Musalia Mudavadi: I am my own man and not seeking to be endorsed

Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has refuted claims that he is being groomed by President Uhuru Kenyatta in for the 2022 succession game plan.

He also accused opposition leader Raila Odinga of being dishonest on sharing of political parties’ funds among NASA parties.

During an interview on Radio Citizen last Thursday, he accused his competitors of trying to link him with the “failures” of the Jubilee administration. In a thinly veiled attack against Raila, Mudavadi said those linking him to the Jubilee administration were already in bed with the government.

He defended himself saying save for national days where he attends events on the invitation of the president, he has never taken part in government activities.

“I am a man of myself, seeking the mandate of Kenyans to be their president. We know those who have been part of the Jubilee government and even accompanied the president in his development project tours,” he said.

He said those behind the “Uhuru project” narrative are only scared of the unfolding political landscape where Kenyans are now more informed and able to choose a leader based on past development record.

“How can you be a ‘project’ of someone who you don’t associate or share the running of the government with? Have you seen President Kenyatta campaigning for me or insinuating that he wants me to succeed him? We must respect each other and sell our manifestos to Kenyans and stop advancing propaganda,” said Mudavadi.

But 10 years ago, it was whispered that outgoing President Mwai Kibaki had given him his blessings.

Mudavadi would then team up with Kenyatta to take a stab at presidency in 2012 where it was believed he would be the presidential candidate only for Uhuru to make an about turn.

Then came 2021 when Uhuru – at Mama Hannah Mudavadi’s burial in Mululu, Vihiga County- made remarks that seemed to be an endorsement for Mudavadi’s 2022 run.

During the memorial service of the late President Daniel arap Moi at Kabarak, Nakuru county, Mudavadi’s presence and preferential treatment, set tongues wagging that he could be the ‘chosen one’.

The notion has been further exacerbated by formation of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) comprising KANU, ANC and Wiper party leaders.

It was believed that President Kenyatta would endorse one of them for the presidency but this was later stifled out after it emerged there was a ploy to merge Jubilee with ODM.

Mudavadi is however fighting the endorsement tag, fully aware that endorsement of a sitting president comes with its baggage and has potential of ending careers.

Mudavadi also tore into Raila over his remarks that parties under the National Super Alliance (NASA) coalition, also including Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford Kenya’s leader and Senator Moses Wetang’ula (Bungoma), are not entitled to money allocated to ODM under the political parties fund.

This was after the National Treasury released Sh519 million to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party and Raila Odinga’s ODM as part of their political parties’ fund. Jubilee received Sh353,856,428 while ODM took home Sh165,252,076, according to a Gazette notice.

Notably, the four parties under NASA have been battling over a share of the cash but last week Raila ruled out sharing the funds with the three partners.

He claimed ODM had not received any money from the Exchequer from the presidential votes, therefore there was nothing to share.

Raila claimed the money ODM has been receiving is based on members the party has in Parliament and there was no coalition money received to be shared with partners.

Mudavadi now claims that Raila is being insincere and violating a coalition agreement that stipulated how NASA parties would share the allocation and even settle on a 2022 presidential candidate.

“The agreement is a legal document that we signed and deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties. It has clauses on how the partner parties would share the allocation, not only finances but also parliamentary positions. But we all know what has happened in Parliament where chairpersons of committees have been thrown out,” he said.

Further, he said, the four parties had reached consensus that ODM would not field a presidential candidate in 2022 whether the coalition had won the presidency in 2017 or not.

“There is a lot of dishonesty in the alliance. A situation that cannot allow us to live up to the aspiration of the NASA dream,” added Mudavadi.

The former Deputy Prime Minister also poured cold water on alleged plans to strengthen NASA coalition. “My party (ANC) has given me the mandate to run for the presidency next year. My energy is focused on that and I will be in the ballot as a presidential candidate. Others are welcome to join our party and together, we work on reviving the economy of our country,” he said.

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