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Five politicians who dumped Musalia for Ruto

They may be buddies who bromance in public, but the political rivalry between President William Ruto and Premier Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi is still rife.

Mudavadi, a seasoned soft-spoken politician, dumped Azimio la Umoja party leader Raila Odinga for Kenya Kwanza’s Dr Ruto and backed him for the presidency in August 2022, was rewarded with a senior cabinet slot.

Mudavadi is now the de facto number three in the executive, after Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. Still, in between, the Head of State has made a habit of poaching the former Amani National Congress (ANC) boss political lieutenants.

Here are some of them;

Cleophas Malala

The former Kakamega senator unsuccessfully contested for the county gubernatorial seat in the August 2022 polls. President Ruto asked Senator Boni Khalwale to step down for Malala, but he still lost to Fernandes Barasa.

Malala recently quit Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC) political outfit to become the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) secretary general. Even though he wished Mudavadi well upon quitting, it is reported Malala felt hard done by in ANC after missing out on an appointment as either a Cabinet Secretary or Principal Secretary.

Johnson Sakaja

The Nairobi governor was a long-time ally of former president Uhuru Kenyatta and served as nominated MP, Nairobi Senator, and The National Alliance (TNA) chairman.

Sakaja appeared to be close to Mudavadi and helped him move around the country at the time he was gunning for the presidency until at some point where he shocked the country by announcing he will contest for Nairobi governor on a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) ticket.

In his trips with Mudavadi, many people believed that he was in ANC until he clarified, “When did I join ANC? I was in Jubilee and when I left I went straight to UDA. We are now gearing up for nominations on April 14,” he said in an interview.

Nelson Havi

He is a prominent lawyer and the former Law Society of Kenya (LSK) president. Havi was close to Mudavadi and even announced he would contest for the Westlands parliamentary seat on an ANC ticket only to switch to UDA. Not done, he parted ways with Mudavadi on a bitter note, saying: “Mudavadi is very slow and embodies the kind of people who want to be pushed. He is not determined and that is why I abandoned him. If you claim to be a leader but can’t see far, you are not a leader. You are something else,” he said. NAIROBI, Kenya, President Ruto recently appointed him to chair the Retirements Benefits Authority.

Eliud Owalo

He was a member of the ANC but ditched the political outfit in 2020. In his statement, Owalo said he felt it was “imperative to create ample space within the Party.”

“… to enable the ANC strategically position itself effectively in the operational environment and craft a suitable road map moving forward without feeling suffocated by my views and suggestions,” he added.

However, while still in ANC he contested for the Kibra seat in the 2019 by-elections. He dumped Mudavadi for Ruto and was rewarded with a slot as ICT Cabinet Secretary.

Musalia Mudavadi 

Mudavadi had initially announced he’d contest for the presidency and even started campaigning, only to drop his ambitions to back President Ruto months before the election.

He also resigned as ANC chairman to become Premier Cabinet Secretary in Ruto’s government.

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