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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Is Mudavadi finally making the anticipated move?

 Our Reporter

The Registrar of Political Parties has finally issued a registration certificate to Amani National Congress party. ANC that supporters of Musalia Mudavadi have been eagerly waiting for was issued a registration certificate two weeks ago but it is not clear who the officials are because of the controversy rocking UDF whose leader is Mudavadi.
At the height of the controversy last year that ended at the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal, officials allied to the party leader called an NDC which expelled party chairman Osman Hassan allied faction officials. The latter went to the Tribunal and were reinstated on condition that they seek reconciliation. Disagreement had arisen within the party ranks on plans to re-brand the party to ANC severe earlier ties with Jubilee. All UDF MPs, MCAs and party branches had agreed on the plan to re-brand UDF to ANC and pull out of Jubilee except the expelled officials who opposed the plan.
At that time, the RPP had rejected attempts by Hassan to reserve the name Amani stating that it was not available. Sources said he had sought to reserve the name clandestinely to use it to blackmail Mudavadi. All this happened after an acrimonious joint meeting of NEC, MPs and MCAs in Elmentaita where Hassan refused to endorse resolutions to re-brand and was nearly lynched. It is from this meeting that matters deteriorated leading to the expulsions last September. Now ANC is a new party altogether.
Hassan wanted to hang on Amani hoping once it was registered as an independent party and if Mudavadi abandoned UDF as urged by his supporters, UDF would remain an empty shell with only elected leaders left to mark time until 2017. “The truth is that UDF is nothing without Mudavadi.  It became a political factor only when Mudavadi joined it and many held to his coat tails to be elected. Should he leave, UDF is finished,” said an analyst.
What is not clear is who the ANC officials are allied to, that is whether UDF rebels have pulled a fast one to undercut Mudavadi by registering the party or his allies are behind it. Within Jubilee and Cord coalitions, there have been concerted efforts to whittle down Mudavadi’s party in order to remove him as a factor in 2017 elections. At the height of the wrangles in UDF, allegations linked Mudavadi woes to URP leadership intent on frustrating him by fanning discontent. It was alleged that William Ruto wanted Duale to inherit UDF as a Somali party to extract maximum concessions from Uhuru in the 2017 Jubilee candidature. 
It has not been lost to many that UDF first time MPs have been hobnobbing with DP Ruto. However, analysts say if Mudavadi allies are in charge of ANC, MPs and MCAs have no option but to toe the line and pledge support for the new party as their 2017 vehicle in the manner TNA and URP MPs now support Jab. “If ANC is Mudavadi’s home, he has struck an emotional cord with supporters especially the Luhya who have been telling him to do so. Mudavadi carries a lot of goodwill among the Luhya. Anyone fronting for the DP will be in a lot of trouble,” Oscar Liyayi from Lugari said.
“Don’t forget that there has been a lot of anticipation that Mudavadi “owns” a party and ANC has been on the lips of many in western as the party that will salvage political nomadism in the region. There will be a groundswell of support this time round. Many are likely to troop into the new party given discontent with UDF, ODM and other parties in the region,” said a youth leader associated with Ford Kenya of Senator Moses Wetangula. It is noteworthy that Wetangula is having difficulty convincing anyone that he is serious about the presidency in Cord given Raila Odinga’s hopes are rekindled after the win by the opposition in Nigeria. 
“The battle for 2017 will be truly fierce. Those feeling they have lost favour in ODM like Ababu Namwamba and many of us disgruntled branch officials will likely end up joining Mudavadi. Remember he was our leader in ODM. We have been treated very shabbily by owners of ODM,” revealed an ODM branch official in Kakamega. He claimed that Ababu was handed a skunk as ODM secretary general to momentarily appease the restless Luhya. This is because it is alleged that Raila’s people have already registered Okoa Kenya as Raila’s political vehicle for 2017.
Immediately after elections, Mudavadi talked about restructuring and re-branding UDF to ANC and last year Mudavadi announced ANC as the preferred name. At that time he said UDF members wanted to delink from Jubilee.