ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi attended an event with allies of opposition leader Raila Odinga in what signalled an emerging 2022 political alliance.
During a fundraiser in aid of traders in Kakamega County, Mr Mudavadi, Mr Moi and Mr Odinga’s allies were challenged to chart a political path that will usher in a new leadership in preparation for President Uhuru Kenyatta’s succession amid attacks on Deputy President William Ruto.
Senators and MPs drawn from ANC, ODM and Kanu told Mr Mudavadi and Mr Moi to forge a formidable team that will give the country fresh leadership and a new political direction.
MPs William Kamket (Tiaty), Silas Tiren (Moiben), Alfred Agoi (Sabatia) and Bishop Titus Khamala (Lurambi) kicked off the debate.
The leaders said they would not be “fooled to back Mr Ruto’s presidential bid” and were fully in support Mr Mudavadi and Mr Moi.
“All you need to do is start planning this journey so that among you, we will have the next president and his deputy,” Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, who was the host, said.
He added: “This is no ordinary meeting since the coming together of Mudavadi and Moi will completely change the direction of politics in the country.”
The Kakamega meeting was the second of the two leaders in one week. They first met on Tuesday at Club Aero in Nairobi’s Lavington, where, according to sources, they appraised each other's contribution towards political development in the country.
Siaya Senator James Orengo represented Mr Odinga and was accompanied by his colleagues Fred Outa (Kisumu), and Moses Kajwang' (Homa Bay) and Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo.
There were reports that Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho was also expected to attend the fundraiser but opted out as he had a similar event in Taita-Taveta County.
Vihiga Senator George Khaniri, who was part of Mr Odinga’s entourage when they visited Kabarak early in the year, was also expected at the meeting.
“I was invited, but I couldn’t attend because I have lost a close friend. I had to attend the burial,” Mr Khaniri said without going into details.
The meeting between Mr Mudavadi and Mr Moi came hot on the heels of a similar one between the ANC leader and Mr Joho last week.
Mr Orengo gave the strongest hint that some kind of alliance was in the offing, promising the crowd that the line up will be released at the right time.
“The referendum is coming for sure. We are going back to the referendum to bring change to the Constitution,” he said even as he cautioned against the debate on the 2022 presidential campaigns, saying the leaders should first show the people the direction they need to take.
“We must be careful to elect leaders who will respect the sovereignty of the people of Kenya,” Mr Orengo said.
Former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo warned Kenyans to be careful about electing leaders who were implicated in plundering public resources and were seeking the country’s top seat.
Mr Mudavadi and Mr Moi steered clear of politics and instead chose to focus on the war on corruption, and asked Kenyans to back President Kenyatta in his campaign to deal with the vice.
Mr Moi said the debate on the 2022 presidential campaigns are premature and leaders should instead focus on addressing the development needs of those they represent.
Mr Mudavadi hinted that he was ready to work with the Baringo senator to chart a new political direction for the country.
“My relationship with Gideon and his family stretches many years back. I went to school with him (Gideon) and we are still very close and good friends,” Mr Mudavadi said.
The ANC leader said at the moment Kenyans should focus the war on corruption and ensure those implicated are prosecuted.
He asked President Kenyatta to form a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate those implicated in the maize and sugar scandals among others related to the leased medical equipment supplied to county governments.