Former VP is no leader but gambler and opportunist

Tuesday March 7 2017

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi addresses the media

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi addresses the media after signing the National Super Alliance coalition agreement at Okoa Kenya secretariat offices in Nairobi on February 22, 2017. Mr Mudavadi has been nothing but a gambler and not a leader. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Musalia Mudavadi is a very nice man. So nice that people have sometimes asked themselves how he found himself in the dirty game of Kenyan politics.

But those who understand the Kenyan politics of inheritance would know how a young gentleman found himself first in line to inherit the “kingdom” of his father, Moses Substone Budamba Mudavadi, when the older Mudavadi, a doyen of western Kenya and national politics, died.

Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi has numerously been depicted as weak and indecisive, with some even thinking that every consultation or decision he makes is actually the work of other people working behind the scenes, an accusation not made any better by the faltering, brief “collaboration” he had in 2012 with Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto that was to allow him to be the Jubilee presidential candidate, which never came to pass.

His track record does not indicate any distinguished achievement that can be attributed to him.

He went down in history books as Kenya’s youngest minister at 29, a gift of his late father’s close relationship with then-President Daniel Moi.

The nation would have expected Mr Mudavadi to read the mood and turn down the farcical appointment by Mr Moi as vice-president when most Kenyans had deserted the retiring president, but he was more keen to go into books of Kenyan history for a second time: this time as the shortest serving vice president.

In that process, he recklessly sacrificed even his own political career, for in the ensuing General Election a few months later, he was among the political bigwigs felled in their own constituencies by political greenhorns – as he lost to a then little-known preacher Moses Akaranga - who has since risen very steadily to become the first governor of Vihiga County.

Mr Mudavadi has been nothing but a gambler and not a leader.

In fact, the co-founding of Nasa is probably the greatest achievement that he has had in his now fairly long political career.

Felix Odimmasi is a political analyst and diplomacy specialist