@StandardMedia

Why I turned down Raila’s lunch invite after ouster, Wetang'ula explains

6 months ago, 13 Maý 09:49

By: Jacob Ng’etich

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula has admitted to a falling out between him and Opposition supremo Raila Odinga, but insists the parting of ways has not in any way left a bitter taste in his mouth.

In his first interview with the media since he was dethroned from the Senate Leader of Minority position, Wetang’ula has kept a low profile, opting instead to retreat into Ford Kenya for reflection.

After some soul searching, Wetang’ula says he is now ready for another chapter in his political life after what he says was a betrayal from Raila, a man for whom he set aside his ambitions to back on two occasions.

“It is time to go flat out and endear myself to Kenyans. The country will know a new and reinvigorated Wetang’ula,” he says.

The Bungoma senator, who has been a legislator for the last 21 years in a stint that includes nearly a decade as Cabinet minister, has plans to make a stab at the presidency in 2022. This, of course, not being the first time he has said this. Often though, his ambitions are firmly outweighed by his ability to deliver the top seat to the Mulembe nation.

Although he has on many occasions fallen short of the ultimate prize, he has almost always like a cat landed on his feet when it seemed obvious that he would fall on his back.

It is this ability to twist and turn midair that has seen him warm his way into political coalitions. He hopes that this skill, perfected over years, will come in handy again as the country’s political class trains its eyes on 2022.

“I will build bridges where none have existed before and engage everyone to win the presidency or have enough support to help me partner with others,” he says. For years, a huge chunk of his support has come from Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties where his Bukusu sub-tribe is dominant.

Recent developments in his block are, however, causing the once assumed leader of the Luhya Nation sleepless nights. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party won two parliamentary seats previously held by Ford Kenya in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia.

In spite of this, he believes the party is still strong, saying when he took over its leadership from former Cabinet minister Musikari Kombo, it only had one MP. It now has 14 elected legislators and 89 MCAs from across the country.

Wetang’ula has for long influenced the politics of western Kenya in some way, particularly in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties. But his current tiff with Raila and the emergence of a new and re-energised Musalia Mudavadi threaten to knock his ambitions further back and unbalance his political equation.

Although he claims to be his own man, he cannot run away from the fact that a large part of the success he has enjoyed over recent years is a result of his association with Raila, Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka, the other co-principal in the National Super Alliance (NASA).

For the first time in ...
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Why I turned down Raila’s lunch invite after ouster, Wetang'ula explains

6 months ago, 13 Maý 09:49

By: Jacob Ng’etich

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula has admitted to a falling out between him and Opposition supremo Raila Odinga, but insists the parting of ways has not in any way left a bitter taste in his mouth.

In his first interview with the media since he was dethroned from the Senate Leader of Minority position, Wetang’ula has kept a low profile, opting instead to retreat into Ford Kenya for reflection.

After some soul searching, Wetang’ula says he is now ready for another chapter in his political life after what he says was a betrayal from Raila, a man for whom he set aside his ambitions to back on two occasions.

“It is time to go flat out and endear myself to Kenyans. The country will know a new and reinvigorated Wetang’ula,” he says.

The Bungoma senator, who has been a legislator for the last 21 years in a stint that includes nearly a decade as Cabinet minister, has plans to make a stab at the presidency in 2022. This, of course, not being the first time he has said this. Often though, his ambitions are firmly outweighed by his ability to deliver the top seat to the Mulembe nation.

Although he has on many occasions fallen short of the ultimate prize, he has almost always like a cat landed on his feet when it seemed obvious that he would fall on his back.

It is this ability to twist and turn midair that has seen him warm his way into political coalitions. He hopes that this skill, perfected over years, will come in handy again as the country’s political class trains its eyes on 2022.

“I will build bridges where none have existed before and engage everyone to win the presidency or have enough support to help me partner with others,” he says. For years, a huge chunk of his support has come from Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties where his Bukusu sub-tribe is dominant.

Recent developments in his block are, however, causing the once assumed leader of the Luhya Nation sleepless nights. President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party won two parliamentary seats previously held by Ford Kenya in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia.

In spite of this, he believes the party is still strong, saying when he took over its leadership from former Cabinet minister Musikari Kombo, it only had one MP. It now has 14 elected legislators and 89 MCAs from across the country.

Wetang’ula has for long influenced the politics of western Kenya in some way, particularly in Bungoma and Trans Nzoia counties. But his current tiff with Raila and the emergence of a new and re-energised Musalia Mudavadi threaten to knock his ambitions further back and unbalance his political equation.

Although he claims to be his own man, he cannot run away from the fact that a large part of the success he has enjoyed over recent years is a result of his association with Raila, Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka, the other co-principal in the National Super Alliance (NASA).

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