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Mudavadi-the third senior-most influential politician in KK Gov’t

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[Prime Cabinet Secretary Nominee Musalia Mudavadi. Photo/courtesy/ Oct' 12, 2022].

Amani National Congress Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi is now the third senior-most influential politician in the Kenya Kwanza Government outside the Presidency following his nomination by President William Ruto to the newly formed Prime Cabinet Secretary docket.

Mudavadi is making a comeback to cabinet after being out for nearly 10 years with his last appointment being in 2012, when he served as Deputy Prime Minister in former President Mwai Kibaki’s government.

President Ruto has tasked Mudavadi with key assignments if approved by Parliament, roles that place him at the centre of the Kenya Kwanza Administration, whereby he will assist the President and the Deputy President in the coordination and supervision of Government Ministries and State Departments as his key function.

The ANC Party Leader who is also the brain behind the formation of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance after the pre-political discussions that took place between Ruto’s UDA Party, Mudavadi’s ANC Party and Ford-K of Moses Wetangula at the conception stage has other roles also outlined for him.

He will therefore, in liaison with the Ministry responsible for Interior and National Administration, oversee the implementation of National Government policies, programs and projects, facilitate inter-ministerial coordination of cross-functional initiatives and programmes and also be in charge of Coordinating and supervising the technical monitoring and evaluation of Government policies, programs and projects across Ministries.

Kenya Kwanza Icon

Analysts say that under the roles assigned to the Prime Cabinet Secretary, Mudavadi will act as the pivot and linkage between the executive and the legislature in ensuring that Kenya Kwanza Government policies are fully actualized with the President having also bestowed on him the role of Chairing and Coordinating National Government legislative agenda across all ministries and state departments in consultation with and for transmission to the Party or Coalition Leaders in Parliament.

As part of fulfilling the Kenya Kwanza Coalition agreement between UDA, ANC and FORD-K, it is said that in the coming days, as per the agreement, Ford Kenya and ANC will jointly have 30% of the positions in the National Government, and a part from Cabinet secretaries the share will also trickle down to principal secretaries, diplomats, chairs and directors of State corporations and parastatals.

Sources say that these positions are reserved for them as political parties, and not as leaders from the Western Kenya region and therefore insiders say it is expected that the positions might as well be distributed to ANC and FORD -K allies in other parts of the country.

The Western Kenya region is poised to benefit immensely by the allocation of new projects among them the construction of 1,000 kilo-metres new bitumen roads and the completion of all already started bitumen roads in the region and the revival of key economic sector industries among them Mumias Sugar Company.

For Mudavadi his ANC Party through its top National Organs had already nominated him for the consideration for the position of Prime Cabinet Secretary on 17th September 2022 while FORD-K Party Leader Moses Wetangula has already been rewarded by being elected as the Speaker of the National Assembly.

Analysts further point out that Mudavadi’s return to the Cabinet in such a plum and influential position elevates him to the saddle of the undisputed Political Supremo from the larger Western Kenya region, with President Ruto’s government expected to keep a keen eye on how to bolster its relationship with the Western Kenya natives for its political survival.

The harvest

If approved by Parliament, Pinpointing the nominees by President William Ruto from the larger Western Kenya, the Kenya Kwanza Cabinet will have Musalia Mudavadi as the Prime Cabinet Secretary (Vihiga), Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Wafula Nakhumicha (TransNzoia), Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba (Busia) and former Law Society of Kenya Vice President Lawyer Harriette Chiggai (Kakamega) in the newly created position of Women’s Rights Agency Advisor in addition to Sen Moses Wetangula’s Speaker’s position having been awarded to Bungoma County.

[President William Ruto with Prime Cabinet Secretary Nominee Musalia Mudavadi at a past function. Photo/courtesy/Oct’ 12, 2022].

This is far much a plus from only one slot in the President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Second Term Cabinet that had only Eugene Wamalwa as the Cabinet Secretary appointed from Western Kenya region, specifically Trans Nzoia County.

Mudavadi is said to have been the most influential politician who gave the Kenya Kwanza campaigns a fresh start in their quest to clinch the Presidency having been the founder of Kenya Kwanza Alliance which gave William Ruto’s UDA a fresh breath in the journey to State House.

In Western Kenya, Mudavadi is said to have taken control of Kakamega, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia Counties, shifting the matrix from Raila Odinga’s support base to William Ruto’s support.

Figures

In Kakamega County, the largest County in Western Kenya, Mudavadi managed to bring in the Kenya Kwanza basket a total of 141, 166 votes that reflected 28.02% against Azimio’s 357,857 votes which translated to 71.04%.

Analysts add, the Kenya Kwanza campaigns in Western Kenya that were led by Musalia Mudavadi boosted Ruto’s numbers and drastically dragged Odinga’s Azimio vote as compared to the previous elections of 2017 and 2013.

In Trans Nzoia Kenya Kwanza managed 116,776 votes against Azimio’s 132, 440 with the difference reflecting a 52.87 percent for Azimio against 46.61 percent for Kenya Kwanza.

In Vihiga, the Kenya Kwanza Team delivered 67, 633 votes (36.69%) to William Ruto’s basket against 114,714 votes (62.23%) cast for Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja.

Although Azimio la Umoja led in the three counties of Kakamega, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia, it is worth to be noted that Mudavadi and the Kenya Kwanza Western Kenya Campaign team made sure that Odinga’s support base was thoroughly eaten into thus shaking Odinga’s Western Kenya Supremacy while giving Mudavadi a head-start in wrestling control for Western Kenya votes.

With this in mind, President Ruto will be keen to retain the support from Western Kenya especially the Luhya Vote, although not antagonizing the other tribes in Western Kenya and here Mudavadi’s appointment remains a key factor moving forward.

In Bungoma County, Moses Wetangula’s home turf, Kenya Kwanza managed to outshine Azimio pitching 255, 906 votes (63.16%) against 145,280 votes (35.86 percent) with analysts opining that the UDA party, an affiliate of Kenya Kwanza easily galvanized support having had Members of Parliament (Didmus Barasa-Kimilili and Dan Wanyama-Webuye East) in Ruto’s corner, and the entry of Wetangula’s Ford-K into Kenya Kwanza, made Azimio’s attempts to win in Bungoma County a mammoth task.

Mudavadi and Wetangula who in 2017 supported Raila Odinga under the NASA formation are said to have made a tactful move to support William Ruto’s candidature claiming that for decades the support that Odinga has enjoyed in Western Kenya dwindled in 2022 following his political divorce with ANC Party boss Musalia Mudavadi and his FORD-K counterpart Moses Wetangula.

Mudavadi who has been in the political cold for more than 10 years having last served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Local Government between 2007 to 2013 in the Grand Coalition Government is seen as having delivered a block of votes that helped cement Ruto’s 2022 Presidential win.

However, ANC Party managed to get elective seats from other counties outside Western Kenya having clinched the Gubernatorial Seat for Lamu County where Governor Issa Timamy made a comeback under Musalia Mudavadi’s party.

In Matuga Constituency, Kassim Tandaza was also re-elected under ANC Party, making a strong presence for the Party in Kwale County.

ANC Party also improved on its seats in the County Assemblies having had MCAs elected in Counties like, Garissa, Nyeri, Murang’a, Lamu, Kiambu, Narok, Kilifi, Nyamira, Nandi andSamburu.

Mudavadi’s influence in Kenya Kwanza in terms of elective positions under his ANC Party now puts his Party as second after UDA Party.

The unbowed

Mudavadi has been quoted saying he refused to be part of the appendage that would support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s third term through Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga. On the campaign trail, Mudavadi made an energetic case for Ruto’s hustler narrative and said it was time to empower Mama Mboga, boda boda riders and

A one-time Finance minister, Mudavadi promises that a Kenya Kwanza government would prioritise revamping the economy and lowering cost of basic items.

Mudavadi made his political debut in 1989 when he was elected to Parliament as MP for Sabatia at the age of 29 years in a by-election following the death of his father, Moses Substone Budamba Mudavadi.

[Prime Cabinet Secretary Nominee Musalia Mudavadi (Centre) with President William Ruto (Right) and Deputy Rigathi Gachagua. Photo/courtesy/Oct’ 12, 2022].

Mudavadi is an experienced and trusted political operative. Upon his election, he was appointed as Minister for Supplies and Marketing.

He was later to work in ministerial portfolios at Agriculture, Finance, Transport, Information and Broadcasting as well as Local Government in addition to serving as Vice-President and Deputy Prime Minister in between.