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Why Mudavadi remains the finest choice For Western Kenya

By Pal Jeff | November 24th 2015

People from western province seem to have lost their position in the Kenyan politics especially after the exit of former president Daniel arap Moi and the mobilisation of political support based on tribal lines. One of the reasons for this is the inability of the region to rally behind a single candidate and give him/her enough bargaining power in the national politics.

With the introduction of coalition systems, it is no longer possible for a single party like KANU to ascend to power without negotiating with other parties. The same also allowed formation of political parties along tribal lines that ideally replaced the tribal kingship during the Moi era. It is for this reason the Luos through Raila Odinga, Kikuyus through Uhuru Kenyatta and Kalenjins through William Ruto have successfully manged to stamp their authority in the national politics and at the same time get a fare share of the national cake.

On the contrary, Luhyas seem still stagnated in deciding who among their leaders is best suited to lead their bargain at the national level. Looking at the list of current pre-eminent politicians from the region: Moses Wetang’ula, Eugene Wamalwa, Ababu Namwamba, Boni Khalwale and Cyrus Jirongo don’t strike one as being capable of effectively negotiating the community interest at the national level. Wetang’ula will need to do a lot of work to outgrow Raila’s shadow. Eugine Wamalwa has already surrendered to the Jubilee administration as a single entity. Ababu Namwamba on the other hand seems too committed to Raila despite the fact that he is young and energetic. His commitment is probably pegged on the fact that a great number of his constituency belongs to the Luo community.

Cyrus Jirongo comes along as a lame duck who is never taken seriously. He easily passes along as a political broker every election period. He has trust issues and seeking money through party outfits cast him as an easy sell out. Probably this is the reason as to why he attempted to create the stagnated UDP as his bargaining tool. Khalwale on the other hand is full of dramas and nothing tangible. In the matrix of Luhya politics Khalwale is, however, seen as a divisive influence whose mission is self-preservation at the expense of unity. He has angered many and is yet to explain his sojourn to the Raila camp after elections in which he led pilloried Raila. He may win local county support but is unlikely to galvanise the region given his lone-ranger antics.

The community selling point, in both local and national stature remains Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi. Despised he might be, but Luhya politics gravitate around the former deputy prime minister. He is easily accepted across board and hence the reason Moi made him as his number two, Raila did the same during their days in ODM and even Uhuru was at some point convinced he was more suitable than him.

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