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ELECTION 2022

Mudavadi and Wetang'ula's uphill task to deliver Western

POLITICS
By Brian Otieno | May 13th 2022 | 3 min read
Ford Kenya Party Leader Moses Wetangula dances with ANC Party leader Musalia Mudavadi at Kisii Waterpark hotel on May 4, 2022.[Sammy Omingo, Standard]

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula will have to sweat it out to earn plum positions and 30 per cent share in a William Ruto-led government, even as Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leaning MPs slammed the power-sharing deal as dishonest.

A Kenya Kwanza coalition agreement deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties proposes Mr Mudavadi as prime cabinet secretary, with Mr Wetang’ula taking up National Assembly Speaker. The catch is they must deliver to Ruto 70 per cent votes from Western.

Yesterday, ANC Secretary-General Simon Gikuru confirmed the details of the deal and the expectation.

“The issue of being told to qualify your position is obviously the best thing in a situation such as this for the reason that we didn’t want to sit and say that – so and so, this party will get this percentage of government… we had to make sure that we first get our calculations right,” Mr Gikuru said in an interview on Citizen TV, adding that he had penned his signature on the deal.

“You can say that you will be this and this (prime cabinet secretary in the case of ANC) so long as you have worked very hard and you have delivered for the government,” he added.

The deal, he said, is a result of a framework that mandates Kenya Kwanza affiliated parties to win certain percentages from various regions to clinch the presidency.

“Our coalition is based on scientific calculations such that we know that for us to get this government into our hands, certain percentages of voters must be delivered in certain regions… we are working extremely hard to deliver,” said the ANC secretary general.

Mr Gikuru, however, did not specify whether there exists a clause in the deal that would see coalition partners lose their promised positions if they fail to deliver on their targets.

“There is nothing pegged on this or that but… how would we, in the first place, get into government if we don’t get these percentages as calculated?”

According to the coalition agreement, Western could also get seven Cabinet secretary slots, a third of government and other development projects, if Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula deliver 70 per cent votes to Dr Ruto.

The 70 per cent votes accounts for 1.8 million votes, according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission voter numbers in Western. The total number of registered voters in Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia and Trans Nzoia is 2.6 million.

When he sought the presidency in 2013, Mr Mudavadi managed 26.3 per cent in Western, against ODM leader Raila Odinga’s 59 per cent. At the time, Mr Wetang’ula backed Mr Odinga’s bid. With the support of ANC and Ford Kenya leaders in the 2017 elections, the ODM leader garnered 77 per cent of the votes in Western.

Meanwhile, some MPs affiliated to Azimio accused the DP of deceit by claiming he was not interested in sharing positions.

“They said we were looking for positions, now it comes out that they were also looking for positions,” Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu said at a press briefing at Parliament Buildings.

The MPs faulted Dr Ruto for opposing the Building Bridges Initiative, which they said would have addressed issues of inclusion.

“BBI had given us life. I come from Mt Kenya region and one of the things we have cried about over the years was the unfair distribution of resources,” Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni said.

The MPs further poured cold water on Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula’s ability to garner 70 per cent of the Western vote. “I cannot envisage how someone who has been in politics even for a day would sign such a document,” Minority Leader John Mbadi said.

Cotu boss Francis Atwoli said: “The truth has come to light. We said people are being cheated to join Kenya Kwanza… they must realise 70 per cent for them to earn 30 per cent… they can’t even get 10 per cent for Ruto in Western,” Atwoli said.

 

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