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Musalia Mudavadi makes comeback after decade in political cold

Politics
 Prime Cabinet Secretary nominee Musalia Mudavadi arrives at Parliament buildings ahead of President William Ruto's address to the joint sitting on September 30, 2022. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi who was nominated by President William Ruto as Prime Cabinet Secretary will today be vetted by the National Assembly.

If approved by MPs, he will become a powerful politician.

Mudavadi will be the first to appear before the Committee on Appointments which is vetting 21 nominees to the Cabinet between today and Friday.

The ANC leader is likely to return to government after nearly 10 years in the cold. His last appointment was in 2012 when he served as Deputy Prime Minister in the grand coalition government.

Mudavadi was the brains behind the formation of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance that brings together President Ruto's UDA, ANC and Ford-Kenya party of Moses Wetang'ula, among others.

The Head of State has assigned the ANC leader key roles that place him at the centre of the Kenya Kwanza administration.

If approved by Parliament, Mudavadi will assist the President and the Deputy President in the coordination and supervision of ministries and State departments.

Political analysts believe the ANC leader is suitable for the Prime CS position since he will be the link between the Executive and the Legislature in ensuring the policies of the Kenya Kwanza government are fully actualised.

Delivery fulcrum

"The docket entails coordination, evaluation, monitoring and implementation. As designated, it will be the fulcrum upon which delivery of public services will be measured," said Dr Alutalala Mukwana.

Prof Peter Kagwanja added, "Character is key in terms of how one delivers the assigned task. Mudavadi has been known to be a safe pair of hands, humble, trustworthy, focused leader, and diplomatic. These are key attributes for the effective delivery of the job."

Under Executive Order No.1 of 2022, President Ruto designated the roles of the holder of the Office of the Prime CS, including handling the Government Delivery Unit.

The ANC leader will be tasked with liaising with the ministry responsible for Interior and National Administration in overseeing the implementation of national government policies, and coordinating the national government legislative agenda.

Mudavadi will also chair the Principal Secretaries Committees and supervise the technical monitoring of government programmes. According to the Kenya Kwanza agreement, Ford Kenya and ANC will jointly have 30 per cent of the positions in the national government, including Cs, PS, ambassadors and directors of State corporations and parastatals.

Sources say these positions are reserved for the political parties and not for the duo as Western leaders hence will be distributed to ANC and Ford-K allies across the country.

Ford Kenya leader Wetang'ula has already been rewarded by being elected National Assembly Speaker.

According to the Kenya Kwanza agreement, Western is poised to benefit from the construction of 1,000km of bitumen roads and the revival of Mumias Sugar Company, among other projects.

In Western, Mudavadi and Wetang'ula chipped away Azimio leader Raila Odinga's support in Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, and Trans Nzoia.

Mudavadi has been out of government for more than 10 years, having last served as Deputy Prime Minister and minister for local government between 2008 and 2013 in the grand coalition government.

The one-time Finance minister promised that a Kenya Kwanza government would prioritise revamping the economy and lowering the cost of basic items.

He is remembered for his steadfast leadership at Treasury in the early 1990s when he convinced donors to resume aid to Kenya after they had placed sanctions over claims of massive corruption.

Liberator

It was during his stint at the Exchequer that he initiated the Kenya Revenue Authority while his stint at the Transport docket was marked by the liberalisation of the communications sector.

The move led to the emergence of numerous radio and TV stations and the split of the Kenya Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (KPTC) and; a bold go at privatisation that opened doors for the birth and growth of entities like Safaricom and Airtel.

Mudavadi, who has been in politics for 33 years, made his political debut in 1989 when he was elected to Parliament as MP for Sabatia at the age of 29 in a by-election following the death of his father Moses Budamba Mudavadi.

Upon his election as MP for Sabatia, he was appointed minister for Supplies and Marketing.

He served in Cabinet for 18 years in the ministries of Agriculture, Finance, Transport, Information and Broadcasting as well as Local Government in addition to being appointed Vice President by former President Daniel arap Moi and serving as Deputy Prime Minister in the grand coalition government.

Other key nominees to be vetted today include former Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi who is the nominee for Attorney General, Aden Duale (Defence), Alfred Mutua (Foreign Affairs) and Alice Wahome (Water).

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