Photo: COTU secretary general Francis Atwoli at a past press briefing, he funded a research who results led to Musalia Mudavadi being declared the Luyha spokesman at the Bukungu One declaration.
History lessons by Collins Ajuok
1. Before the Rainbow Group departed Kanu in 2002, Raila and Job Omino had secured a guarantee from Musalia Mudavadi that he would be their flag bearer, ahead of the announcement. Many people do not know that the tables and microphones at the Serena Hotel where Mudavadi was to be unveiled by the Rainbow team had even been set, before Mudavadi became unreachable, apparently after Special Branch/NSIS got to him and blackmailed him, before Moi appointed him VP. Given how many people were waiting at Serena that day, I don’t know why this history is silent! With time running out and confusion caused by Musalia’s disappearance reigning, Raila went on a blitz, signing a deal with Nyachae (who unwisely then whispered to close associates that it would be difficult for a PM and President to come from the same province, something Raila quickly learns, and abandons the Nyachae deal). It is Mudavadi’s disappearance that led to Kibaki Tosha.
2. 2004 AD, Joab Omino, LDP Chairman and Kisumu West MP dies. Raila hasn’t given up on Mudavadi, who is now out in the cold after being karangwad by Akaranga in Sabatia in the 2002 elections. In a shocking move, Raila mobilises Luo elders and leaders and informs them that following betrayal by Kibaki, and the hatred theme directed at the Luo by the system, we can resurrect Mudavadi through the Kisumu West byelection, as a presidential “weapon” in 2007. It’s a discussion where the Luo have to be convinced that their seat won’t go to shemeji in vain (a seat that history records, Jaramogi once offered his friend Waruru Kanja from Nyeri, when Waruru was being blocked in his homeland). At the end, Luo Council of Elders Secretary General Prof Gilbert Ogutu, announces the white smoke. We will support our son Musalia for the seat. Musalia asks for time to go and think. He responds two weeks later, saying he is honoured, but after rejection by voters in Sabatia, he has to reflect on his future before returning! The Luo are disappointed, but Ken Nyagudi is available as an alternative!
3. September 1st 2007, ODM nominations at Kasarani. Raila wins. Conventional wisdom in the hall has it that Kalenjins, mobilised by Kipkalya Kones, Sally Kosgey and Henry Kosgey (not William Ruto as later assumed), now make up the second biggest block in the party, and the ones who have played a crucial role ahead of the Kasarani fete. All are expecting Ruto to be made running mate. Raila instead unilaterally raises Musalia’s hands. Much to the chagrin of Ruto, who launches a silent rebellion that gets loud after the elections.
4. June 2012, ODM Leaders Forum, KCB Centre, Karen. A huge meeting of ODM grassroots leaders. Whispers are going round that Raila is not interested in another run after the events of 2007. Close associates say Musalia’s time may have come. But The Star newspaper of that day has a headline saying Musalia is associated with a party being created by “Narc Activist Mary Wambui”. Musalia stands up to speak. He says that as Local Government Minister and DPM, he is about to launch a tour of the local authorities across the country and has sought Raila’s approval (he says this because the Star story has said the tour is a campaign tour). Soon enough, Musalia runs away again. One more time, our presidential weapon has left us.
Yet there are people in Jamii who think Raila owes Musalia deni. Madness!