Two National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principles have teamed up to tame The Deputy President William Ruto’s charm offensive in two constituencies that are set to undertake a by-election.
Ruto has been making forays in the vote-rich Western Region and is supporting United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidates.
Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula are united to ensure that their candidates win in the Matungu and Kabuchai parliamentary seats that fell vacant last year.
The duo are also flexing their muscles in an effort to field one presidential candidate in the 2022 polls after a fallout with opposition leader Raila Odinga who is the Orange Party leader.
Mudavadi and Wetangula have fixed their eyes on the two by-elections in Matungu and Kabuchai constituencies as a springboard for regional unity and a formidable presidential candidacy.
Pundits argue that the upcoming by-elections could be the toughest political battle in recent times, and a rehearsal of the 2022 presidential contest pitting Raila, Mudavadi, and Ruto, among others.
Both ANC and Ford Kenya have now partnered and fielded one candidate in Kabuchai and another in Matungu, with Ford Kenya supporting ANC’s candidate Peter Oscar Nabulindo for the Matungu seat, while Mudavadi’s Party throwing its weight behind Joseph Majimbo Kalasinga’s candidature in Kabuchai.
“This is the unity team in these by-elections. Anyone outside the unity of ANC and Ford Kenya is a traitor, enemy, and a project against the Mulembe nation. We won’t allow other people to come in this region and dismantle our resolve and unity through the by-elections,” said Mudavadi.
The move to unite the two political parties that have worked under NASA seems to have complicated the political matrix in the two mini-polls, provoking the newly-UDA to field candidates in both Kabuchai and Matungu in what observers see as a bid by the DP to test his popularity in the region.
“It is a deliberate statement to the people of Mulembe Nation and Kenya at large that this region is no longer available for political experiments. My brother Mudavadi and I have agreed there are no soft gloves for our community detractors anymore. You are either for Mulembe or against it. The candidates against us are projects of outsiders sponsored to break our unity resolve. They will not succeed,” said the embattled Ford Kenya leader.
Already Mudavadi has rubbished the ‘Hustler Movement’ strategy dismissing their declaration that it will be a repeat of their performance of Msambweni, where an independent Ruto-backed candidate won.
“Matungu is not Msambweni. Kabuchai is not Msambweni. The outcome of these two by-elections will shock the world. Kenyans will know the truth that this region has its unique needs and our people are not the kind who follow propaganda and tokenism,” Mudavadi fired the salvo at his political nemesis.
Political observers opine that the bid by ANC leader and his Ford Kenya counterpart to unite and front single candidates for the two parties to solidify the Western Kenya bloc appears to have unsettled the ‘Tanga Tanga’ lieutenants on the ground.
And now UDA stalwarts led by former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, sacked Sports boss Rashid Echesa and Benjamin Washiali (Mumias East) are on a charm offensive to woe aspirants who had declared they would run as independent candidates to back UDA’s candidate Alex Lanya.
The DP’s team has vowed it will produce the ‘first-borns’ of the Hustler Movement by producing a first MP for the newly-formed political party in the by-elections.