The suspicion that Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula could endorse Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa as the party’s flagbearer for the Trans-Nzoia’s governor race in the 2022 polls is the biggest puzzle thrown to William Ruto and Devolution cabinet
secretary Eugene Wamalwa as the duo strategise for control of the county. The likely endorsement of Chris could rekindle the 2013 and 2017 memories where Ford-K party settled on Governor Patrick Khaemba as its gubernatorial candidate throwing the party in disarray with its members before Khaemba emerged the winner in two consecutive general elections against fancied and experienced politicians such as Noah Wekesa. The question is: Could the 2013 and 2017 history repeat in 2022 for the Ford-K?
The Kiminini MP is serving his second term as he moves to face off with big guns such as Eugene, Rift Valley regional Commissioner George Natembeya, Ruto’s allies Abraham Sing’oei and Kakai Bisau and Ben Wanjala? Even as Wetang’ula seeks support within One Kenya Alliance with co-partners ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper and Kanu’s and Gideon Moi, in Trans-Nzoia as part of Western region, the DP and CS Wamalwa fight Ford-K dominance in Trans-Nzoia. By picking on the Kiminini MP to succeed Governor Khaemba, Wetang’ula will effectively be sending signals that Chris could also decide the fate of the five constituencies of Saboti, Endebess, Kwanza, Cherengany and Kiminini. The Building Bridges Initiative had proposed the creation of two additional constituencies in the county. This will make both DP Ruto and CS Wamalwa go back to the drawing board. Ruto is not leaving anything to chance with respect to his presidential ambitions while Eugene seeking to reclaim his lost glory for the national political clout.
Trans-Nzoia faces three political scenarios. The county is cosmopolitanism and politics of endorsement are fast stocking up as Governor Khaemba exits the scene without little hint of his probable successor. And thirdly, political parties are re-examining their performance in the last two general elections with Ford-K and Jubilee standing in the way to stop Raila Odinga’s ODM and Mudavadi’s ANC. The Jubilee leadership in the county is currently being held by CS Wamalwa after most of its leaders aligned themselves to the UDA, a party associated with DP Ruto. However, the CS is showing signs of shifting to another political outfit ahead of next year’s polls. UDA is currently causing sleepless nights to the Jubilee fraternity as it is likely to sway majority of its followers spearheaded by Allan Chesang’ who is eyeing to unseat Jubilee’s senator Mike Mbito in the forthcoming general elections. Already, Chesang’ has offered a building in the posh Kitale Milimani area which will house UDA’s county headquarters to rival the deserted Jubilee. But the UDA house started on the wrong footing when a group of drugged youths descended on it with stones over yet to be known reasons.
The county’s 2022 politics are centered around four horses: the DP Ruto who has candidates in the area for various seats, Eugene interest in succeeding Governor Khaemba or opt for a parliamentary seat, the high-riding gubernatorial aspirant the Kiminini MP and Senator Mbito. Latest indications are that the first-term senator had shifted his goal posts from the governor’s race and decided to defend his seat with the bitterness of ensuring the downfall of Kakai Bisau against Eugene or Chris. Mbito was Bisau’s running mate in 2013 but as the duo fell apart with the former going solo to win the senate seat in 2017 things worsened when Bisau was hired to work in the DP’s office with whom the senator has also fallen apart. In the 2013 polls, Ford-K emerged the ruling party in the county through Khaemba and bagging parliamentary seats of Kiminini and Kwanza while the defunct New Ford Kenya NFK associated with CS Wamalwa became the majority party with URP then allied to DP Ruto as the minority. Wesley Korir made it as the only independent candidate in the county to win the Cherangany seat by unseating the fancied Joshua Kuttuny of URP. Kuttuny reclaimed the seat in 2017 on the Jubilee ticket.
