WE­TANG’ULA’S FREE-FALL

Could Bun­goma Se­na­tor’s fel­low co-prin­ci­pals, act­ing in­di­vid­u­ally or jointly, have ac­ti­vated a scheme to cut to downsize by re­mote con­trol? In pol­i­tics, any­thing is pos­si­ble

The Star (Kenya) - - Voices - DAUDI MWENDA

Bun­goma Se­na­tor Moses We­tang’ula’s 2017 pres­i­den­tial bid has run into fierce head­winds from the un­like­li­est of quar­ters. The first salvo was fired from his Trans Nzoia back­yard, where Ford Kenya of­fi­cials openly ac­cused him of poor lead­er­ship and fail­ure to hold elec­tions in ac­cor­dance with the party con­sti­tu­tion. In a scathing per­sonal at­tack, Trans Nzoia branch chair­man Ken Wa­fula dis­missed We­tang’ula as a joker and non-starter in the pres­i­den­tial race who only cam­paigned in Bun­goma. Fail­ure to hold party elec­tions, they claimed, is a tragic omis­sion be­cause, as of now, Ford-K has no elected of­fi­cials as the party con­sti­tu­tion de­mands.

“Any Kenyan, there­fore, has a con­sti­tu­tional right to pro­ceed to the High Court and chal­lenge We­tang’ula’s pres­i­den­tial can­di­da­ture as un­law­ful,” Wa­fula said.

The sec­ond salvo was fired by neigh­bour­ing Kakamega Gover­nor Wy­cliffe Oparanya, who al­legedly said We­tang’ula is un­fit to be Pres­i­dent. In a hard-hit­ting state­ment, Oparanya told We­tang’ula to stop ly­ing to the coun­try that he has what it takes to be­come a pres­i­den­tial can­di­date, ask­ing him “to stick to the rivers he is used to as MP and Se­na­tor”. He ac­cused the se­na­tor of be­tray­ing the Luhya com­mu­nity in 2007 by sup­port­ing PNU’s Mwai Kibaki for Pres­i­dent.

In the state­ment to me­dia houses, the ODM deputy party leader said, “The de­ci­sion by We­tang’ula to defy the Western wave and dis­re­gard their sup­port for ODM leader Raila Odinga cost the re­gion an even­tual shot at the pres­i­dency. The stolen ODM vic­tory in 2007 was the clear­est path for the Luhya com­mu­nity to get to power be­cause Raila would cer­tainly have handed over power to Musalia Mu­davadi, whom he pro­ceeded to make Deputy Prime Min­is­ter in the Grand Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment”.

Is­sues have also been raised con­cern­ing his fi­nan­cial ca­pac­ity to suc­cess­fully launch a na­tion­wide pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

The se­na­tor, who has been throw­ing un­flat­ter­ing barbs at his co-prin­ci­pals in the bat­tle for the Cord’s ticket, has also run into trou­ble with the Coun­cil of Luo El­ders, who are de­mand­ing an apol­ogy from him for liken­ing Cord leader Raila to a bar­ren wo­man. But We­tang’ula, through his al­lies — MPs Chris Wa­malwa and Fer­di­nand Wany­onyi — said he will not apol­o­gise as de­manded . “The Luo Coun­cil of El­ders should not ex­pect an apol­ogy from Se­na­tor We­tang’ula just be­cause they mis­took his use of fig­u­ra­tive lan­guage for an insult,” they said.

Why the sud­den as­sault on We­tang’ula? Who is the hid­den hand be­hind his cur­rent woes? One is re­minded of the African proverb, “When the hyena wants to eat her own chil­dren, she first ac­cuses them of smelling like sheep.”

Could his fel­low co-prin­ci­pals, act­ing in­di­vid­u­ally or jointly, have ac­ti­vated a scheme to cut the Ford Kenya leader to downsize by re­mote con­trol? In pol­i­tics, any­thing is pos­si­ble and this could be a sub­tle plot or con­spir­acy to re­duce com­pe­ti­tion. The Ford-K corner how­ever has placed all its tribu­la­tions squarely on Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto. They claim that he, and Bun­goma Gover­nor Ken Lusaka, are out to desta­bilise the party

Who­ever is be­hind their tribu­la­tions mat­ters pre­cious lit­tle! Suf­fice it to state that they have ex­posed Ford Kenya’s soft un­der­belly. The Po­lit­i­cal Par­ties Act and Ar­ti­cle 91 of the Con­sti­tu­tion de­mand that par­ties hold reg­u­lar free and fair elec­tions ac­cord­ing to their con­sti­tu­tions.

If Ford Kenya does not hold elec­tions on or be­fore the Au­gust 2017 elec­tion, all or any of their can­di­dates can be nul­li­fied by a pe­ti­tion to the High Court. Hold­ing party elec­tions at this point in time will open them to sabo­teurs and could lead to a mas­sive nom­i­na­tion fall­out. The party is cur­rently caught in between the devil and the deep blue sea.

The po­lit­i­cal for­tunes of Moses We­tang’ula are in free-fall at per­haps the worst pos­si­ble mo­ment in his ca­reer. His po­lit­i­cal bub­ble has been popped. Peo­ple who live in glass houses, as the old adage states, must never throw stones.

HOLD­ING PARTY ELEC­TIONS AT THIS POINT IN TIME WILL OPEN THEM TO SABO­TEURS AND COULD LEAD TO A MAS­SIVE PRI­MARIES FALL­OUT. THEY ARE CUR­RENTLY CAUGHT IN-BETWEEN THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA

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