Allies of ODM leader Raila Odinga yesterday took their campaigns to Vihiga, the home county of Musalia Mudavadi, the man behind last month’s political “earthquake”.
Political leaders who addressed the gatherings sharply criticised the ANC leader and his Ford Kenya counterpart, Moses Wetang’ula, for choosing to work with Deputy President William Ruto in Kenya Kwanza Alliance. Ruto is battling against Raila for the State House seat in the August election. Raila is widely expected to contest under the Azimio la Umoja banner.
Yesterday’s Azimio la Umoja rallies in Vihiga came days after Kenya Kwanza campaigned in the region, a move seen as aimed at undoing any inroads that Ruto and his allies could have made.
Top of the agenda was the January 23 “earthquake” by Mudavadi who opted to join hands with Ruto in the quest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose two terms end this year.
Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, also the ODM deputy party leader, led the team that urged voters not to follow Mudavadi and Wetang’ula.
“As a leader you should lead your people where there is hope, prosperity, fairness and justice. Our brothers and sisters from Vihiga be wise and support Raila,” said Joho.
Joho said the alliance between Mudavadi and Ruto would not benefit Kenyans. According to him, the odds were tilted in favour a Raila presidency.
“There are people telling you to elect Ruto, he who has been in government as the Deputy President yet has not done anything substantive for you,” Joho told the gathering.
He also appealed to Musalia and Wetang’ula to reconsider their stand and return “home to Raila” where the future of the nation was “safe and guaranteed”.
Among other stops, the Azimio la Umoja team took its campaign to Esibuye, Chavakali, Shamakhokho and Serem before holding a grand rally at Kidundu stadium.
In their earlier campaigns in Vihiga, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula said they were tired of working in the shadows of Raila and that their parties would bring together voters from the region and rally them behind Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
On Sunday, the two said that Raila owed both a political debt because they supported him in previous elections. They backed Raila in 2007 and 2017.
Godfrey Osotsi (Nominated MP, ANC) challenged Mudavadi to reveal details of the agreement between him and Ruto.
Homa Bay Woman Rep Gladys Wanga poured cold water on the narrative by Mudavadi and Wetang’ula that Raila betrayed them. According to her, the ODM leader was among the most trustworthy politicians in Kenya.
Murang’a Woman Rep Sabina Chege also took a swipe at Mudavadi, Wetang’ula and Ruto, referring to their pact as an alliance centred on three individuals and not a national party.
“Those in the other camp should know they lacked a development agenda and they deserted their duties mid-way,” she said.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega said the country was ripe for other communities to lead and that would only be realised through Azimio.