Musalia Mudavadi would have been Jubilee’s presidential candidate in 2012 if plans to have him fronted as the Jubilee Coalition's flag bearer worked then.
The Amani Coalition leader paints a picture of high political stakes at play, drama and deceit saying Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Najib Balala and Chirau Ali Mwakwere persuaded him to become the Jubilee candidate only to dumped two weeks later.
Mudavadi details how he was planning to launch his presidential bid on Monday December 3, 2012 at Uhuru Park.
It was never to be.
Mudavadi was at his Riverside house with Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale, former ministers Mukhisa Kituyi, the late Soita Shitanda and Water CS Eugene Wamalwa crafting a coalition to be called Jubilee.
If it worked, it would include Kanu’s Gideon Moi, Raphael Tuju’s PPP, Eugene Wamalwa’s New Ford Kenya and Peter Kenneth’s Kenya National Congress.
On the same day, ODM leader Raila Odinga had announced the formation of Cord at KICC with Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka as his partners. He was frantically reaching out to Mudavadi to join him as all the major groupings were racing against time to beat the December 4 deadline for the registration of their coalitions.
Uhuru and his team feared Raila would convince Mudavadi to join his coalition. Here, the four- Uhuru, Ruto, Balala and Mwakwere- drove to Mudavadi’s Riverside home without notice.
“Kenyatta, Balala, Ruto and Mwakwere arrived in my house uninvited at around 11am. Kenyatta offered to support me with Ruto as my running mate. I asked them if they were serious and they said yes. I demanded we sign a memorandum of understanding, which we did only for this agreement to be disowned a few days later,” says Musalia.
After signing the initial agreement, both sides had their lawyers draft a proper coalition agreement the same day for it to be deposited at the Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u before the December 4 deadline. The parties involved talked for two hours before the lawyers retreated to an undisclosed location to finalise the coalition agreement.
“The lawyers Desterio Oyatsi representing Uhuru and Dan Ameyo for Musalia crafted a coalition agreement to be signed by party chairman. They would then join the other politicians and close allies at Laico Regency for an evening party to celebrate the new deal,” said Musalia.
At Laico Regency late in the evening, the announcement that Mudavadi would be the presidential candidate sent shock waves through Cord.
On December 4 two more agreements were signed between the then Deputy Prime Ministers Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru Kenyatta.
The first was an addendum to the coalition agreement between Uhuru’s TNA party and William Ruto’s URP party that now added Mudavadi’s UDF party and gave URP one third of Cabinet seats. In the second private agreement Uhuru surrendered his candidacy for the presidency to Mudavadi.
“The agreement was signed by Uhuru’s private residence on Dennis Pritt Road witnessed by Ruto in the presence of two lawyers – for Uhuru being Desterio Oyatsi and for Mudavadi being Dan Ameyo. The only other persons being witnesses were Hon Beth Mugo and Hon Ngengi Muigai, who are both first cousins to Uhuru, and Jomo Gecaga, his nephew,” said a close associate of Musalia Mudavadi at the time.
But in an unexpected twist, Balala called Mudavadi a few days later telling him Kenyatta’s TNA supporters would have nothing of their man not being on the ballot.
“He told me it was a hard sell,” said Mudavadi.
On December 18 Uhuru denounced the deal saying “Shetani” and “dark forces” had forced him into it. Uhuru spoke of threats from “powerful persons” who got him to sign the deal to cede his presidential ambitions for the sake of the country.
A week earlier, Uhuru’s TNA party delegates passed a resolution rejecting the deal insisting that delegates pick the party’s presidential candidate.
“I will only listen to your decision and nothing else. My message to Musalia is that if delegates pick him, I will not seek any position,” Uhuru responded.
After the deal collapsed, Mudavadi announced his bid with the support of Kanu while Peter Kenneth decided to go it alone.
Musalia’s lawyer Dan Ameyo said they were taken for a ride during that week when the deal was signed.
“Our intentions were put into an MoU that was to be binding to the two parties. One party, who is not my client, failed to honour his part for reasons I can’t tell,” said Ameyo.
Uhuru and Ruto kept the Jubilee name and changed it to Jubilee Alliance which they used during the campaigns for the March 2013 elections.
Mudavadi told the Star that he could have gone to court to seek redress but he chose not to have a protracted legal battle.
He knew that filing the petition in the court or with the Registrar of Political parties would lock him as well as Uhuru out of the March 2013 election.
Yesterday Kakamega Senator Bony Khalwale declined to discuss the MoU saying, “I don’t want to offend you but I am no longer working with Musalia.”
“I have nothing say because I have nothing to say,” said David Mugonyi, spokesperson for Deputy President William Ruto.
Allegedly, politicians from Central Kenya started demanding that Musalia fund them if he became the Jubilee candidate in December 2012. Potential governors and senators demanded Sh40 million each, MPs Sh20 million and MCAs Sh5 million each.
Mudavadi refused to honour this demand.
Will this be the case with NASA? Only time will tell.