ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi is angling himself as the best bet in succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta, presenting himself as a less divisive politician that will bring the magic unity to the politically-charged nation.
Mudavadi believes that 2022 will be his time to lead the country after sacrificing his bids for Uhuru in 2002 and Opposition chief Raila Odinga twice in 2007 and 2017.
In an interview with The Standard, the former deputy prime minister in the grand coalition government said he had shown selflessness in leadership thus should be trusted to steer the country after Uhuru finishes his term.
The and one-time, Kanu-era Vice President described some of his political opponents as individuals with corrosive tongues, who cannot be entrusted with uniting the country.
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He declared that his eyes were now fixed on contesting for the top seat and was ready for political alliances that will propel his team to power.
And with the race for the 2022 election gaining momentum, Mudavadi yesterday met some Kikuyu Council of Elders in Limuru as he begins to charter his second bid for State House.
Mudavadi said he has been traversing the country to sell his policies as well as get views of Kenyans on things they want fixed so as to better their living standards.
But even as he seeks to consolidate his support base, his opponent and Deputy President William Ruto has been on a mission to bring on board former and current political leaders from his Western backyard, which is one of the country’s vote-rich basket.
The inroads Ruto is making by conducting fundraisers in Western region, however, does not seem to worry Mudavadi.
“I am not worried about the many visits other people make in Western region. Some leaders crossing over does not necessarily translate into votes. In fact, he should be worried because they only invite him for fundraisers. Those people are only interested in his wallet,” said Mudavadi.
In a thinly veiled jibe at Ruto, Mudavadi questioned his source of money, citing his numerous fundraisers where he allegedly dish out millions.
“People must question why an individual will donate money more than even Safaricom that makes billions of shillings in profits. You cannot donate money more than what your companies are able to make,” Mudavadi said.
And to succeed Uhuru, Mudavadi argues that some necessary reforms must be done at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the body mandated to manage the elections.
He said that as long as the electoral agency is an appendage of the Executive and under State capture, the outcome of the elections will not be free, fair and credible.
He further proposed that boundaries review should be delinked from the electoral process to prevent the agency from being used for political machinations.
“I still believe our victory was stolen in 2017 and we must correct and deal with IEBC. The electoral commission is captured by the State. We must start by the independence of commission if elections are to be free and fair,” he said.
He said that the country has been experiencing post-election violence because of bungled elections, stating that he still believes that their win was stolen in the last poll. Uhuru’s presidential win was nullified by the Supreme Court but Raila pulled out of the repeat race.
The ANC leader, who was also the brainchild behind formation of the National Super Alliance (NASA), said although the coalition did not form the government, he was ready to craft political alliances with like-minded leaders in the run-up to next polls.
Under the NASA agreement, the coalition partners Orange Democratic Movement, Wiper, Ford Kenya and ANC penned their signatures to support Raila in 2017 on condition that his Orange party will not field a presidential candidate in 2017.
Mudavadi explained that there were certain principles they had agreed on, including strengthening devolution, a restructure of the executive, unity and cohesion of the country.
He expressed his support for a referendum but said it should be about the people and not creating positions for political leaders.
He said most of the presentations to the Building Bridges Initiative by the common mwananchi mostly focused on the need to address cost of living and fight against corruption.
In a remark that targeted Raila, Mudavadi wondered why there was push to create another tier in the devolution structure.
Raila has proposed formation of regional governments.