I first got wind of this “Mudavadi issue” back in August of last year when visiting with a friend in Nairobi, who had good reason to know what was afoot.
Following my return to the US, I posted a blog My Take On Prof. Makau Mutua Suggestion That Raila Should Drop Mudavadi in part because of what I learned from my friend and also in response to Prof. Makau Mutua who in his piece argued that Raila should drop Mudavadi and replace him with Paul Muite, a proposition I countered with the opposite view for the reasons on that blog.
In Why Raila Cannot Drop Mudavadi penned a shot time after that, I reiterated the case why Raila should not drop Mudavadi and did so in response to what was reported in the Standard headlined Raila Under Pressure To Drop Mudavadi.
I weighed in on the side of not dropping Mudavadi for reasons stated in the other blog referenced above.
Sometime after penning these blogs, I started smelling a rat and in Mudavadi Has No Good Reason To Challenge Raila For ODM Nomination, I made the case why Mudavadi should not challenge Raila for the nomination.
Following this post, a source very close to the the Raila campaign assured me not to worry about Mudavadi’s quest to challenge Raila and advised that I instead support the move, which I have cautiously done but the more I have done so, the more I continue to smell a rat.
Indeed, I had occasion to run into the DPM a couple or so months ago in the company of others and asked him if all was okay and he responded in the affirmative.
I am sure he knew exactly what I was asking him and that this was not a rhetorical question so I took his word for an answer.
Now I am at the point of being nauseated with increasing smelling of a rat.
According to the Standard and virtually every source I am talking to, Mudavadi is all but gone from ODM and will so announce on Saturday as the Standard reports.
Good and well.
In the Mudavadi Has No Good Reasons To Challenge Raila blog, I noted the following:
There is only one president who serves at a time, everyone must wait their turn no matter how long that takes.
The most important consideration every party member should look at and agree on is first, what does the party stand for and second, who is best qualified to lead the party in implementing those ideals.
Once that decision is made and the person to lead is selected, then out of loyalty, consistency, unity and continuity, it should be full throttle from everyone in the party until their leader is sworn into office as president.
That’s what ODM should do and if it does, all shall be fine in the end.
Otherwise, let those in disagreement speak now or never and if that means leaving the party, it’s better now than later if they have to be left with any credibility.
Such honesty and transparency is what is needed in all parties, rather than the scheming and conniving we are all too accustomed to at the expense of true democracy.
Were Mudavadi to leave, it will be obvious what he has been engaged in is nothing but usual scheming we have become so accustomed to hopefully not anymore to the extent the scheming is only intended to preserve or gain political power for the individual but nothing for the ordinary mwananchi or country at large.
It is with this in mind I have been prompted to think what Mudavadi’s exit means and have come to the conclusion his departure will be both a mistake on his part and a blessing in disguise for Raila and ODM for the following reasons:
Reasons why Mudavadi’s exit is a mistake:
- He must now resign from the DPM position as well as seek reelection if the letter and spirit of the constitution means anything to him.
- He will soon confirm what we have been saying all along that his quest to challenge Raila for the ODM nomination was not about “internal democracy;” far from it. Mudavadi is expecting nothing less than a coronation at New Ford Kenya or whatever party he ends up with and it’s a foregone conclusion he will be the flag-bearer for the party. Also, the manner in which he has staged managed his exit from ODM reveals a weakness in his leadership ability.
- Having been resurrected by Raila and ODM, Mudavadi has successfully camouflaged his KANU ties many from the same era in ODM had long since broken and established their own new identity. He is now exposed again and no doubt Raila and ODM will remind Kenyans they rejected him before and he has not been fully indoctrinated to the reform agenda or otherwise fully freed himself of the KANU modus operandi.
- Mudavadi has to establish a nationwide network of leading supporters who can have him survive Round I otherwise he will be cast and seen as a spoiler no different from Musyoka. It’s doubtful he would do the former.
- He has a “Romeny problem” and that is he can easily be cast as someone born with a silver spoon in his mouth and with no sense of what ordinary people need. Compare that to Raila who notwithstanding his equally privileged background, he has proven he, in fact, does understand the needs of ordinary folks and has even made personal sacrifices so Kenyans can finally taste what we gained independence for. In fact, thanks to the battering and abuse he endures, most Kenyans see Raila as being one of them and may get quite a bit of sympathy votes from those who feel sorry for him because they, too, have been the victims of hate and vitriol. Mudavadi may get the he is a “non-polarizing” character but there are mountains to climb before getting to that easier part.
Why Mudavadi’s departure is a blessing:
- Gives Raila free hand in picking a new VP running mate to balance the ticket better and rejuvenate the party.
- Gives ODM the opportunity to focus on party building rather than managing infighting and wrangles related to the nomination process which will be a moot issue, if Mudavadi leaves.
- Splits the opposition votes even more making it even that much easier for Raila to coast through Round I, if he doesn’t sweep it altogether.
- Validates some of Raila’s supporter’s argument to-date that Mudavadi is a PNU/G7 project sent to spoil for Raila and ODm much the same way Musyoka did in 2007.
- Has Raila breathing a sigh of relief knowing confident as he can be that he can beat Mudavadi anytime for the nomination under any rules, there is still that outside chance that a combination of luck and mischief could result in Mudavadi actually getting the nomination which for all practical purposes and intent will shut down the road to State House for Raila.
For all these reasons and more, Mudavadi will be wise to remain put in ODM and take whatever outcome awaits him there than walking away to a future of political uncertainty that awaits him elsewhere, if not walking into a future of political irrelevance altogether.
I certainly hope he does so otherwise waonane mbele na Raila and ODM kwa debe.