A deal by three presidential aspirants to work closely as they approach the next General Election has caused rifts in the G7 Alliance.
Deputy Prime Ministers Uhuru Kenyatta, Musalia Mudavadi and Eldoret North MP William Ruto — each with his own political party — have agreed to join forces to defeat their main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
The deal, however, appears to have annoyed Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa, who has threatened to quit the alliance if Mr Mudavadi was being brought on board with the single aim of defeating Mr Odinga.
“I cannot allow myself to be part of an alliance where the sole aim is to demonise an individual or a community,” Mr Wamalwa said in Oyugis on Sunday.
Speaking at his former school, Gendia High, in Homabay County, Mr Wamalwa said he is “saddened” to hear from G7 colleagues that they want to form a G8 Alliance with the sole aim of stopping Mr Odinga.
He said that Kenya has suffered immensely because of bad politics and that he is not ready to be part of politics of exclusion and isolation.
The Saboti MP recalled that such politics led to the isolation of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, leading to underdevelopment in areas like Nyanza.
He declared that he will be making a “serious” political statement this month as he complained about the poor state of local roads. The minister has been touted as Mr Kenyatta’s choice for running mate.
Elsewhere, Mr Odinga laughed off the G7 strategy, saying, he was the leader best-placed to succeed President Kibaki. (READ: I have new ideas, says PM Odinga)
He likened the plot by Mr Kenyatta of The National Alliance, Mr Mudavadi (United Democratic Forum) and Mr Ruto (United Republican Party) to the proverbial rat that tried to bell the cat.
“They are like those rats who after making a nice bell started arguing (over) who would tie it around the cat’s neck. TNA said ‘no I can’t’, URP said ‘no I can’t’ and UDF said ‘no’ as well. So, in the end nobody was able to bell the cat and that cat is called ODM,” he said.
Sources close to the trio said while they will not come together under an alliance, they have agreed to work on clear targets that will end up in a consensus in the last months to the election.
Contacted on Sunday, Mr Mudavadi and Mr Ruto could neither confirm nor deny the deal to work together with Mr Kenyatta.
But sources said Mr Kenyatta and Mr Mudavadi, who in 2002 were Kanu’s presidential candidate and presumed running mate, met at a Nairobi Hotel on the eve of Madaraka Day.
The meeting came moments after the Sabatia MP had been asked to welcome President Kibaki to deliver his speech during the Madaraka Day celebrations in the absence of Mr Odinga and Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, who were both out of the country.
A day earlier, Mr Mudavadi had met with Mr Ruto at the International Bible School where, in the company of MPs allied to their respective parties, they agreed to work together.
It is also instructive that two days before Mr Mudavadi announced his defection to the UDF, he held a four-hour meeting with Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto.
Their campaign teams, it was also agreed, will coordinate the messages they will be delivering at their rallies.
In addition, the rallies will be attended by MPs drawn from all their three parties as was witnessed over the weekend when Mr Mudavadi campaigned in Kakamega.
The three aspirants also agreed to work together in Parliament. This was demonstrated last week when some names to the East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) proposed by ODM were voted out.
There are also critical Bills before the House, some of which are geared to pave way for Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto — who are facing charges at the International Criminal Court — to contest the presidency.
Additional reporting by Maurice Kaluoch and Otieno Owida