC) and join President William Ruto's new political formation. 

This move has altered the political landscape in Western Kenya, leaving Wetang'ula increasingly isolated as both Azimio and Kenya Kwanza leaders keep suggesting he should follow suit. 

Observers believe Mudavadi's decision undermines the united front he and Wetang'ula previously maintained, wherein they pledged not to dissolve their parties while pressing the President to deliver on his pre-election promises. 

Cleophas Malala, United Democratic Alliance Secretary-General, was the first to openly call on Wetang'ula to follow Mudavadi’s footsteps during a meeting between Ruto and Mudavadi to forge a new alliance. 

This sentiment has also been echoed by Trans Nzoia Governor George Natembeya. He has even accused Wetang'ula of compromising the integrity of the Speaker's office by retaining his party leadership, thus failing to maintain necessary neutrality. 

"Your refusal to fold Ford Kenya or relinquish its party leadership post is as good as donning a Ford Kenya jersey in a multi-party house yet occupying the Speaker's seat, calling yourself a neutral referee. How can that be?” he posed. "The President gave you the honour to be Speaker and you should reciprocate by folding up the party."

ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna labeled him as the worst Speaker in Kenya’s history.

In a post on X, Sifuna wrote: "Wetang'ula is the worst Speaker in the history of Parliament. We have challenges in the Senate, but it’s nowhere near this bizarre spectacle where the Speaker is the custodian of the mic and switches it on and off at will. This is an MC at a funeral in Misikhu, not a Speaker. Shame!" 

Vihiga Senator Godfrey Osotsi has also criticized Wetang'ula and advised him to emulate former Speaker Kenneth Marende, whose leadership was hailed as Solomonic.” 

In Bungoma though, Senator Wafula Wakoli remains one of Wetang'ula’s few staunch supporters, proclaiming that Ford Kenya will never fold. He argues that maintaining the party provides a safety net in an uncertain political climate. "When we fold, we will not have a home to run to if we are chased away," Wakoli said.

However, the silence from other key Bungoma party leaders, political analysts say, suggests a divided stance on the issue. Their lack of support for Wetang'ula indicates uncertainty or a potential shift in loyalty. 

Despite this, analysts Martin Andati and Alfred Mangoli see Wetang’ula as a cunning fox who will outmaneuver the pressure for his own good. They note that the lawyer was astute enough to anticipate such challenges.

"Unlike Mudavadi, who is reluctant to fund a party or any political formation like everyone who has political ambitions does, Wetang'ula won't fold Ford Kenya as he is a testimony of how clinging on a party is beneficial. He is the Speaker courtesy of Ford-Kenya, a post he would have likely lost had he vied on UDA or another party," he said.