With the clock ticking towards the 2017 general election, political pundits are of the idea that the wind of change will be blowing so fiercely for the so called political heavyweights to survive.
Since the introduction of multi-party politics in 1992, presidential politics has been always been a two horse race. If the narrative remains that way, Musalia Mudavadi, the former deputy prime minister must change strategy for him to be among the perceived horses.
Mudavadi has two battles to fight, one in his home county of Vihiga to ensure that Amani National Congress Party (ANC) wins majority of the elective seats. The second fight will be to try and remain politically relevant in Kenyan politics.
In his home County of Vihiga, a four horse race has already shaped up for the gubernatorial seat. The four likely aspirants are the incumbent, H.E. Moses Akaranga (PPK), Vihiga Senator Hon. George Khaniri (will probably vie on MDP), Emuhaya Constituency MP Hon. Wilberforce Otichilo (ODM) and Vihiga constituency MP Hon. Yusuf Chanzu (ANC) .
There is a huge possibility of the ANC candidate sharing the votes with the incumbent as they are both from the larger Maragoli sub tribe. Reports indicate that Otichilo has a solid support of the Abanyore sub tribe who are the second largest followed by the minority Tiriki where Khaniri hails from. Political analysts however think George Khaniri is able to dig into the Maragoli vote as he has a following of his own. If things go as they stand, Otichilo could probably carry the day.
In Mudavadi’s Sabatia constituency (Where he was MP), a fierce battle is awaiting him as his self-nominated incumbent MP Alfred Agoi will be facing off with the new entrant and popular Maendeleo Democratic Party candidate Charles Majani.
Majani enjoys the support of many elite and the ’who is who’ in the constituency unlike Alfred, who is surrounded by a few old buddies who cannot even draft his 2017 campaign strategy. Residents here say that they will overwhelmingly vote for Majani who they think understands what they are going through on day to day basis.
Voting in this side of the country is based on clans and Majani already enjoys the support of his own Avakirima clan and sizeable number of the Avakizungu clan where his wife comes from. He has relatives and friends all over the constituency. Opinion polls predict a majority win for the MDP candidate considering also the fact that 70% of Kenyan MPs never make it back to parliament.
These battles will be shaped purely by the presidential race as voting trends have always been dependent on the political wave of the day. If ANC loses this battle, it will consequently dent the image of Mudavadi and blame will be purely on choice of candidates for various seats.
County opinion shapers and political analysts suggest that for Mudavadi to carry the day, he should reconcile Akaranga and Yusuf for the later to support the incumbent. In the parliamentary race, the ANC presidential candidate should ask Hon. Agoi to go for senatorial position and pave way for Charles Majani. With this, his party will bag all the seats.