In a surprise turn of events, Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday extended a reconciliatory hand to his estranged deputy Musalia Mudavadi saying there was still room for him in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
However, Mr Mudavadi vowed to take his campaign for the presidency to all parts of the country despite ODM stalking his new party, the United Democratic Forum (UDF).
The former friends turned foes were in Western Kenya with Mr Odinga in Kakamega and Mr Mudavadi in Kisii. Read (Raila laughs off retirement talk)
Mr Odinga, who was addressing a rally at Muliro Gardens in Kakamega Town said Mr Mudavadi’s defection to UDF had been orchestrated by politicians working to undermine ODM party and his chances of winning the next election.
“I was in a friendly match with Mr Mudavadi but he decided to quite the party, he should reconsider his decision and return to the fold along with the others who have left ODM,” he said.
PM Odinga said politicians who were behind Mr Mudavadi’s defection, had convinced Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa to ditch Ford Kenya by promising him that he would be the new Ford Kenya presidential flag bearer.
But he said, the leaders in New Ford Kenya had now abandoned Mr Wamalwa and were dangling the same carrot at Mr Mudavadi.
“Mr Musalia has not left ODM for good. I want him to know that the doors are still wide open for him should he change his mind,” said Mr Odinga while addressing a campaign rally at the Muliro grounds in Kakamega.
At one point, the rally was disrupted by the downpour after Mr Odinga’s speech, cutting short speeches by cabinet ministers, assistant ministers and MPs who had attended.
Mr Odinga said the next General Elections would be, a two horses featuring ODM and PNU.
He dismissed the other parties including the G-7 Alliance saying the groupings lacked any meaningful agenda for the country.
He said those behind the tribal groupings such as GEMA and KAMATUSA, were out to create animosity among the different ethnic communities.
“My message to them is that ODM has been reloaded and has a youthful team, and we will face them at the next poll without flinching,” said Mr Odinga.
He told Kenyans to scrutinize those seeking leadership positions by looking at their past to be able to judge whether they were the right leaders to run the country.
The PM said leaders who had fought for reforms and were keen for the Constitution to be implemented fully, should be given a chance to run the country.
No turning back
At the Gusii Stadium, Mr Mudavadi said his decision to contest the presidency on the United Democratic Forum (UDF) ticket after quitting the ODM will not be reversed.
Mr Mudavadi spoke after attending the Centennial celebrations marked by the Seventy Day Adventist church in Gusii stadium.
“Nobody will deter us from achieving our ambitions, we are determined and we will achieve our goals,” he said.
Addressing the press separately while accompanied by Nominated MP George Nyamweya after the function, Mr Mudavadi played down his failure to politic when he took to the podium.
“This was a church function and I had to adhere to its policies because I also have great respect for religion,” he said.
Mr Mudavadi said unlike other presidential candidates he has never used church functions to seek for popularity.
The Sabatia MP said that UDF party will soon go back to Kisii to popularise its values to the residents.
The defection of Mr Mudavadi and his decision to vie for the presidency has stirred up politics in Western Province, dividing the loyalty of the MPs between the two State House aspirants.