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Echesa changes tune, backs Mudavadi 2022 bid

Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi with Former Sports CS Rashid Achesa at Mung'ang'a in Mumias East on June 8, 2019. [Benjamin Sakwa]

Amani leader Musalia Mudavadi has vowed never to back opposition leader Raila Odinga’s presidential bid.

Mudavadi said he has supported others for many years in the past and cleared the political debt.

The ANC chief said in 2017, he formed the National Super Alliance (NASA) expecting Raila to use it as a vehicle to State House.

“I did it deliberately because I did not want Raila or anyone else to blame me for not supporting them,” said Mudavadi at the burial of Jessicah Wamatsi, mother of Mumias East politician David Wamatsi at Shikulu village yesterday.

“I backed former President Daniel arap Moi, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga before, the debt is over and 2022 is my turn,” said Mudavadi.

He was reacting to calls by former Sports CS Rashid Echesa who encouraged Mudavadi to focus on the main prize and be brave.

Mudavadi urged his supporters to remain focused and have confidence and believe in his leadership. He warned local politicians against accepting to be auctioned to the highest political bidder. 

“Outside there people gossip how it is cheap to buy our leaders’ loyalty at a small fee, we must respect ourselves and prove them wrong,” said Mudavadi.

Echesa has formally backed Mudavadi’s 2022 presidential bid saying he is best placed to lead the country.

The ex-CS shared a podium with Mudavadi at the funeral where he announced that he was prepared to work with him.

“Those in Amani National Congress (ANC) party ought to realise that Mudavadi is a leader for all, he is the strongest presidential candidate we have in Western and we must help him clinch the top seat by all means,” he said.

Echesa said he would use resources at his disposal to drum up support for Mudavadi and ensure the region produces the next president.

“I want to encourage Mudavadi to be brave and embark on galvanising the entire region, he is the most popular leader in Western,” he said.

The former CS, an ally of Deputy President William Ruto, claimed that some politicians are being used to scuttle Mudavadi’s efforts.

“We know some local politicians have been colluding with the National Intelligence Service to come up with cooked ratings in terms of popularity in the region to undermine my elder brother Mudavadi, we shall not entertain that,” said Echesa.

Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has declared interest in the top seat - a move that critics claim could be meant to scuttle Mudavadi’s chances of ascending to power.

Mudavadi welcomed Echesa in ANC, saying the former CS would add value and help the party in fighting for the welfare of Kenyans.

Both Mudavadi and Echesa said Kenyans must be cautious with leaders pushing for a referendum.

“Referendum is not a joke, in the UK it has ended careers of at least two prime ministers, it could plunge our country into a crisis,” said Mudavadi. According to him, Kenyans must be given time to engage more before deciding on whether a referendum can he held or not.

“Do not just push for a referendum with a view of sharing out seats, we must have the interests of Wanjiku at heart,” he said.

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