Five things Mudavadi needs to do validate his 'chief of opposition' role
By Charles Bazenga
| November 12th 2018
There's an adage, "there are no permanent friends/enemies in politics!" Events that happened after last year's repeat presidential election confirm this.
Sworn political rivals, President Kenyatta and former Premier, Raila Odinga came together in what they termed as an end to divisive politics and negative ethnicity and a beginning of building bridges between "rival" communities.
The meeting was culminated with the popular handshake. This left a section of NASA brigade in a political limbo especially the three Co-principals; Kalonzo Musyoka, Wycliffe Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula.
It's said that all plans that led to the meeting between the two political supremos happened behind the three co-principals backs.
Raila Odinga hasn't declared that he quit his chief of opposition role although his move to work with government hints so! Since then Musalia Mudavadi has declared himself as the defacto leader of opposition given the fact that Musyoka and Wetangula have also indicated willingness to work with Jubilee government.
Here is what Mudavadi needs to do to validate his "chief of opposition" role;
1. Outline His Agenda
An alternative policy paper/manifesto/blueprint can endear Musalia Mudavadi and Co to Kenyans. The plan must consist of socioeconomic policies and programs that are workable and that aim at improving the livelihoods of Kenyans. Mr. Mudavadi needs to convincingly convey to Kenyans what alternative solutions does he/his team have for the country given that taxes, prices of basic commodities, poor healthcare, corruption, poor infrastructure, 'overrepresentation' joblessness have taken a toll on Kenyans. His policies must be practical and more appealing than those of the government.
In as much as it doesn't require an individual to be rowdy and reckless in order to oppose effectively, some bit of hard-hitting and abrasive way is inevitable for the opposition. You drive points/complaints home audaciously/boldly as opposed to timidly. It's time for Musalia to drop his soft spoken persona and be more abrasive.
If Musalia Mudavadi has decided to take up the role of leader of opposition, he must do so "around the clock!" He must be always alert to ensure that he checks every move the government makes. He must not be selective- commenting on some issues and being non committal on others!
4. Leave Raila Amollo Odinga Alone!
Whilst Mr. Odinga feels that his handshake with President Kenyatta was in the best interest of the country, Mudavadi and the other two principals interpreted it as utter betrayal. For Musalia Mudavadi to play opposition role in earnest, he must move on and cease to wallow in self pity/burning in resentment. He must brand himself as the bona-fide opposition leader and free himself from election hangover.
5. Refrain From Succession Politics
Kenyans are tired of too much politics and too little development. Average leaders think about the next election whilst great leaders think about the next generation. Mr. Mudavadi should brand himself as a development conscious leader and avoid politics of succession until the appropriate time. He must be different.
A strong opposition keeps the government of the day on toes and in result work gets done. Mr. Mudavadi is an experienced leader... he's the lesser evil. He must leverage on that and build a strong political capital.
Charles Muchangi Bazenga
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