Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi has challenged the Jubilee Party and Cord Coalition to stop panicking about his political forays in Western Kenya and parts of the country.
Stating that his eyes are fixed on the presidential race in 2017, Mr Mudavadi dismissed claims by Cord leaders that he was working with Jubilee leaders to divide votes in Western Kenya as “a tired tactic” which will not endear them to voters in the region.
He also said he was not amused by the recent moves by Jubilee leaders to bring on board some MPs and former lawmakers on the UDF, warning that the people in the region are watching them with keen interest.
“I am not in any way affected by the things that they (Cord and Jubilee) are saying. They appear to be perturbed by how fast ANC is gaining popularity not just in Western but in all parts of the country I have visited. They are panicking,” he said on phone.
PROJECT OF JUBILEE
Mr Mudavadi, the former deputy Prime Minister, spoke after ODM political affairs secretary Opiyo Wandayi claimed that the ANC leader was a project of the Jubilee administration. Mr Opiyo urged ODM supporters to treat Mr Mudavadi the same way they deal with Jubilee overtures in the region.
“I am not going to give people like Wandayi credibility by replying to them. They should first put their house in order and realise that they can no longer hoodwink people in the western region,” said the ANC leader.
He spoke against a backdrop of intense campaigns by the Jubilee coalition, led by Deputy President William Ruto, who had managed to convince a number of MPs to support the government.
MPs Benjamin Washiali, Emmanuel Wangwe and Bernard Shinali were among leaders from western Kenya, led by Bungoma Governor Ken Lusaka, who two weeks ago trooped to Sugoi in Eldoret, the rural home of Deputy President William Ruto.
After the visit, the MPs who are close allies of the DP have publicly announced in the respective constituencies they would be ditching UDF for JP.
The MPs said they did not want to gamble by associating with parties that had no chance of forming the next government.
Mr Washiali, the Deputy Chief Whip has been vocal about the decision to ditch UDF. The Mumias East MP is seen as the main actor in the new political configurations quietly taking shape in the County and sources said he has been tasked to vie for the governor’s seat in the county in the next elections.
Lugari MP Ayub Savula accused his colleagues claiming their decision to ditch UDF was a betrayal of voters and was driven by financial gains.
“My colleagues who have ditched UDF should know they stand no chance of being re-elected in 2017 since they are being driven by selfish interests,” he said in Vihiga.
The MP claimed his colleagues had received a Sh100,000 hand-out when they visited Sugoi to spearhead plans by JP to gain a foothold in Kakamega County, after voters overwhelmingly backed former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his ODM party.
Former Shinyalu MP Justus Kizito Mugali told the Nation he had made a personal decision to join the JP and denied claims that he had received Sh500,000 to ditch UDF.
On Sunday, Mr Mudavadi urged leaders in the region to unite and form a political force which can stake a claim on the national leadership in the next elections.
“In the current set up, if you fold your party you become a statistic with no clout. That is what our brother must realise. I call on the to unite and challenge other tribes during the 2017 elections. We are divided.... We have been used for long. Never again in future,” he said.