(This article is not complete as yet…)
“The numbers are just that, quite, I do not truly see an extreme loss that can follow Mudavadi’s exit. This would be for two reasons. Mudavadi’s presence is credited to ODM. He is visible since he is in ODM. If he were to quit, he would disrobe himself the shining cloth that makes his shadow to count. As a person, he is not unassailably influential.”
There are plans to create an Odinga home within the Wanga region of Luhya land. This is a deliberate move by Odinga strategists to make the Luhya own the Odinga candidature. In part, this is a strategy designed in anticipation of the Mudavadi threat to quit ODM.
The move is calculated to imprint into the Luhya minds that actually, Odinga is a Luhya. Well, history goes to the same proof. The Sakwa sub clan within the Luo is descendant of a Luhya father. The relevance of this move goes to its ability to undermine Mudavadi’s grip on the Luhya vote. Or rather, his grip on the Luhya sub-clan that is likely to associate with him.
The Wanga, occupy an eminent role within the Luhya. It is credited with leadership and politicians often invoke reverence for Nabongo to endear themselves to the electorate. The feuds in the recent past as to the heir of the Nabongo throne is believed to be fueled by divergent political interests keen to obtain endorsement from the sub-clan king.
The Odinga strategists are believed to have identified a homestead within the Wanga region and there could be plans for the prime minister to be invited “home.”
As this is anticipated, the fight for the ODM ticket has gained extreme momentum. The point of departure being Mudavadi’s insistence that the presidential candidate for the party be picked by delegates at county levels whereas the Odinga faction insists that the matter be left for the National Conference.
Certainly, Mudavadi has his chances if his proposal was to be accepted. Delegates from regions where Odinga is perceived as a villain could occasion a protest vote to hand the party leader a defeat. Raila is certainly keen on the delegates from the Rift Valley as their absolute loyalty cannot be guaranteed. With Mudavadi sharing a blood bond with Kalenjin’s it is rightly feared that a support from this region could tilt the scales to his favor.
In all ways, Mudavadi is important to Odinga. He remains the only proof that Odinga can have an ally, and if he departs, the nation will question Odinga’s ways. It would be a proof to the mounting claims of dictatorial tendencies within ODM. It is immaterial with the proof has material substance or not. A Mudavadi exit would equally rob Raila quite some numbers in terms of votes.
The numbers are just that, quite, I do not truly see an extreme loss that can follow Mudavadi’s exit. This would be for two reasons. Mudavadi’s presence is credited to ODM. He is visible since he is in ODM. If he were to quit, he would disrobe himself the shining cloth that makes his shadow to count. As a person, he is not unassailably influential.
Consider the events 2002 where when he quit LDP to be a three month vice president, he could not even manage a hold of his own constituency and he ended up losing to Akaranga Moses. The lesson Mudavadi never learnt from that occurrence was the danger of delighting in groupie glory. In fact it appears that this is a devil that follows all Luhya kings. It is this confusion that made Musikari Kombo to be in parliament courtesy of a nomination and the exit of Moody Awori.
Unlike the other major communities in Kenya which can make collective political declarations, the Luhya are immensely riddled with internal strife and political leaders from the region can only claim to have the backing at best, of their sub-clans.
Mudavadi cannot claim this, he was unable to defeat Khalwale in the by election with the ODM candidate loosing. With voters at his door step unable to listen to him, it would be a lie if he prided in the Luhya Court.
The pollsters equally show that overall, within the western region, Raila has a higher approval. I bet this could be attributed to the Teso factor and the fact that the lower western is likely to lean to Odinga easily than Mudavadi.
I imagine the despair within his camp. With Ford-Kenya effectively in the hands of Wetangula and New Ford Kenya in the hands of Wamalwa, Mudavadi does not have a vehicle that would easily appeal to the Luhya. A dissect of the New Ford Kenya after it was rumored that he was in talks with its leadership showed mixed reactions.
Entrepreneurial officials would see a Mudavadi entry as a financial boost to the party, but if the party would wish to have any viable bargaining power in the imminent alliance arithmetic, it would be prudent to retain Wamalwa. A Wamalwa presence is politically significant than Mudavadi. Well, this would simply be because the Bukusu sub clan is the largest, and with the strategic elevation of Wamalwa to the Justice Docket, and the almost demotion of Wetangula to the less lucrative Trade docket, makes him quite a better bet.
There will be considerable discomfort between Eugene and Mudavadi were the latter to opt joining New FORD KENYA. Wamalwa to this extend could be a compromise candidate for the G7 brigade. It is unlikely that either Uhuru or Ruto would be on the ballot, and the duo will certainly be comfortable with a Wamalwa presidency. With such prospects, it is unlikely that Wamalwa might comfortably admit Mudavadi’s entry.
The insistence of Mudavadi on the change of a clause handing the party leader is a legitimate excuse but it could be entrenched in an obnoxious strategy. Mudavadi wants to be president, but what would be his chances beyond 2012.
May be his is just a realization that beyond 2012 the crafting of politics would be different; in fact hard for him. The threat of the ambitious new breed of politicians must have made Musalia to know that his fair chances lie in the moment and that those chances would even be enhanced if he trounced Odinga and got his backing.
Another presumption would be to believe the peddling of the Odinga faction that the G7 has warmed up to him and as such he exiting to justify a reunion. Wait a minute, this thought looks endearing, and the G8 would then be a reunion of sons of KANU. It would be Ruto, Uhuru, Mudavadi, Kalonzo all sons of the independent party. In fact Mudavadi stuck with Uhuru and Ruto in 2002 when there was a revolt in KANU and he was even handed the vice presidency.
He is moderate, rarely attacking the G7 in fact he has at times warned his boss against making “inflammatory remarks” when Odinga attacked the Ocampo 2. But I cannot see the possibility of the G7 unanimously handing him a ticket.
Well, what would Mudavadi’s decision to quit ODM mean to him as a person?
From the onset, it would rob him the luminance of the party and he would have a tough, really tough task of identifying a platform that would give him the limelight as his ODM deputy party leader tag does. With Odinga running impatient by time, he risks being stripped off his ministerial tag and he would suffer the Balala fate, you hit the limelight as you cry foul and then the country forgets you.
Mudavadi’s exit from ODM could spell his ultimate exit from political relevance. I would suppose, he only has two fair chances, stick by Odinga and be his running mate and then package himself for a post Odinga contest or lodge a truly tough fight within the ODM, wrestle the party ticket off Raila’s grasp and contest the presidency.
Whatever move he makes, he has to be keen with time and the attitude of the electorate. But with his main base infested by dissidence, riddled with multiple battles of supremacy, he would be advised to stick within ODM and fight it out.