The two are now gearing up to wrestle each other next year with reports indicating that the former area MP Kipruto Arap Kirwa and Julius Tunduria are counting on the support of Ruto for the seat. Kanu did not win any seat in the two elections while ODM won Saboti through Caleb Amisi. Kanu has no county party officials except for the old few hangers-on who are ever squabbling over rent from the party’s assets and property in Kitale town. This is where party leader is to make any impact in the county. As Ruto puts his presidential case across the county, questions are being asked as to whether or not he will endorse Bisau or Sing’oei to face off with Eugene or Chris for the governor’s race. Eugene could drop his gubernatorial ambition for his ally the county assembly speaker Joshua Werunga. Can the DP also back either Kirwa or Tunduria to oust Kuttuny in Cherangany? Still can CS Wamalwa prop up Moses Lupao to remove Kwanza MP Ferdinand Wanyonyi and Alwin Sasia to vote out the Endebess legislator Robert Pukose, the DP’s right hand man in the area? Will Governor Khaemba back his deputy Stanley Tarus to take over him in 2022 or will he propel his finance CEC Boniface Wanyonyi and his predecessor Ben Wanjala to climb the ladder to the governor’s office?
Can the governor sponsor county chief of staff Patrick Simiyu for his third trial for the Cherangany seat against the likes of lawyer Bernard Milimo being favoured by Chris seen as the front runner for the governor race? And further, can Chris back Joseph Pepela to become the next Saboti lawmaker on the Ford-K ticket against the party’s other aspirants such as William Nangulu and Jubilee’s Lazaro Wafula and for Robert Wekesa in Endebess against Paul Moiben? Saboti aspirant Wycliffe Pakachini says politics of endorsement has no place in Trans-Nzioa county and that the 2022 polls will be about competition. This is the same story for another Saboti aspirant Rodgers Bokose who says that the constituency should be contested by the residents and not outsiders. Ruto, Eugene, Chris and Wetang’ula have their own challenges to address and it will be up to the individual aspirants to up their campaigns. Except for Bisau who was recently endorsed by a section of Bukusu elders for the governor’s seat, Governor Khaemba’s former rivals including Andrew Wanyonyi, Wekesa, Moses Khaoya and Joel Gesuka have taken a back seat. In 2017, Ford-K cashed on the blunder by the Jubilee party in asking Sing’oei to pull out of the Kwanza parliamentary race which enabled Wanyonyi to have an easy ride defending the seat.
All eyes are now set on Ford-K party which in its past elections considered some of its aspirants as special and handed them direct nominations and this time round Wetang’ula must follow the rules to avoid a fallout that is threatening to tear the party into pieces. But even as the political parties battle for supremacy in the 2022 polls, Ford-K and UDA fraternity concur that it would be suicidal for both groups to go against Wetang’ula and Ruto and for Weta, he stands better chance in the county owing to the recent win for the Kabuchai by-election in Bungoma. This has effectively put off the former UNCTAD secretary general Mukhisa Kituyi and his company who had planned to use Trans-Nzoia county as one of his campaign home ground. This effectively spells outright support for the Bungoma senator by the so-called deep state and alignment with the One Kenya Alliance. The Sabaot community is still adamant the additional of the two seats for Trans-Nzoia county as outlined in the BBI would be an added advantage to them. The community is banking on the Saboti MCA David Kaboloman as the favourite running mate of Chris or to be appointed in next government should the Kiminini MP become the next governor.
A prominent women leader Naomi Okul is still hopeful that the Court of Appeal will annul the judgment of the High Court that declared the BBI illegal and open up to more constituencies to allow her contest the proposed Kitale Town seat. Chris walks away from Kiminini constituency politics well knowing that Ford-K will retain the seat in 2022 with the possible party nominations that may bring together the area MCA David Kisaka and a newcomer Joseph Wafula. This is also the same for Kwanza constituency where the Kiminini MP has a sizeable following. But the mood in Kwanza seems to call for a fresh parliamentary representation arguably for youthful politicians with respect to Moses Lupao and minority leader Emmanuel Waswa. Back in Kiminini, insecurity remains the main challenge both MCA Kisaka and Wafula, a vet, and this could be the main agenda for the residents as they Chris. The voters are also yearning for piped water and improved infrastructure in primary schools to cope up with the students’ fast-growing population.
