Political activities in Luhyaland and Western Kenya in general are set to accelerate in earnest following the ongoing high profile tour of Britain by Amani coalition leader Musalia Mudavadi for strategic political networking meetings that coincided with the receipt of the official, final registration instruments of the new Amani National Congress party which he intends to use for his second stab at the presidency in 2017.
ANC national officials announced the receipt of the certificate for full registration late last week with feedback on the ground indicating that the new party’s membership recruitment drive had quickly bagged over 700,000 new members in an ongoing drive to net enough membership to help the party and Mudavadi challenge for power effectively come 2017.
Mudavadi left the country for a high profile tour of Britain where he held talks with many key political players leaders amongst them British opposition leader Lord David Steel who is the leader of the Britain’s liberal democrats and a renowned champion of devolution.
Instructively, the ANC party officials have confirmed that the new outfit wants to mainstream liberal democracy in Kenya and with their leader Musalia Mudavadi having been the main driver of the devolution programme in the Grand Coalition Government when he was Deputy PM and minister for Local Government as well as the party’s official slogan being “Amani na Ugatuzi”, the reaching out to the British opposition leader and devolution enthusiast is bound to send tongues wagging across the country’s political terrain.
Another eye-catching engagement lined up for the Amani leader while on the British tour is giving the keynote address during a conference of top British investors in East Africa whose lobby has its headquarters in London.
Sources confirmed that the major business investors’ lobby picked on Mudavadi to preside over their crucial meeting in recognition of him offering stable leadership in Kenya courtesy of his probusiness policies when he served as Kenya’s minister for Finance and later Transport and Communication where he ably steered the country into economic, financial and communication reforms.
The former Sabatia MP’s reloaded push for relevance ahead of the 2017 presidential battle has been evident with a resurgent building up of various arsenals including the cobbling together of a new team of close advisers after dropping a slew of old timers around him who had continuously become unpopular with the masses in Western.
The new team of close advisers and strategists to mainstream Mudavadi’s presidential bid are lead by renowned scholar and elder brother of ODM secretary general Ababu Namwamba, Tom Namwamba, ICT expert and businessman Geoffrey Osotsi and only one team member of the disbanded old team media personality Kibisu Kabatesi.
The major tour of Britain is probably the kickoff of a major recharging programme and reaching out to key allies and partners globally and in Kenya ahead of the 2017 battle. Mudavadi, close sources reveal, has close relations with many top political players in Western capitals including the Spanish top monarchs led by the King himself, Tanzania’s Jakaya Kikwete plus CCM’s annointed John Magufuli, the king of Morocco and many others in Africa.
The former deputy prime minister’s renewed political activities have switched focus on the likely options and future of top political opponents in his backyard of Western province where Ford Kenya leaders Moses Wetang’ula, Kakamega senator Bonny Khalwale (UDF), Namwamba have been jostling to hold sway. It is now feared they will have to up their game to remain relevant or if need be accept to join the ANC which allows for individual and corporate membership.
It should be noted that Wetang’ula is a political student of Mudavadi who, together with former AG Amos Wako and former vice president Moody Awori, influenced his first entry to parliament through a nomination in 1992 at the expense of the late Elijah Mwangale. Come 2002, former president Daniel Moi succession pushing and shoving within Kanu, Wetang’ula was a notable member of Mudavadi’s strategy team, before switching to Narc through Ford Kenya after Mudavadi was by-passed in preference of Uhuru Kenyatta under retired Moi’s fiat. Hence, many believe, despite many public pronouncements that paint the two not to be very close, there is no bad blood between them and they can easily close ranks and work together anytime.
Bonnie Khalwale’s woes in Cord due to the latest stand off with Nairobi governor Evans Kidero and Namwamba’s restlessness within ODM make them likely defectors to ANC in the event that Mudavadi’s latest presidential push gets serious traction and becomes big time.
Sources say, the former DPM is serious not to repeat the mistakes of 2013 which saw him join the presidential race at the eleventh hour denying him the time to network and mobilise big enough to carry the day and also the use of a party that had been created by State House operatives which turned his candidacy into easy prey for opposition and government venomous propaganda.