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Mudavadi calls labor movement leadership 'clownish'

By Too Jared | Jan 23rd 2022 | 2 min read

Musalia Mudavadi (centre) at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, January 23, 2022, during the ANC party NDC. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The ripples from Bukhungu II meeting reverberated at the Bomas of Kenya today where Amani National Congress (ANC) party held its National Delegates Congress (NDC) after party leader Musalia Mudavadi faulted the labour movement leadership for allegedly cannibalising unions.

Speaking when unveiled as the party’s flag-bearer in the NDC that saw OKA co-principals Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka and Gideon Moi walkout over the presence of Deputy President William Ruto, Mudavadi, without mentioning COTU secretary general Francis Atwoli – the convener of Bukhungu II meeting where he was replaced as Luhya spokesman with Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya – said the movement was being led by persons he described as clowns.

“It is tragic that the robust labour movement that played a big role in securing Kenya’s independence has been vandalised and cannibalised by clueless and self-serving clownish leadership. Under my watch, the labour movement is going to regain its sense of purpose and respectability as the middle-house between employer and the employees,” said Mudavadi.

Cheered on by the hundreds of supporters in attendance including dozens of MPs allied to Ruto’s UDA party, Mudavadi, who had promised to make an earth-shaking declaration, added: “It will not be a clownish, cowboy club that labours for a few individuals who openly boast and openly display the trappings of massive opulence whose sources remain smoky and mysterious.”

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he went on, “can you imagine if Tom Mboya, Sammy Muhanji, Peter Kibisu, and Chaju Kadongo woke up today, what will they find? It is worrying how these groups have bastardised state institutions by weaponizing them for selfish ends."

According to Mudavadi, the war on graft is losing ground due to the politicization and weaponization of institutions.

“The war against corruption is on the limp because of the weaponisation of the entities that should be fighting graft in the country. They have been politicised and personalised for political scarecrow purposes and prosecution of decent. Individuals who do not tow a particular political line are targeted day in day out for witch hunts through state agencies. This must not be allowed, said Mudavadi.

During the Bukhungu II declaration, Western Region Elders resolved that the Luhya community will be part of Raia Odinga's Azimio la Umoja Movement and handed Governor Oparanya the powers to negotiate the community’s interest.

Mudavadi skipped the meeting.

Speaking in January, Atwoli blamed Mudavadi’s ‘slackness’ for his removal as spokesman. “I gave him a chance to be a leader, our spokesman, in 2016; but to date – not even a single rally. Anyone associated with him [Mudavadi] risks losing out,” said Atwoli. 

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