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Why Ruto is pushing for Mudavadi to join his fold

 

Deputy President William Ruto (centre) with MPs Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Ben Washiali (Mumias East) during a meeting with a section of Western Kenya leaders in Sugoi, Uasin Gishu County on January 1, 2022 [DPPS]

Deputy President William Ruto is warming his way into the heart of both Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya's Moses Wetang'ula.

Although Ruto has on many occasions disparaged the duo, he appears to have changed tune and has embarked on a spirited campaign to woo the two Luhya politicians.

The DP has been categorical that he would prefer working with both Mudavadi and Wetang'ula in his quest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He has intensified campaigns in Western with a focus on winning the support of the two perceived political heavyweights in the region.

Ruto was in Bungoma and Kakamega counties on December 31 and addressed several rallies in the two counties.

"I have to consult Mudavadi and Wetang'ula first before visiting the region. I am comfortable working with them than any other leader in this region since they are the legitimate Luhya leaders," he said.

The DP has been castingating ODM chief Raila Odinga for despising top Luhya leaders who command respect as a strategy to woo Mudavadi and Wetang'ula.

Political analysts argue that DP Ruto's change of heart could be a tact meant to convince the two leaders to join hands with him.

Emmanuela Mulaa, a political commentator said Ruto understands UDA-allied MPs from the region lack the capacity to mobilise adequate votes for him and therefore he has to seek for the help of the key leaders.

"He is aware his troops on the ground cannot command a huge following. Mudavadi and Wetang'ula gave Raila over 65 per cent of Western votes in 2017 and that is what Ruto is banking on," said Mulaa. 

She went on: “Ruto believes Mulembe Nation will not support Raila after he betrayed their sons. For Ruto to be sure of victory in first round, he needs the two."

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala argues that they are ready to work with anybody as ANC party and no one should demonise them for associating with Ruto.

“Stop criminalising our engagements with Ruto. He is a leader and has a right to associate with anybody, including Raila. We are looking for honest friends," said Malala.

He added: “We shall endorse Mudavadi as our presidential candidate on January 23 but that does not stop him from looking for like-minded friends to form the next government.”

According to the senator, ANC will start creating networks as a party and not as One Kenya Alliance (OKA).

Malala says the door is wide open for political alliances ahead of the August General Election: "We are waiting for the Political Parties Amendments Act to sail through in the National Assembly then we shall know where each of the parties stand."

“We will work with a partners who keep their promises not those with a history of betraying others.”

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale supports a political alliance between Ruto and Mudavadi and Wetang'ula.