What exactly happened to the much publicised yet now muted proposed merger between Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress and Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford-Kenya? This is the million-dollar question that has confounded political pundits and supporters in equal measure.
This comes against a backdrop of sustained political activities in both parties, with Ford-K busy organising grassroots elections on the one hand, and ANC dogged with internal disputes bordering on rebel legislators on the other.
Weekly Citizen has established that to date, neither ANC nor Ford-K has exhaustively deliberated on the matter, notwithstanding the much-hyped plans and previous reassurances on the political union that was designed to checkmate ODM leader Raila Odinga’s gains in Western region, a supposed fortress of ANC and Ford-K.
Insiders say the merger came a cropper as soon as soon as some ANC MPs maintained that their party leader lead the merged outfit because of his seniority, a suggestion that did not augur well for Wetang’ula allies and in effect fuelling suspicion and mistrust between Mudavadi and Wetang’ula allies.
That Mudavadi and Wetang’ula carry with them fairly serious presidential ambitions cannot be gainsaid. Such are the conflicting egos attributable the new platform’s leadership and its 2022 flagbearer.
What is more the historical differences between Mudavadi’s Maragoli and Wetangula’s Bukusu sub-tribes appears to have thrown the spanner into the works, negating the much sought after attempts at secure the populous Luhya vote basket.
It is instructive to note that the Nasa fallout in the wake of Raila’s controversial swearing in and the Bungoma senator’s ouster as leader of minority late prompted Mudavadi and Wetang’ula – both co-principals in the coalition – to seek a united vehicle on their journey to 2022.
It has since emerged that William Ruto planted then Ford-K deputy party leader Boni Khalwale in a joint technical committee formed to fasttrack the merger, and which he co-chaired with ANC secretary general Barrack Muluka to play dirty.
Having failed in his mission to have Ford-K dissolved at the DP’s behest, Khalwale openly went flat out campaigning for Ruto, culminating into his recent defection to Ruto’s Tanga Tanga faction of Jubilee.
Only a few weeks ago, the former Kakamega senator admitted having been approached by Ruto to work with Jubilee ahead of the repeat presidential election. Sources say Khalawe’s brief in the joint technical committee was to force through his party’s dissolution and later have the new outfit ‘auctioned’ to Ruto ahead of the 2022 general election.
Having been beaten at his game before, Mudavadi put brakes on the merger initiative, with Wetang’ula also choosing to strengthen his party at the expense of the failed political union. A report the technical committee submitted to Mudavadi and Wetang’ula to guide their respective top party organs’ decision has been gathering dust.
The report should essentially have been discussed for adoption during subsequent meetings of the top party organs held separately in Kisumu and Nakuru. While ANC MPs subbed their party leader’s Kisumu meeting with delegates cautioning Mudavadi against trusting Wetang’ula, Khalwale was being roasted at Ford-K’s convention in Nakuru for using the platform to advance his personal interests.
As things stand now, Mudavadi is busy fortifying his ANC outfit in readiness for 2022, with a host of gubernatorial, senatorial, parliamentary and county assembly hopefuls in Kakamega and Vihiga counties lining up to grab the party’s ticket when the time comes.