Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi has distanced himself from the ongoing political realignments to craft a government with an expanded Cabinet, a plan that could see all top seats distributed throughout the country.
Mr Mudavadi said President Uhuru Kenyatta has not approached him and asked him to present names from his side for inclusion in the proposed expanded Cabinet.
“President Kenyatta is my friend but he has not spoken to me about such an arrangement. In any event, all the critical and strategic public appointments have already been filled,” he said.
Mr Mudavadi further said that plans for the expansion, to create an all-inclusive team two years to the next General Election, amount to a political “gimmick.”
“Our battered economy badly needs fixing. The government should be addressing public debt by engaging in negotiations to seek the rescheduling of the debts,” he said.
“Our economy has been battered by the growing public debt and it could take up to five years to fix it and turn around the situation.”
The politician further said he learnt a painful lesson in 2002 when he was made Vice President for three months by the then President Daniel Moi and lost his Sabatia parliamentary seat to former Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga in the subsequent polls.
“I am now wiser so I don’t want to repeat the mistakes which badly affected my political career. I am focused on serving Kenyans as their next president. I do not want to be derailed from my course by the so-called political realignments,” said Mr Mudavadi.
In an interview aired on Mulembe, Sulwe and Vuka radio stations on Friday, Mr Mudavadi was categorical about his presidential bid in 2022, saying he prefers playing his role in the Opposition until the election takes place in 2022.
“My target is not to be a regional kingpin in Western. I want to offer myself to serve the 50 million Kenyans in 2022,” he said.
He urged Kenyans to carefully examine the track records of leaders positioning themselves for the presidency in 2022 and elect a person who will revive the economy and end corruption.
On plans by the government to revive the troubled sugar sector, Mr Mudavadi said the measures Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya announced, which involve a debt amnesty for sugar millers, had no provision in the budget.
He also said the reported move by the government to waive sugar millers’ debts amounting to Sh58 billion had not been catered for in the budget.
Mr Mudavadi further said the promises Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Cotu Secretary-General Francis Atwoli are making about implementation of development projects in the Western region are meant to hoodwink the people.
“If you look at the recent budget, there is no single line about funds allocated for the projects. This means the meeting Mr Wamalwa, Governor Oparanya and Mr Atwoli had with President Kenyatta and [Interior] CS [Fred] Matiang’i will not yield much.”
Mr Mudavadi scoffed at criticism by Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula for not embracing calls to work with other leaders from the region to promote the elusive Luhya unity and identify a suitable local candidate for the presidency race.
“The political scramble being witnessed in the Western region is aimed at dividing the Luhya community and weakening their chance of having a formidable candidate to contest the presidency,” he said.
“A new awakening is taking place in Western. That is why all the attention has been focused on the region ahead of the polls in 2022.”