Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta are working on a pre-election Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which they are supposed to sign before the next elections.
Ruto's United Republican Party (URP) and Uhuru's TNA have also opened talks with Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi on the possibility of the United Democratic Forum (UDF) being part of the arrangement which they believe will guarantee them a first round win against Prime Minister Raila Odinga of ODM.
Among the issues to be resolved is whether or not they will approach the elections separately or they back one of them for the presidency. The pre-election MOU will issue guidelines on how parties will field candidates in different counties without competing against each other. Speaking in Amagoro Teso yesterday, Mudavadi said that although no deal had been reached between him, Ruto and Uhuru, there was nothing wrong with him talking to the two. "I am a Kenyan born who entered politics at the age of 29 years to confirm my experience in this game. If you become president you can't be president of one corner of the republic. If I take the mantle of leadership which looks certain, I will consult Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Martha Karua and all other leaders," he said.
Uhuru, Speaking in Tetu said he was willing to work with leaders in and outside the G7 Alliance. Mudavadi is not a member of the Alliance. "I want to urge my brothers in G7 and others who share our view to accept my proposal of holding joint presidential nominations and backing whoever wins. I will support whoever wins," said Uhuru. Yesterday two MPs known to be close to both Ruto and Uhuru Joshua Kuttuny and Kareke Mbiuki separately told the Star that discussion between the two "are progressing well". "We are determined to have an Uhuru-Ruto led alliance first then bring other leaders who will share our vision of a united Kenya," said Mbuki
Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo has claimed that Ruto and Mudavadi are part of the wider scheme by State House to split votes countrywide in their bid to ensure Uhuru emerges Raila's strongest challenger. Jirongo who was addressing the members of the public at a funds drive in aid of the boda- boda operators from the entire Busia County that was held at the Busia polytechnic ground at the weekend accused State House and its cronies of adopting divide and rule tactics to cause a split in some of the parties that have regional support. "The government has sponsored many political parties purposely to bar people from certain areas from voting as a block for their preferred presidential candidates. They have allowed this through the formation of many political parties to ensure leadership remains in the hands of one ethnic community forever," said Jirongo.
Mudavadi has repeatedly denied claims that he is a State House project and so has Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa who has also denied allegations that he was being used to divide the Luhyia vote. According to multiple sources -Uhuru, Ruto and Mudavadi -are also hoping to draw in Wamalwa and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka into the wider alliance. Wamalwa has however made it clear that he will bolt into any alliance whose only aim was to isolate Raila.
Allies of the three presidential candidates- Uhuru, Ruto and Mudavadi - are working out the details of the power-sharing deal as well as how they can jointly nominate candidates. "We, as the G7 alliance, are still committed to a joint approach to the polls," said Kuttuny, a close ally of Ruto. Kuttuny denied there were serious rifts in the G7 alliance following the entry of Mudavadi in the presidential race. "Its our rivals who are peddling all kinds of lies and propaganda but when the time comes you will see our political strength," said Kuttuny announcing that joint campaign rallies will start next month.
He said although the constitution recognizes individual political parties, parties could still find ways of working together. "I can confirm that we are in talks with UDF but at the moment URP and TNA are well ahead in the plans for an MOU for the polls", said Kuttuny. In the Rift Valley region Ruto is battling to stem a potentially explosive split among his allies and supporters in the Rift Valley region. Ruto has planned a series of private and public meetings to deal with splits among aspirants and current MPs who are wrangling over party nomination tickets.
Odinga is among the presidential aspirants who have taken advantage of the splits in URP to try and regain the ground he lost following the departure of Ruto and his allies from ODM. The ODM chairman and Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey is leading the PM's campaigns in the region. Kosgey was over the weekend in Trans Nzoia and Nandi Counties appealing to residents to return to ODM.