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Western Kenya elders endorse Mudavadi for 2022 presidency

By John Shilitsa | February 21st 2021

ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi receives Western region's elders for a consultative meeting at his Mululu home in Sabatia constituency. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi's presidential bid yesterday got a boost when Western Kenya Council of Elders backed him for the top seat.

In a move to consolidate his support in his Western Kenya stronghold as he seeks a stab at the presidency in 2022, Mudavadi met leaders from the region and pleaded with them to rally behind him.

The elders formally endorsed Mudavadi’s bid, technically posing a big challenge to other possible contenders eyeing the seat from the region.

The pronouncement by the elders drawn from all communities living in Trans Nzoia, Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia and Bungoma counties came days after former Cabinet Minister Mukhisa Kituyi launched his bid last week after resigning as Unctad Secretary-General.

Ring-fence region

The elders, under the chairmanship of Philip Masinde, 88, who once served as Labour Cabinet minister during Kanu regime, also vowed to ring-fence the vote rich-region.

Masinde, who represented Nambale constituency in Parliament during his heydays, was categorical that the endorsement was by elders from all Luhya sub-tribes and the Sabaot, Teso, Terek and Kalenjins residing in Western and Rift Valley.

“We have also been in constant consultations with elders from Somali and Kikuyu communities living in this region to ensure Mudavadi receives deserved backing from all the residents of the larger Western,” he said.

He said Western region must change the narrative of being a region where every Tom, Dick and Harry comes to scoop votes.

Peter Chepkurui Kapsoot, an elder representing the Sabaot community, advised Mudavadi not to throw barbs at his political rivals and nemesis but remain focused on the main prize. 

“You have embarked on a journey that can only be likened to a walk in a forest where you will meet many obstacles, including deadly animals. You should not be destructed,” said Kapsoot.

According to him, Sabaot community was more than willing to rally behind Mudavadi who he described as shrewd and peaceful leader.

Masinde said Mudavadi was only 33 years old when he was appointed as Finance minister by former President Daniel arap Moi “and he managed to fix the economy at a time the country was in a serious finance crisis.”

Mudavadi described the elders’ endorsement as a big statement and gesture, signifying their trust and belief in him.

“Presidency is the highest prize and remains most influential position that gives the office occupant powers to undertake any initiative he wishes. Western has never tasted this power and we should be asking ourselves why Central Kenya and Rift Valley are so determined to get it,” said Mudavadi.

The former Deputy Prime Minister said the region ought to wake up from slumber because the elders have finally spoken and given Western a political direction.  

Mudavadi pledged to fix the ailing economy in the country if elected president but urged the elders to reach out to local politicians out to scuttle his presidential ambitions.

“I want to send you to ask my brothers to walk with me through this journey,” Mudavadi told the elders without mentioning names.

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