In the neighbouring Saboti with 76,802 voters, all is up for grabs with Amisi fighting the mother of all battles to retain the seat while in Endebess with less than 47,000 voters Pukose could have little resistance to make a third win since the creation of the constituency. Cherangany seat remains the tricky one with aspirants keeping their fingers crossed. With a total of 76,506 voters, the area has proved to be a hotbed with the likes of Kuttuny and Kirwa and lately the influx of the younger generation of the Ford-K politicians. A political analyst Vincent Rono from Cherangany, however, says any aspirant who will defend the interests of the local dairy and maize farmers will have an upper hand adding that Kirwa had attempted to achieve this while serving as the cabinet minister for Agriculture but failed midway. And for ex-MP Korir, he had managed to install milk coolers in the area with the assistance of American donors. The senate seat has not attracted much sparkle with the incumbent Mbito expected to make a return match but with the youthful Chesang’ putting up a spirited war. Others in the race for the senate are Kanu’s Nixon Mutuku, Richard Chesebe, Ken Simiyu, Alex Matere and Henry Ole Ndiema. The women rep Janet Nangabo is facing accusations of having abandoned the female gender for her personal gains.
New dynamics in Luhya politics – Weekly Citizen
The newly formed Democratic Action Party of Kenya associated with Eugene Wamalwa is out to consolidate the Luhya voting bloc. The party has lined up meetings with MCAs, MPs, governors, senators and former political leaders from Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Vihiga and Trans Nzoia as a starting point to consolidate Luhya votes into one basket.
Faces behind the party are also reaching out to other seasoned political leaders from other communities. This comes at the backdrop of what political observers aver to be a spirited campaign for the community unity which has been elusive since the demise of former vice president Michael Wamalwa Kijana. In 2018, Eugene and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula buried their political differences at an event that took place at Mabanga Farmers Training College in Bungoma.
But the ‘handshake’ did not last long over what the CS handlers term as betrayal and dishonest on the part of Wetangula. Pundits argue that Eugene’s political move to form a new party is being pushed by powerful forces to tame Ford-K’s Wetangula and ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi political move and fear that dissolving their political parties now might be like writing their political obituaries.
Earlier on, supremacy wars pitting Mudavadi and Wetangula supporters on who becomes the leader of the new party and who will be the presidential flag-bearer derailed the merger. In 1997, Eugene supported the late Michael Wamalwa’s his presidential bid while Mudavadi and Wetangula supported the late president Daniel Arap Moi. Come 2013, Eugene supported Mudavadi for his presidential bid while Wetangula supported ODM leader Raila Odinga.
American billionaire to fund Ruto 2022 bid – Weekly Citizen
American billionaire famous for backing regime change across the globe, George Soros, has reportedly thrown his weight behind William Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid according to sources within the civil societies and human rights activities. Soros, the founder of the Open Society Foundations that funds human rights groups around the world – from global advocacy organisations to smaller national and local groups – has settled on Ruto as the ideal presidential candidate to bring governance changes in Kenya in line with his economic model and political philosophy. Ruto political push for dynasty change in Kenya and the recognition of the Hustler Nation has endeared him to the society.
To win Soros Open Society Foundation heart, keen observers will have noticed, the DP of late when in front of Uhuru Kenyatta as it happened during Madaraka Day celebrations last week, talked of the respect of constitutional institutions including the judiciary, parliament from the executive. Ruto and his allies have of late been defending the judiciary from executive attack. Ruto has also come out in the open to attack what he calls deep state moves to use police, an independent institution to settle political scores during by-elections and blocking meetings organised by his UDA supporters across the country. Weekly Citizen has established, Ruto’s decision to lately work with members of civil societies in checkmating the Uhuru government is part of the deal that has seen the Soros foundation favour him. Political analysts say, Uhuru’s decision to sideline Ruto in the daily management of the country has won the DP international support among those who push for regime change.
The DP of late is surrounded by human rights activists initially associated with ODM leader Raila Odinga. Notable one is former Mombasa senator Hassan Omar who served as executive director Kenya Humans Rights Commission. George Kegoro is the current executive director of Soros Open Society in East Africa (OSIEA). He was at KHRC as executive director responsible for leading efforts to advance human rights in Kenya. Ruto has also managed to penetrate the Law Society Kenya another influential body and has support of fearless prominent lawyers pushing for regime change and openly opposed to Uhuru regime. The Hungarian-born Jew billionaire Soros is a supporter of progressive and liberal political causes, to which he dispenses donations amounting to millions of dollars through his foundation, the Open Society Foundations. He has also developed an economic theory of reflexivity that allows him to anticipate the ebb and flow of financial markets and which he believes if replicated in the economic arena across the globe would lift the masses out of poverty.
Ruto’s bottom up economic model appeals to Soros. The billionaire, sources revealed, has also started channeling millions of dollars to non-governmental organisations backing Ruto’s presidential bid as well as frustrating the government’s political and social activities. The civil societies that have been receiving funding from Soros to oppose the Building Bridges Initiative among other anti-government activities include Linda Katiba which is led by economist David Ndii, Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana, Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua and activist Boniface Mwangi. The BBI is seen to favour dynasties in Kenya and not masses. Ndii is now Ruto’s key adviser on economic matters and is said to be the one who coined the Hustler Movement that heavily borrows from Soros’s philosophy on awakening the masses to fight for their rights. The Hustler Movement has seen Ruto attract new fanatical following in Mount Kenya region and other parts of the country.
It is premised on the philosophy of the downtrodden using their numbers to fight for their rightful place, including remove dynasties from power. In the 2013 and 2017 general elections, Soros funded ODM leader Raila Odinga to the tunes of millions of shillings. It was the billionaire who was bankrolling the ODM street protests and rallies that included the one to kick out electoral commission bosses. Most of the protests ended up in bloodshed after the protesters clashed with anti-riot police. Soros’ name also prominently featured ahead of the rerun presidential election that took place on October 26 2017. The rerun was occasioned by the Supreme Court ruling on 1st September annulling the presidential election results of the 8th August, 2017. It is to be recalled that as the deadline for filing petitions to the Supreme Court to dispute the rerun approached, the state NGO coordination board summoned three NGOs – Inuka Kenya, Katiba Institute and Muhuri – to respond to allegations, among others, of operating without a proper licence, employing foreigners without a work permit and money laundering. The board also issued a communication directing Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu, a citizen-led coalition spearheaded by We The People, accusing it of operating illegal accounts at NIC Bank and CitiBank and receiving funding from the George Soros Foundation.
Days later, the NGOs coordination board banned operations of Kura Yangu Sauti Yangu and We The People for allegedly receiving Sh36 million from the George Soros Foundation. Days later, the board directed Central Bank of Kenya Governor, Patrick Njoroge, to freeze the accounts of an NGO associated with Raila’s daughter, Rosemary, for illegally receiving millions of shillings from Soros. The board claimed the Key Empowerment Foundation Kenya associated with Rosemary had received Sh530 million from the George Soros Foundation for political purposes, including fermenting insurrection. In the 2013 elections, Soros funded the Raila- friendly Africa Centre for Open Governance (Africog) that unsuccessfully challenged Uhuru’s win in the presidential race. The Africog officials were human rights activists Gladwell Otieno and Kegoro.
Now the billionaire has deserted Raila after the latter went to bed with the Uhuru regime. Soros is backing Ruto who despite being in power as second in command is now championing good governance and the rule of law which are key tenets the American billionaire holds sacred. For instance during Madaraka Day celebrations in Kisumu, the deputy president called for adherence to the rule of law, independence of the judiciary and other institutions. The deputy president, sounding like an reformist, said it would be an act of betrayal if Kenyans allowed ethnic bigotry and personality cults to creep into the foundation of constitutionalism and the rule of law, noting Kenyans deserve a nation built on institutions, robust legislation, a performing executive, and an independent judiciary.
Insiders added that Ruto is now advancing Soros’ gospel of political and economic liberation. The deputy president’s economic model from the top-bottom to bottom-up that seeks to remove millions of unemployed who have the will and power to take part in the transformation of Kenya also borrows heavily from Soros thinking. The model that is backed by the Hustler Movement borrows heavily from Soros gospel of empowering the masses and awakening them to use all means at their disposal to claim their rightful share of the national cake. After Raila was bought by Uhuru, Soros started funding regime change in Kenya through then Thirdway Alliance leader, Dr Ekuru Aukot. It is suspected Soros wired millions of shillings to Aukot through a woman in the Punguza Mzigo Initiative before it collapsed. Their aim was to force a referendum to change the constitution to become pro-people, as per Soros’ philosophy, but the crusade flopped after Aukot failed to gather one million signatures.
There are also reports that Soros funded then a Commissioner with Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Roselyne Akombe. Sources revealed that Akombe who works at UN, doubles up as Soros chief link for regime change in Kenya. Soros who was born in Hungary in 1930, lived through the Nazi occupation of 1944–1945, which resulted in the murder of over 500,000 Hungarian Jews. His own Jewish family survived by securing false identity papers, concealing their backgrounds, and helping others do the same. As the communists consolidated power in Hungary after the war, Soros left Budapest in 1947 for London, working part-time as a railway porter and as a nightclub waiter to support his studies at the London School of Economics.
In 1956, he immigrated to the United States, entering the world of finance and investments, where he made his fortune. Soros backed regime change in Iraq spearheaded by then US president George W Bush. Soros went further and backed overthrow of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe, Libya’s Muammar el-Qaddafi, Burma’s Gen Than Shwe and Turkmenistan’s president-for-life Saparmurat Niyazov. Through a non-governmental initiative called “Americans Coming Together” (Act), Soros tried to stop Bush in his bid for a second term as president of the United States. Soros also spent over one billion dollars promoting democracy in a Russia that was the cradle of communism. The billionaire, insiders added, is eyeing investment opportunities in Kenya if Ruto wins the presidency.
In the past, there were reports Soros wanted to buy controlling shares at Telkom Kenya through his French franchise but the move was thwarted by the government. He was also using his connections to push for the splitting of Safaricom into many companies for him to buy one of them but the move was again thwarted. Through Ruto, the billionaire hopes to make inroads in Kenya’s economy by heavily investing in critical sectors controlled by dynasties. If the move flops, he is ready to fund a revolution similar to the Ukrainian Orange movement that changed the country’s governance. The Ukranian model was adopted by Raila when he coined the Orange Democratic Movement after the 2005 Orange versus Banana referendum. The Mwai Kibaki government that was supporting the Wako Draft on the constitution whose symbol was banana lost to Raila’s orange, and this culminated in the formation of ODM which Soros had been funding until Raila turned coat.
Confusion in ANC as Uhuru keeps Mudavadi guessing – Weekly Citizen
Discontent is growing in ANC party of Musalia Mudavadi with claims that politicians have taken the party for a ride. This is following claims by a section of leaders led by Kakamega senator Cleophas Malala that they are uncertain whether Mudavadi’s close ties with Uhuru Kenyatta and his One Kenya Alliance counterparts Kalonzo Musyoka and Gideon Moi is genuine. It has also become a matter of great concern among political observers that of late, Ford-K’s Moses Wetangula has gone silent as word has it he is working on his next move in Uhuru succession.
A shrewd schemer since he was first nominated to parliament during the late president Daniel Arap Moi era, Wetangula understands the dynamics of Kenya politics well and eyes are on him. Fear is Mudavadi’s dalliance with certain faces could be his undoing. The ANC leader has met several politicians across the political divide in what has made his allies jittery. They include Kirinyaga governor Ann Waiguru. He was among prominent personalities who attended William Ruto daughter June’s wedding and he was recently ignored at the Madaraka Day celebrations in Kisumu by Uhuru, ODM leader Raila Odinga and DP Ruto.
Last week, Malala claimed a series of events happening in the country paint a grim picture of whether Uhuru values the Western region and that it is time for the ANC party to reconsider its position in the Uhuru-led government. It is in that context that the senator questioned if the ANC party should keep rallying behind the president or forge an alternative path ahead of 2022. The senator also lamented over failure by the president to recognise the ANC leader during the Madaraka Day celebrations. “I recently talked to fellow ANC leaders and told them we must now take on issues head on. Tell me who in Uhuru’s government comes from the Western region?” he posed.
He says the people of Western region are running out of patience and would wish to know what awaits them in their ties with the president. A section of ANC members in the country had wanted Mudavadi to lead the One Kenya Movement Alliance terming him as an experienced politician who can take over from Uhuru. Murang’a ANC led by Simon Gikuru recently termed Mudavadi as a humble and peaceful leader who can unite all communities in the country noting that the country currently is experiencing many divisions occasioned by ethnicity and bad politics saying the problem can be solved by electing a leader who is able to unite the country. However, they have now been left guessing on the next move Mudavadi is about to make since he continues to send mixed signals in a party that currently does not have national party officials.
At its inception 2015, the party had Kelvin Lunani chairperson, Margaret Ndanyi – executive director, Salim Busaidy – chairperson, elections board, Beatrice Adagala – chairperson, ANC women’s league, Omulo Junior – chair, ANC youth league, Nathaniel Mong’are – youth league spokesperson, Moses Oburu – representative, PwD league, Harriette Chigai -chairperson, internal disputes resolution committee and Abdi Yare, chairperson disciplinary committee. Internal wrangles are far from over although Senator Malala, Lugari MP Ayub Savula – who is the party deputy leader, Lurambi MP Titus Khamala among a few party politicians still insist all is well as the party continues to drain brains to UDA, a party that is associated with DP William Ruto.
Eliud Owalo, a man who is calling the shots at UDA headquarters, resigned on August 14 2020 as a party member. “Subsequent to the same, I’ve done the little I can within my means as an ordinary member of the party both in efforts to enhance the support base of the party as well as strategically positioning Musalia Mudavadi 2022 as a viable and feasible venture. Informed by the dictates of professionalism, I let the same to lie strictly within the knowledge confines of Hon Mudavadi and myself,” read part of the resignation letter. The letter was addressed to Mudavadi and copied to the registrar of political parties. Owalo and Barrack Muluka resigned from the party almost at the same time. Mudavadi was buoyed by a lot of opinion in January that connected Uhuru’s remarks at Mama Hannah Mudavadi’s burial at Mululu, Vihiga county to an endorsement for Musalia’s 2022 run.
Mudavadi has denied he has the endorsement of Uhuru to be his successor in 2022 saying to get the endorsement of a sitting president comes with its baggage including being seen as being imposed on the will of the voters. Mudavadi’s allies such as Savula have also been popularising this theory but their party leader says the next Kenyan president will come from the will of the voters and not endorsements but he supports remarks that other Kenyan communities other than Kikuyu and Kalenjin should be given an opportunity to produce the president. But the President also surprised many observers and politicians, and disappointed some, when he declared his handshake with Raila is a long-term arrangement that will “go into the future”.