Mudavadi, the leading light of Western politics
By Allan Kisia
Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Musalia Mudavadi is largely considered the most powerful and influential politician from Western Province.
Mr Mudavadi, who doubles as Local Government Minister and Sabatia MP, made a comeback after the 2007 General Election, when he reclaimed the Sabatia seat he had lost to the Reverend Moses Akaranga in 2002.
After suffering the humiliating defeat, Mudavadi, who once served as Vice-President, took a break from active politics.
He even turned down a nomination slot, arguing Western people wanted him to take a break.
He was the last and shortest serving VP under retired President Moi’s regime.
Mudavadi faces competition from several politicians from the region who want to spearhead Western politics. Most of his rivals have since declared their presidential ambitions come 2012.
They include Kaddu party leader and Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo and Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula.
Mudavadi, who is also ODM deputy party leader, has indicated he will go for the top seat.
Several MPs from the region, most notably Ikolomani legislator Bonny Khalwale, have constantly nagged Mudavadi to declare his political ambitions. But Mudavadi has severally reminded Dr Khalwale that ODM has its mechanism of picking a torchbearer.
Khalwale once told the Deputy Prime Minister to build enough courage and assure the Luhya community that he was equal to the task.
Mudavadi was born on September 21, 1960, in Sabatia, Vihiga District and is married with three children.
He first became MP in 1989 when he was elected unopposed to take the seat vacated by his deceased father, Moses Mudavadi.
The DPM was first appointed the Minister for Supplies and Marketing.
In 2002, Mudavadi was appointed VP in an attempt to bring Western Province into the Kanu camp ahead of the General Election. He was Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate in the elections.
Despite Moi’s support, the Kanu political machine and the Provincial Administration, the Uhuru/Mudavadi team was roundly beaten and Mudavadi lost his Sabatia parliamentary seat.
In 2005, Mudavadi made a political comeback by aligning himself with the ‘No’ side in a referendum on a proposed new constitution. This aligned him with Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM.
Mudavadi sought the nomination of ODM as its candidate for the December 2007 presidential election. He managed 391 votes, far short of Raila’s 2,656 votes.
Along with other defeated candidates, Mudavadi declared his support for Raila afterward and was named the PM’s running mate.
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