From Moi’s academy of political trickery, to Raila’s academy of political rebellion; Mudavadi is now a master of state craft


Musalia Mudavadi, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto after announcing a deal at Laico Regency on December 5, 2012. Musalia was to be the Jubilee presidential candidate. PHOTO/COURTESY


I was having a cup of coffee with friends on Friday when a renowned scholar at the University of Nairobi joined us and we started discussing politics.

One thing that caught my attention during our conversation was his analysis of National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principal Musalia Mudavadi’s political metamorphosis.

“Mudavadi has now graduated from former President Daniel arap Moi’s academy of political trickery, Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga’s academy of political rebellion into a master of state craft,” the professor said.

What the professor I am not going to name because I did not consult him over this insight meant was that Mudavadi had now acquired abilities to skillfully manage state affairs and operate like a statesman.

His analysis of a man I have been following his political sojourn for more than 25 years now hit me like a thunderbolt. So I was not alone in taking note of this.

The son of Substone Mudamba Mudavadi, the former powerful minister in the Kanu era, who was nicknamed the ‘King of Mululu’ because of hosting delegations at his Mululu home from all-over Kenya, has indeed cut for himself a new political image.

MM as he is fondly called by those close to him has travelled a treacherous and winding political career before cutting for himself the current image of an astute and calculating political operative.

For the Nasa co-principal to be referred to as a master of state craft by a leading scholar, is no mean feat given the turbulent political journey Mudavadi has travelled.

Nasa principals, Raila Odinga, Moses Wetantula, Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi. PHOTO/NASA.

If you rewind to 2013 just after that year’s General Election in which Mudavadi was a presidential candidate and managed a paltry 483,981 votes . Many had written his political obituary.

Just before the 2013 General Election, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto, took Mudavadi down the garden path; they signed with him a memorandum of understanding stating that they were going to back his presidential candidature only to renege on the same at the last minute.

President Kenyatta was to later claim that dark forces or evil people had attempted to block him from the presidential race. But their scheme was to weaken Raila’s candidature.

The trick Ruto and Uhuru played on Mudavadi in 2013 was the same thing they did to him in 2002 when he was Uhuru’s running mate against retired President Mwai Kibaki.

While Mudavadi was busy campaigning for Uhuru across the country, Kanu power barons had decided that in event Uhuru won the presidency, Gideon Moi was to be his vice-president.

So to achieve this, they ensured Mudavadi lost the Sabatia parliamentary seat to former Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga. No wonder Akaranga has joined the UhuruRuto team.

Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, Musalia Mudavadi and President Uhuru Kenyatta. Mudavadi was Uhuru’s running mate in 2002. PHOTO/COURTESY

But I believe the 2013 General Election taught Mudavadi great life lessons that have helped him to re-invent and re-energise himself politically.

Come 2017, Mudavadi decided to play a different political ball game. He discreetly founded the National Super Alliance (NASA), registered it and decided he was going to use it to re-invent himself politically.

But he had to work extra-hard to convince both Raila and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka that he meant well before they reluctantly decided to join Nasa.

Today Mudavadi is the silent force behind a Raila rejuvenated presidential bid and he has re-energised it with a booming baritone ‘NASA HAO! NASA RUTO! NASA UHURU!

And this has brought him a loyal army of supporters not only in western Kenya but throughout the country. This strategic move has revived his political fortunes and earned him a national appeal.

Whether Nasa wins during the repeat presidential election on October 26 or not, Mudavadi is assured of one thing; unlike in the past, Kenyans can now trust and bank on his leadership.

But many people think Mudavadi started ‘testing’ teargas when he joined Raila and other opposition leaders in agitating for the removal of former IEBC commissioners led by Isaac Hassan.

That is not the case, Mudavadi demonstrated his ‘rebellion’ while still a student at the University of Nairobi. During the 1982 Kenya Air Force coup attempt; Mudavadi was among university students arrested for being sympathizers of the coup and he has his father’s friendship with Moi to thank for having not been charged.

And while at Nairobi School Mudavadi was popularly known as PHANTOM because of his rugby and sprinting exploits. He earned the nickname because he used to vanish from his opponents like a ghost (phantom). And just like the days when he excelled in the Nairobi School rugby team to earn the nickname, Mudavadi is now an apparition of Kenyan politics.



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