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Mudavadi, Wetang’ula to control 30 per cent of government if Ruto wins

Kenya Kwanza Alliance principals ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Deputy President William Ruto and Ford Kenya's Moses Wetangula at Kenyatta Stadium, Kitale, February 2022. [DPPS]

Musalia Mudavadi-led Amani National Congress (ANC) and Ford Kenya of Moses Wetang'ula will control 30 per cent of the government if Deputy President William Ruto wins the next General Election.

Ruto, who is running on United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket, has ODM leader Raila Odinga, the Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate, as his main rival in the August 9 showpiece.

Raila has partnered with President Uhuru Kenyatta's rebranded Jubilee Party, Wiper Party of Kalonzo Musyoka and Martha Karua's Narc Kenya, among other political parties. 

On Thursday, former Kakamega senator Boni Khalwale and senator Cleophas Malala told The Standard the DP is ready to share the government with Mudavadi and Wetang'ula.

“Mt Kenya region that has many voters with a vibrant economy has agreed to support Ruto’s presidency and they will be in government. Similarly, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula have agreed to work with Ruto and will get a significant share of the government in return if we win the elections," said Khalwale.

In their agreement with UDA, Mudavadi's party and Ford Kenya will field governor and senator aspirants in Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, and Trans Nzoia counties.

Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa will be Ford Kenya's governorship candidate in Trans Nzioa while ANC will front Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala for the county's top seat. In Vihiga, Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi will be ANC's candidate in the governorship race.

Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka and Mr Wetang’ula will be Ford Kenya’s candidates in the Bungoma governorship and senatorial races respectively.

Khalwale spoke in Kakamega town just a day after dropping his bid for the governor's seat in favour of Malala. The 'bullfighter' will not attempt the senatorial seat.

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Khalwale and Malala who were on a meet the people tour in Kakamega town seized the opportunity to explain to supporters why they agreed to work together.

“Apart from the presidency, it was agreed that partner parties within the coalition shall field candidates in all the other elective positions. We shall have a friendly fire because we would like our alliance to bag many seats," said Khalwale.

Malala disclosed that the deal Ruto sealed with Mudavadi, and Wetang'ula will see the Western region get seven out of 22 cabinet secretary slots. The region will also be given 16 PS slots and over 50 heads of parastatals if Kenya Kwanza forms the next government.

“We will also get 30 per cent of all other government appointments, 30 per cent of key development projects, including but not limited to the revival of Nzoia and Mumias sugar companies, and infrastructure development,” said Malala.

He added: “We should Azimio la Umoja leaders Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Francis Atwoli, and Eugene Wamalwa to auction the community. The dignity of the people of Western will be restored on August 9. I urge locals to overwhelmingly support Ruto’s presidency because our stakes in his government are well defined."

In the 2017 elections, Kakamega County had 743,736 registered voters, Vihiga (272,409 voters), Busia (351,048 voters), Bungoma (559,850 voters), and Trans Nzoia (339,622 voters), totalling 2.27 million, according to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission records.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

The latest data from the electoral agency shows the number of voters in the region now stands at 2.9 million.

“The mouthwatering numbers in Western make the region a battleground in the coming polls and just like Central, Western could play a pivotal role in determining the outcome of 2022 General Election,” according to Emmanuela Mulaa, a political scientist from the University of Nairobi.  

She went on: “Mudavadi and Wetang’ula will be the determining factors on how the region will vote. They have bigger bargaining power at the negotiating table. If Ruto forms the next government, they will get more than the 30 per cent control of the government."