Sorry you are not welcome: ANC tells Raila ahead of Mudavadi's big day

ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi welcomes ODM Raila Odinga during the burial service of Mama Rosebella Jerono Mudavadi at Budira village in Vihiga County on December 18, 2021. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Amani National Congress party has said ODM leader Raila Odinga is not welcome on its big day this Sunday.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi has promised a major political announcement on this day. Mudavadi's party said Raila is a competitor hence he cannot attend its National Delegates Convention (NDC).

“We have already invited OKA principals. I have not seen any invitation for Raila. Neither have I seen one for Jubilee. Why would we invite our competitors when we are launching our bid for the presidency? To come and do what?” Posed ANC Secretary General Simon Gikuru.

The party’s secretariat has already began sending out invitation cards to leaders for the NDC, where Mudavadi is expected to make an “earth-shaking” announcement on the political direction the party will take.

Mr Gikuru yesterday said invitations have been drawn up and are being sent out for the event to be held at the Bomas of Kenya.  

He was non-committal on the invitation of Deputy President William Ruto, who is associated with the United Democratic Alliance (UDA). But Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, who has been touted as a possible bridge between Mudavadi and Ruto said: "We are only inviting our friends not our competitors. Ruto is our friend but still our competitor. We have not invited him."

Gikuru said they had invited OKA principals Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (Kanu) and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang'ula, diplomats and the media.

He urged the country to brace for the coming “earthquake” on Sunday.

National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and former Kiambu Governor William Kabogo are among leaders who have already received their invites.

“Thank you for the invite,” posted Muturi on Twitter.

ANC deputy party leader Ayub Savula (Lugari) and Khwisero MP Christopher Aseka said they will skip the NDC.

“I will not be party to the NDC's misguided resolution. I have already made up my mind to support Raila and Azimio La Umoja,” Mr Savula said.

He said Mudavadi has only three options: “He may decide to go it alone all the way, work with Raila or join forces with DP Ruto. He should make the right decision because any slight mistake could condemn him into oblivion."

Matungu MP Peter Nabulindo said he would be at the Bomas of Kenya for the NDC, despite having jumped ship to Azimio La Umoja.

“I will attend the NDC on Sunday and inform my party leader Musalia Mudavadi that the people of Matungu want to join Azimio La Umoja," said Mr Nabulindo.

The meeting is important at this point of alliance making because ANC's top organ will authoirise the presidential candidate to formally join a coalition with either Raila or Ruto or continue with OKA.

The norm with regards to parties holding their NDCs has been that they invite other leaders- some their competitors- for the occasion.

During Kanu’s NDC where Gideon was declared the party’s flag bearer on September 30, last year, Raila, Kalonzo and Mudavadi were present.

When Wiper held its NDC in November last year, attended by top ODM and Jubilee leaders, as well as OKA principals.

It was also the same when Ford Kenya held its NDC where its leader Wetang'ula invited OKA principals and Cyrus Jirongo among others.

UDA is yet to convene its NDC but in a recent rally where DP Ruto was given the blessings of elders to vie for president in Eldoret, the Kakamega Senator attended.

“The DP graced my football tournament on December 31 last year. In a bid to reciprocate, I have attended his rally here in Eldoret today. I bring greetings of my party leader Musalia Mudavadi. On January 23, ANC will hold its National Delegates Conference. On that day, we will unveil Musalia Mudavadi as our presidential candidate, and we’ll also allow Mudavadi to reach out to DP so that they can work together,” Malala said.

ANC, however, said it did not send a representative to Ruto’s rally.