30pc slots 'pledge' is magic vote getter for Ruto in western

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi with Ford Kenya's party Moses Wetang'ula during a past event in Eldama Ravine, Baringo County. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Pundits leaning towards Azimio have struggled to push the narrative of a 70 per cent vote delivery condition that is purportedly attached to the 30 per cent allocation of government share to the western region in the Kenya Kwanza Alliance (KKA) Coalition Agreement.

Most are casting doubt on the ability of the Amani National Congress (ANC) and Ford-Kenya contingent to rouse enough support to meet the imaginary condition.

It's an imaginary because there is no such collateral in the KKA agreement. It is just an imposition by Azimio propaganda meant to sow doubt and destabilise western voters into believing that the condition is unachievable. That way, it’s hoped, voters will despair and not vote KKA. It’s time to debunk this nonsense.

The unfazed duo of Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula have taken the cheeky test in stride. They have turned the mischievous 70 per cent into an irreducible minimum rallying call for a target of 90 per cent delivery of the western region vote into the KAA presidential basket.

As usual, statistics are used to mislead. Those posturing the 70 per cent ruse don’t say it is a percentage of what vote. Is it a percentage of the 2.1 million registered voters, presidential voter turnout or a combo turnout of the six elections? There is deadly silence there, which is a signature tune for those caught lying.

Indeed, it’s incorrigible to keep happing on results of the 2013 presidential elections, and especially votes cast for Musalia in that election as the yardstick from which to predict the 2022 vote pattern and outcome in the region. The outcome of the 2007 and 2017 when Musalia helped turnout the 85 per cent vote in favour of Raila Odinga is relegated to the backburner.  

Currently, the duo is hacking at a target of 90 per cent vote in favour of William Ruto. Why? Their confidence is buoyed by a product that is a brand in itself. Whilst it took backbreaking work and extraneous tricks to convince the Luhya to vote 85 per cent for Raila in the last three elections, Ruto has grown his own goodwill within the community in the last 10 years that is easy to turn into votes.

Whilst it took some academicians from the region to invent the creation myth and cheat that the mystic Masinde Wa Nameme had prophesied that Luhya leadership will come only via supporting a candidate from the lake, who would later transfer leadership reins to a Luhya leader; Ruto doesn’t require such underhand cheating to sell.

Ruto speaks to the ordinary grudge of the Luhya - years of exclusion from government projects and public service, collapsed agricultural factories and like majority Kenyans, excessive taxation and high cost of basic commodities.  

DP William Ruto speaks during a past event. [File, Standard]

Western decries the fact that the four counties of Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega and Vihiga aren’t represented in the cabinet, have only one Principal Secretary, and their economic pillars Mumias and Nzoia sugar factories are closed following in the footsteps of cotton ginneries that bestrode Busia County that died a while back.

Ruto’s sharp and distinctive economic empowerment message of hope resonates wildly among a people seeking honour, pride, recognition and sustainable development. Striding a deep sense of neglect by government, the KKA Coalition Agreement is a show stopper, a breath of fresh air that is propelling the community to vote Kenya Kwanza.

The grassroots are ecstatic that for once in a long while, they will have a share of government consumerate with their six million-plus share of the Kenyan population. The message of 30 per cent share of government and a list of development projects to cap it all has a resounding endorsement across generations.

Based on the current government set up, 30% share graphically translates to seven cabinet slots, 14 Principal Secretaries, 27 diplomatic slots, 75 chairs and innumerable directorships in State Corporations, and equitable space in the troubled recruitment in security forces. Development goodies include 1000km of tarmacked roads; revival of fisheries and rice-growing; reduction in cost of agricultural inputs, support for agri-processing cottage industry, and value addition manufacturing establishments.

To cap it all, Musalia is the prime minister in all but name given the functions sliced for the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary who will also be in charge of two crucial dockets that form the fulcrum of government - Internal Security and Coordination of National Government affairs.

From a succession matrix in the Executive, Musalia ranks third after the Deputy President while a reserved position of Speaker of National Assembly for the region is also third in State succession, again after the Deputy President.

There is no gainsaying that against Azimio, the KKA Agreement is a solid executable and legally binding accord, as opposed to press statement promises from Azimio of one cabinet post and Speaker of Senate. In fact, these Azimio offers are derided for lack of content and legality. It’s much easier to withdraw the Azimio promise than the KKA Agreement.

If politics is all about interests, then the interests of western region lie in the absolute KKA Agreement than the evasive Azimio footnotes.

-The author is the Spokesman for ANC Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi.