ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi has emphatically ruled out working with or joining President Uhuru Kenyatta and his DP William Ruto in the mega merged Jubilee Party.
However, the former Deputy Prime Minister (2008-2012) revealed to the Star he is working with opposition leader Raila Odinga at a policy level. He stopped short of saying there is a political pact.
“There are no permanent enemies in politics,” he said, referring to past friction with the ODM leader. Several weeks ago Raila asked him to join Cord as a partner. Last October Raila asked him to rejoin ODM, but Mudavadi declined. The landscape is shifting.
In an exclusive interview with the Star on Tuesday, Mudavadi said he is open to working with Raila. They have held consultations, he said in his Kileleshwa home. He did not mention ODM or Cord.
Speaking of Jubilee, he emphasised the ANC will not dissolve though he said its constitution supports any coalition arrangements that can tackle policy issues. He said his party belongs to all Kenyans and its programs are initiated and run by Kenyans.
He said the ANC constitution supports coalitions.
Mudavadi commented just days after the ODM and Cord chief Raila said he is ready to support any opposition presidential candidate who can defeat Uhuru next year.
Speaking of Jubilee, Mudavadi said, “Once bitten, twice shy. In any case, Jubilee has closed their stable until after 2032.”
Ahead of the 2013 election, Mudavadi broke with Uhuru and Ruto after signing a deal whereby he was to be the presidential candidate for the G7 alliance, renamed Jubilee.
On December 18, 2012, Uhuru made the famous “mademoni” comment, suggesting he had been persuaded wrongly by dark forces to make a pact and step aside for Mudavadi.
Mudavadi recently told the Star in an earlier extensive interview that Uhuru and the other G7 members persuaded him to become the Jubilee candidate, only to dump him two weeks later.
The agreement whereby Mudavadi was to be the presidential candidate with Ruto as running mate was signed at Laico Regency on December 5, 2012.
However, only days into the deal, Mudavadi was told his candidature was becoming a hard sell to Uhuru’s supporters.
This broken promise appears to be a major reason Mudavadi will not consider working with Uhuru and Ruto.
Yesterday he said he was strengthening his ANC party. He said it will work with other opposition leaders at the ‘policy level’ ahead of the polls in an effort to bring about change and good governance.
“It is still early but wait until next year when we will have significant political realignments and new coalitions formed towards the next elections,” the 55-year-old politician from Vihiga said.
He said he was invited
to the US Democratic National Convention last month and there he held talks with Raila, Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Joyce Laboso and nominated MP Johnson Sakaja.
“We agreed at a personal level that as leaders we have to change this country to a better nation,” Mudavadi said. He said they agreed to champion good governance.
At the US convention, he said, they discovered that media can play a significant role in unravelling political lies and hold politicians accountable on their statements.
He said ANC officials are putting in place structures to strengthen the the party and ensure it is people- and agenda-driven.
“We will announce the date for party nominations next month so that we can have candidates contest for positions from MCA to the presidency, ” Mudavadi said.
He added, “We must have competition at all levels of the party so that we can continue growing. And if you’re interested in vying for the presidency, we welcome you to our party.”
The main challenge will be putting in place effective election reforms, he said, adding he believes they will be successful.
He said the next step will include voter registration awareness and civic education on the importance of voting.
The ANC will organise a two-day forum bringing stakeholders in the economy to tackle affecting Kenyans back and to chart a way forward, he said.
During the Democratic Convention, he said, it was apparent the media can play a significant role in unravelling lies and holding politicians to account on their statements.
“We will also bring media on board so we move a head as a team,” Mudavadi said.The forum will include professionals, civil society and political parties.
It’s important to highlight and correct stereotypes, propaganda and tribalism to ensure the country is united with a common agenda, he said.
“We need to [ensure] the electorate doesn’t go into the next elections and vote on tribal grounds, they must find out more about the people they want to vote in,” Mudavadi said.
“The future of this country remains great if we can work together to set a national development agenda.”
“It is still early now but our focus remain strong to address issues affecting Kenyans as well as promote inclusiveness on how the country should be managed. We have a country to serve and protect.
As ANC we are also working on a party that belongs to the people and not a few political elites like most of our competitors. And that is why we can only work at Policy level,” said Mudavadi.