By Chris Mafura and Andrew Ombuni
A plot is being hatched by ODM leader Raila Odinga and his allies, to edge out Amani National Congress (ANC) leader, Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula at the regional and national politics.
This is after Mudavadi,Wetang’ula and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka snubbed Raila’s swearing in ceremony as the ‘People’s President at Uhuru Park. After the fallout, Raila’s handlers advised him to form a new team ahead of the 2022 general elections.
The March 9 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila which gave birth to the Building Brides Initiative (BBI), that is now a campaign tool, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula who perceived enemies were to be punished and embarrassed before there kinsmen at Bukhungu stadium.
The duo outwitted Raila and ODM luminaries by attending the BBI rally at Bukhungu instead of going to Mumias one as earlier anticipated.
Initially, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Wycliffe Wangamati (Bungoma), Dr. Wilber Ottichilo (Vihiga), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia), Central Organisation of Trade Unions – (Cotu-K) Secretary General Francis Atwoli, Senator Cleophas Malala, Devolution Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa had met secretly to sideline the and go ahead to install Mr. Wamalwa and Mr. Oparanya as the regional kingpins.
But after the two leaders received a heroic welcome at Bukhungu by the locals, the mood in the stadium changed against Raila initial plans. They were forced to change their tone, strategy and go back to the drawing board.
Raila’s team first held a postmortem at a Kakamega hotel and another one in Nairobi where they agreed to bring down Mudavadi and Wetang’ula using three friendly governors in the region led by Oparanya, Wangamati and Ottichilo as well as former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma. Mr. Ojaamong and Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba who are friendly to Wetang’ula were sidelined.
During the meeting, it was agreed that Raila funds the Democratic Action Party (DAP) that is associated with CS Wamalwa to open up offices in Western region to ‘kill’ ANC and Ford Kenya parties.
In Trans Nzoia, they tasked Wamalwa to groom a candidate who will battle it out with outspoken Kiminini MP Dr. Chris Wamalwa of Ford Kenya, a front runner for the governorship seat in the county.
The CS and Governor Wangamati were also tasked to poach Ford Kenya’s strong candidates in Trans Nzoia and Bungoma counties by assuring them of receiving direct tickets on the DAP party.
Governor Oparanya and Malala were to ensure that all ANC stalwarts are recruited under the ODM party in Kakamega. Oparanya is the national BBI coordinator while Wangamati is the BBI regional coordinator in Western.
In Kakamega, ODM has only two MPs in Shinyalu and Mumias West constituencies which has left Raila worried after the exit of Oparanya in 2022. ANC has six MPs in Lurambi, Lugari, Khwisero, Matungu and Butere.
In Vihiga, Governor Ottichilo was appointed to recruit all ANC legislators to ODM with the help of Raila himself. Luanda MP Chris Omulele is only ODM MP in the county. For Busia, Mr. Otuoma was appointed to solidify ODM party in the area in fear of Ford Kenya that has made many inroads in the county.
In 1994 after the death of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, who was the Ford Kenya party leader, former Vice President, the late Michael Kijana Wamalwa was elected as the party leader and Siaya Senator James Orengo, then Ugenya MP was elected as the Vice Chairman.
Raila who was then Lang’ata MP was the deputy director for elections in Ford Kenya.
In 1996, just a year to the1997 general elections, the rivalry between Raila and the late Kijana Wamalwa after the chaotic party elections in Thika broke the party. Raila with a section of Ford Kenya party supporters from Luo Nyanza formed the National Democratic Party (NDP) thus sabotaging Wamalwa’s presidential ambitions. Wamalwa was the compromise presidential candidate to take power from the late President Daniel arap Moi.
Raila made sure Wamalwa’s friends, Mr. Orengo and Kisumu Governor Prof Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o lose in the elections. After the 1997 elections, he weakened democracy in Kenya by joining the ruling party Kanu.
Prior to the 2002 general elections, Raila teamed up with Kijana Wamalwa’s competitors to block his presidential candidature when he rushed and declared ‘Kibaki Tosha’ slogan to ensure Wamalwa doesn’t rise to power.
After Moi made Mudavadi a vice president and a running mate to Uhuru after the dissolution of parliament in 2002 to pave way for the elections, Raila decampaigned Mudavadi in his hometurf of Vihiga and ensured he lost the Sabatia parliamentary seat to the little known preacher Rev. Moses Akaranga.
Following the death of Kijana Wamalwa, the Mulembe nation proposed to President Kibaki to appoint the former Local Government Minister Musikari Kombo as Vice President , Raila who was a partner in Narc government through his LDP party lobbied for Moody Awori, then Funyula MP to take the position.
Mt Kenya mafia led by Chris Murungaru wanted Dr Mukhisa Kituyi but Central MPs were opposed to the idea arguing that he is too ambitious and Kibaki might not go for the second term if they supported his bid to be Vice President. They then decided to settle for Raila’s option of Moody Awori who was not only old but also inconsequential in Luhya politics.
Raila’s choice of Awori was to set him against his political son, Mr. Mudavadi thus dividing the Luhyas by creating more rifts, the reason the Mulembe Nation is divided to date.
In 2007 when the pentagon was formed, the popular candidate was Mudavadi followed by Kalonzo Musyoka. During the elections, Raila used Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, the then Mvita MP and Dr William Ruto who was the Eldoret North MP lobbied for Raila to be declared a presidential candidate of ODM.
Raila was elected the ODM party bearer but due to the malpractices, Kalonzo opted out and formed ODM Kenya. Joe Nyaga and Charity Ngilu were for Mudavadi before Raila was picked as the presidential candidate. Mudavadi was made Deputy Prime Minister.
In 2012, when Mudavadi was Local Government Minister, Raila used ODM MPs to scandalize Mudavadi with the cemetery saga. This was to soil Mudavadi from ascending to power in 2013. Mudavadi formed UDF and became position three in the elections.
Wetang’ula as Foreign Affairs Minister was set by ODM MPs and began a smear campaign over the Tokyo Embassy saga and set him against Kibaki so that he can join ODM and deal with him from within. This strategy worked when he joined Raila to form the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord).
According to an insider in ODM, Raila’s vendetta with Wetang’ula was when him (Wetang’ula) and Martha Karua stood by Kibaki and ensured he served his second term in the disputed 2007 polls.
Mudavadi, a compromise presidential candidate of Kibaki was even endorsed by Uhuru and Ruto, Raila lobbied behind the scenes through the Mt. Kenya mafia to ensure Mudavadi is not endorsed. Uhuru and Ruto had a case in the Hague.
In readiness for the 2017 polls, when Wetang’ula was launching his presidential bid at Muliro Gardens, ODM goons disrupted the ceremony to block Wetang’ula’s star had risen after defeating Kombo in the 2013 by elections as well as surviving being deregistred from the IEBC voters list.
After the handshake, Wetang’ula was stripped off the Senate Minority Leader’s seat and given to James Orengo. ANC MP also became rebellious to Mudavadi.
And now he is at it again to ensure Mudavadi and Wetang’ula are weakened politically and don’t work together ahead of 2022 and has formed a new political lineup using political greenhorns who don’t greenhorns who don’t the future of Luhyas at heart.
Judging from the turn of events, the two have come up strongly and are now unstoppable. All the five counties of Western region are under the firm hands of the two leaders and those against them are risking being send to political oblivion