Deputy President William Ruto secretly met MPs allied to ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula this week, the Sunday Nation has learnt.
The hour-long meeting was held on Monday morning at the DP’s official residence in Karen before Dr Ruto attended Madaraka Day celebrations at State House, Nairobi.
Pointedly, the meeting also came four days after Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali hosted 32 MCAs — “soldiers of Ruto” — drawn from four counties in Western Kenya where he told them to be “friends with Mr Mudavadi” because he is in talks with the DP for a possible pact ahead of the 2022 elections.
After the meeting, the DP made his way to State House while the MPs moved to Wetangula’s Karen home where they met their party leaders, according to sources who spoke to the Sunday Nation in confidence.
They would later issue a statement attacking ODM leader Raila Odinga of being a thankless politician and abandoning the people of the Western region after they supported him in previous elections.
Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa, who is among those who were said to have attended the meeting, denied knowledge of the talks, describing it as “fake news” by people keen to advance a negative narrative against their party and the people of the region.
“It’s total nonsense. There is freedom of association but where there is a lie, it should be called out. How I wish it (meeting Ruto) happened,” he said.
The meeting came just a day after a faction of Ford-Kenya officials convened a special National Executive Council meeting in which Mr Wetang’ula was removed as the party leader.
According to a source who attended, but who spoke in confidence, the meeting discussed the best way the three leaders could work together and the challenges that hamper such a move.
The source said the meeting also discussed Mr Odinga’s role and that of Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli in the politics of Western region.
The talks also discussed how the DP could offer support to Mr Wetangula’s possible fight back in his tribulations in Ford-Kenya so as to ensure that he regains the party.
It was agreed that the greatest stumbling block to a political pact between the two sides was Mr Odinga and the influence he and his allies have in the region.
The support the ODM leader enjoys could make it difficult for Dr Ruto and the two top politicians from the region.
“We all agree that Raila has a substantial sway within the Luhya community and this could pose a serious obstacle to the possibility of the three working together,” one of the MPs who attended the meeting said.
Those from Ford Kenya who are said to have attended the meeting are Mr Wamalwa, Mr Ferdinand Wanyonyi (Kwanza) and Ms Catherine Wambiliangah (Bungoma). From ANC there was Mr Tindi Mwale (Butere), Mr Omurunga Makokha (Matungu), Mr Shadrack Aseka (Khwisero) and Ms Beatrice Adagala (Vihiga).
Others said to have attended include Mr Benjamin Washiali, who was on Tuesday sacked as majority whip in the National Assembly, Mr Dan Wanyama (Webuye West), Mr Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Mr Malulu Injendi (Malava), Mr John Waluke (Sirisia).
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that Mr Odinga should be called out as an “ungrateful person, a wrecker of political parties.”
They also agreed that a strategy be developed to systematically create an anti- Raila message among the masses in western Kenya, a task they argued, will provide them with a fighting chance for the region’s political soul.
Before he left for State House, the DP ordered his Jubilee troops to join the ANC and Ford Kenya leaders for a press conference at Mr Wetangula’s home, where they issued a joint statement assailing Mr Odinga.
Lugari MP Ayub Savula likened the presence of his ANC colleagues in the meeting as a scheme to undermine the President.
“As a party, we are messing things up when we appear to be meeting Dr Ruto against the wishes of the President,” he said, noting that the party leadership should avoid diversionary antics and focus on rebuilding, for future political contests.
“Our focus should be on 2022 election and not to undermine the President,” he said.
Mr Atwoli refused to be drawn into the issue, saying that he is not a member of either of the parties.
“I have heard of the meeting and it is not my business to care about how other political parties run their affairs. I belong to Kanu and not any of the two parties,” he said when reached for comment.
Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi (ANC) said the meeting of the three sides is not a surprise.
“It’s not anything new because they have been meeting anyway,” Mr Osotsi said.
Three days earlier, on May 26, Mr Washiali had hosted the 32 MCAs for a meeting where they agreed to stand in solidarity with Dr Ruto in his wars with the President.
The MCAs who attended are mainly from the two parties and were drawn from Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma and Busia counties.
One of the MCAs who attended the meeting said Mr Washiali told them to remain as Dr Ruto’s foot soldiers and to go out of their way to accommodate Mr Mudavadi.
“Go out of your way and accommodate Mudavadi and his friends because they are our friends,” Mr Washiali is reported as saying during the meeting at Friends’ Hotel in Kakamega town.
Mr Wetang’ula and Dr Ruto have been working together in Bungoma County under a programme called Maendeleo Mashinani Initiative; an MCA- spearheaded programme that is aimed at creating Dr Ruto’s grassroots networks in the county.
The programme, which has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, has Webuye West MP Dan Wanyama as its coordinator.
Dr Eseli Simiyu, whose position as Ford Kenya secretary-general is disputed by a rival faction in a leadership battle before the Registrar of Political Parties, said Saturday that it is Mr Wetang’ula who had sent former Senator Boni Khalwale to Ruto.
Read the Original Article on DAILY NATION