Although they are ultracareful not to show it outwardly, the ruling duo of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto is inwardly terrified stiff by the much-touted probable political matrimony between Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka. Should the latter duo’s budding union firm up, the former duo’s goose would be ready for serving.
To say that panic has gripped State House following reports that the opposition parties are seriously considering forming a formidable super alliance that would see Mudavadi fly the presidential flag with Kalonzo Musyoka as the running mate, is to understate it.
Talk of a Mudavadi-Kalonzo joint ticket is causing near paralysis in the top echelons of Uhuru’s camp and sources now say his strategy team has gone back to the drawing board to work on how to counter the new development and wave.
It has now emerged that Raila has been holding secret meetings with Mudavadi who is the Amani National Congress leader and sources say the meeting’s agenda has been to craft a strategy which will see Raila support Mudavadi and Kalonzo in next year’s polls.
According to sources well-versed with the Uhuru re-election strategists, their plans were centered on a Raila-Kalonzo ticket and that the new deal has caught them flatfooted.
The fear in Jubilee is that Mudavadi enjoys unrivalled goodwill from Kenyans across the political divide and with a Raila and Moses Wetang’ula backup to run as the opposition’s compromise candidate, he is likely to send Uhuru home in the first round.
Jubilee leaders are said to have not taken the new development lightly considering that Mudavadi is seen as a strong compromise candidate now than he was in 2013 and the fear is that if Raila campaigns for Mudavadi as he did for Mwai Kibaki in 2002, Cord insiders believe he could be an unbeatable candidate.
Analysts say Raila who had met Mudavadi on a one-on-one seems to be throwing in the towel after some of his close allies openly demanded that he should not run for the fourth time. Although some of Raila’s close allies are still pushing him to the final run against Uhuru in 2017, the writing is on the wall that Jubilee has schemed on how to win back the presidency in the first round.
Those who are behind this new development are concerned that Raila’s political star is dimming and must scheme to avoid another embarrassment at the ballot by supporting Mudavadi. Uhuru and Ruto have been bragging that should opposition nominate Raila to run against Uhuru then they are assured of a first round win but a different deal would see them retreat to the drawing board.
According to the Jubilee strategists, plans on how to defeat Raila on the first round had been hatched and kept in a safe awaiting implementation in early 2017. According to the plan, Jubilee had set aside a multi-billion budget to take care of Western. The game plan was to use Ruto to make inroads into the opposition’s turf.
The target in western Kenya was to get a minimum of 30pc of the total votes cast leaving the 60pc to be shared between Raila and Mudavadi. With the new game plan, the fear now is that Mudavadi is most likely to get over 90pc of the western region votes and this Jubilee knows gives him a headstart.
In Mudavadi’s hometurf of Vihiga county, with five constituencies and 202,822 votes, Kakamega county with 12 constituencies and 518,144 votes, Bungoma county with nine constituencies and 410,462 votes and Busia county with seven constituencies and 251,305 votes. According to those pushing for the Mudavadi-Kalonzo ticket, with Western Kenya under lock and key, he can be assured of the total vote block of 1,382,733.
Outside Western Kenya, other Luhya dominated constituencies in the Trans Nzoia county include Kwanza, Endebess, Saboti, Kiminini and Cherengany has a combined votes of 186,869
With Kalonzo as the running mate and considering that he has the power to influence the voting pattern in the Ukambani region as had been the case in the past elections, they can be assured of over 90pc of the Ukambani votes. In the Ukambani’s three counties, Kitui has 324,673, Machakos has 445,096 votes and Makueni has 298,221 making Ukambani region with a total of 1,067,990.
With Ukambani votes of 1,067,990 out of the total votes for the Eastern region of 2,363,156, Uhuru can count on the 1,295,166 from Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi counties.
The Mudavadi-Kalonzo ticket can therefore boast of a 2,450723. Analysts say with Central having a total 2,398,815 votes, it cancels out the two sides. Mudavadi can also count on Nyanza vote of 2,226,671 including Kisii and Kuria votes. Luo Nyanza votes are close to 1.6m votes.
The gameplan also targets the Coast region which has voted with the oipposition since the introduction of multi-party politics in 1992. In 2013, Raila garneted 75pc of the presidential votes and the opposition still hopes Mudavadi and kalonzo and with the support of Raila and the opposition, the best Uhuru can get in the region is 30pc of the presidential votes.
The opposition’s target in the Coast region is based on the opposition’s performance in 2013 where Raila won majority of presidential votes in the five counties of Mombasa, 69.7pc, Kwale, 80.7pc, Kilifi, 83.7pc, Tana River 61.4pc, Lamu, 51.9pc and Taita Taveta 81.5pc. Based on the above figures, Cord still believes that Mudavadi can still beat Uhuru in the entire Coast region.
North Eastern region is expected to provide a swing vote but with just 376,818 votes, the opposition projects to get more than 60pc of the votes considering that the region has had insecurity challenges and harassment of Muslim leaders.
It will however be a do or die battle in Nairobi county with a combined votes of 1,868,551. During 2013, Uhuru garnered 659,490 votes against Raila’s 691,156 votes while Mudavadi got 22,061 votes. The opposition is said to be relying heavily on the Kamba, Luo, Kisii and Luhya votes to win the battle in Nairobi.
Another battle ground is Rift valley with a total of 3,757,776 votes. The opposition is aware of the Kikuyu presence in the region which they say will be cancelled with the equally heavy presence of the Luo, Kisii and Luhya votes in the region especially in the counties of Kericho, Bomet and Uasin Gishu.
It is belived that Mudavadi still enjoys some cordial relationship with retired president Daniel Moi as opposed to Raila whom Moi does not have time for. With Mudavadi as presidential candidate, Moi can easily back him. This could lead to a possible inclusion of Kanu joining the opposition where Moi’s son Gideon could play a big role.
The opposition is aid to be targeting the two Maasai dominated counties of Kajiado and Narok where in 2013, they voted for Raila. In Narok county, Uhuru got 46.38pc while Raila got 50.28pc of the presidential votes. The opposition believes with good campaigns, they can widen the gap and bag 70pc of the votes. In Narok county, Raila garnered 44.44pc while Uhuru got 52.36pc of the presidential votes. Here the opposition again targets 60pc of the votes in 2013.
Another county in the Rift Valley that the opposition targets is Samburu where in 2013 Raila beat Uhuru by scoring 57.62pc against Uhuru’s 40.94pc. In Turkana county, the opposition hopes to retain the good ratings they got in 2013 where Raila got 67.53pc of the presidential votes against Uhuru’s 29.85pc.
The opposition strategists are also said to be working on their plan B which is should there be no outright winner in the first round forcing a re-run. As much as the opposition believes Mudavadi can manage a 50pc+1 vote in the first round, they are not taking chances in case there is a second round. Here the opposition knows that Kenyans are furious with the Jubilee administration due to corruption, arrogance and chestthumping by its top leadership, the Kamba, Luo, Luhya vote block will automatically favour Mudavadi in the second round same as Coast and Nairobi regions thereby winning the second round by a landslide.
Sources say once Mudavadi is declared the winner, either in the first round or second round, and hoping the opposition will have controlling majority in both the senate and national assembly, it will use numerical strength to push for a referendum to create a positions including that of chief minister similar to that of the previous position of prime minister and appoint Raila to the office. Other positions will also be created to accommodate Wetangula and Martha Karua who has also shown interest in working with other opposition leaders.