DP William Ruto: I’m ready to have ANC's Musalia Mudavadi on my side

Deputy President William Ruto (L) says he won’t mind working with ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi (R) in 2022 polls. [File, Standard]

Deputy President William Ruto on Friday, December 31, said he will initiate talks with Amani National Congress (ANC) Party leader Musalia Mudavadi so that they can enter a pact ahead of the 2022 General Election.

Ruto said he has also reached out to Ford Kenya Party leader Moses Wetang’ula, who he is seeking to add in his (Ruto’s) political matrix.

The deputy president made the remarks at the Mumias Sports Complex in Kakamega County during a football tournament organised by area senator Cleophas Malala.

Ruto said he made an impromptu stopover at Mumias complex, without alerting Malala, because he had already sought permission to attend the function from Malala’s party leader, Mudavadi.

“Malala, I have heard you asking me: ‘why did you come [to the tournament]? Why did you come without alerting us? The protocol team wasn’t made aware, and, as a result, there’s no red carpet rolled out for you’,” Ruto said.

“I couldn’t reach you (Malala) because your boss, Musalia Mudavadi, plays a superior league to yours, and you know it. So, I reached him (Mudavadi), and he gave me the permission to grace the function.

“I respect Musalia Mudavadi, and I couldn’t come here without alerting him,” said the DP.

Addressing the gathering, Ruto said he has heard the pleas of Western Kenya constituents, asking him to team up with Mudavadi and Wetang’ula ahead of the 2022 polls.

“You, the people of Kakamega, I have heard you clearly. You’ve told me to go and speak with Musalia Mudavadi, right? You’ve also told me to go and speak with Moses Wetang’ula,” said Ruto.

“Would you like Mudavadi to work with me, the hustler, or Raila Odinga? Would you like Wetang’ula to work with me, or Raila Odinga?” he posed.

“I will speak with Mudavadi so that we can form the next government come 2022,” said the deputy president.

In his speech at Mumias Sports Complex on Friday, Malala told Ruto that he should free to work with Mudavadi, though the ANC Party leader would be the presidential candidate if such an arrangement is adopted.

In an interview with Citizen Television on Thursday, December 30, Mudavadi said “nothing is impossible” when he was asked whether he’s willing to team up with Ruto ahead of next year’s polls.

“I would make my decision as a Kenyan and nothing is impossible as long as it is a Constitutional decision. I want Kenyans to have an open mind. We should desist from trying to put political ventilators on Kenyans. We should wake up to the fact that your enemy is not necessarily my enemy, and your supporter is not necessarily my supporter.”

The ANC boss reiterated his past remarks – that he will be on the ballot as a presidential candidate in the upcoming general election.

MPs, senators who accompanied Ruto to Mumias

Senators Irungu Kang’ata (Murang’a) and Aaron Cheruiyot (Kericho) accompanied Ruto to the Mumias football event on Friday. Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale was also part of the deputy president’s entourage.

Members of Parliament (MPs) who attended the tournament are Titus Khamala (Lurambi), Alfred Agoi (Sabatia), Charles Gimose (Hamisi) John Waluke (Sirisia), Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) and Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga Woman Representative).

Other notable figures present at the football tournament, christened Cleo Malala Super Cup, were former Sports Cabinet Secretary Rashid Echesa and United Democratic Alliance (UDA) vice-chairperson Seth Panyako.