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Speculation rife as Mudavadi and Moi meet today

By John Shilitsa | December 1st 2018
Baringo senator Gideon Moi during a fundraiser in aid of Wikondiek SDA church in Karachuonyo homa Bay County. [Collins duor/Standard]

Baringo Senator and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi and Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi are expected to share a platform in Kakamega town today.

Gideon will be visiting Kakamega in the wake of the heated 2022 succession politics. He toured Homa Bay in October.

The two have been invited by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala to a funds drive in aid of Kakamega Traders Welfare Group. The traders have been mobilising resources to buy a bus.

Though Gideon has not publicly declared his presidential ambitions, Mudavadi, who has declared himself the leader of opposition has his eyes fixed on the top seat.

Shared background

Already political pundits are reading a lot in the expected reunion between the two politicians who were once close, courtesy of the friendship between their fathers – former President Daniel Toroitich Moi and influential Cabinet minister Moses Mudavadi - that began in 1950s

Martin Oloo, a political analyst said the two could have had a series of board room meetings and may have decided to go public.

“They could be out to test waters and see what the response would be like from their supporters,” he told Saturday Standard on phone. “Their friendship knows no bounds and since their common competitor is Mr Ruto, it is not surprising to see Moi and Mudavadi decide to go hunting together given their shared background.”

However, they might not be necessarily required to fold ANC and Kanu.

“What stops them from crafting a coalition without necessarily collapsing their parties, it is possible; we have seen such arrangements before,” he said.

Mr Oloo argues that 2022 succession politics promises to push politicians to work based on their past friendship and Moi and Mudavadi are no exception.

In October, Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli and Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa were invited to Kabarak where they held talks with the former President and it was not lost to pundits that politics could have been discussed to smoothen the way for Gideon when he makes public his presidential ambition.

Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat said President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga’s handshake gave liberty to national leaders to traverse the country and engage on development issues.

Mr Salat said the Kanu chairman was on the right track by engaging Kenyans and listening to their needs.

“Kanu has a stake in the handshake and 2022. Our chairman is going to the people and not to politic but to listen to them and offer solutions which include advising the President on their needs where in some cases they are suppressed,” he said.

He said the tours will continue and Kanu’s presence will be felt across the country.

“The cock is crowing and it will be crowing more. Kenyans better listen to the independence party as it re-activates its networks in mashinani all over the country,” he said.

Tiaty MP William Kamket said the good will Gideon enjoys all over the country is what a presidential candidate should command.

“A president must be welcome all over the country and not in his backyard only. I am sure Kenyans and especially Rift Valley is watching Gideon’s reception wherever he visits. It is electrifying because of his amiable personality. That is what this country needs,” he said.

Welcome any arrangement

“Kenyans will see more of Gideon moving around to undertake development issues. He does not play politics of populism like some we know. He is calculating and sure of his moves yet remaining humble,” he added.

ANC supporters said they will welcome any arrangement that will see the two politicians work together.

“Mudavadi’s star has just began to shine bright and we would like Gideon, ODM leader Raila and leaders from other regions to back his presidential bid,” said Emanuel Buchichi, Kakamega ANC youth leader.

Buchichi said they are mobilising youths across the political divide to receive Gideon and Mudavadi.

“Mudavadi has presidential ambitions and that is why we are seeking to work with everyone including those in rival parties to support him.”

Leaders expected at the event are Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Mr Atwoli, Mr Wamalwa among others.

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