The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Mudavadi, Kiyiapi Get Tickets As Eugene Quits Race

Deputy Prime minister Musalia Mudavadi was yesterday officially named the UDF presidential flag bearer.

Mudavadi however failed to name his running mate as expected when he accepted his nomination as the the candidate for the new coalition dubbed Amani. The coalition brings together Gideon Moi's Kanu, Nicholas Biwott's Vision Party and Eugene Wamalwa's New Ford Kenya.

"Our coalition will heal the wounds of strife and reckless politics that has propagated the fear of distrust in the country. We will not let down the represented parties, Kenyans and the country," said Mudavadi.

It is understood that Kanu wants Moi named while Wamalwa is pushing for former Cherenganyi MP Kipruto Kirwa to be Mudavadi's number two. State House operatives are also said to be pushing for Peter Kenneth although Kenneth has flatly rejected the proposal.

Yesterday Wamalwa gave up his presidential ambitions and announced that he will back Mudavadi.

At Ufungamano house former Education PS James Ole Kiyiapi was also unanimously endorsed to contest the presidency on the Restore and Build Kenya (RBK) during the party's Special NDC. He too failed to name his Deputy designate as expected.

"We shall immediately undertake relief actions, internships and work contracts in various sectors of the economy and negotiate with regional governments to offer jobs to our youths," Promised Kiyapi.

Mudavadi was noncommittal on his ODM membership. The Political Parties Act 2011 outlaws multiple membership by individuals and Mudavadi who was elected on an ODM ticket did not announce whether he had resigned as an ODM member. The same law permits that an individual who has ceased being a member of a party that sponsored him/ her to parliament must resign from his parliamentary seat to seek fresh allegiance with the party of choice.

In his acceptance speech, Mudavadi outlined his vision for the country in a six point format.

He said the Amani coalition will form a comprehensive governance agenda that will also include harmonization of its individual party manifestos as well as forge national integration.

Mudavadi who was accompanied by his wife Tessy Mudavadi and his three children, said the era of plunder and destruction of national resources belong to the past.

"As a coalition, it is important that we address some of the critical issues facing our people. The crisis of youth unemployment is a great threat to the country's peace and harmony," he said.

"Unemployment has driven massive poverty among our youth who are roaming the streets with no where to lay their hands. High value jobs for our young men are at the top of our economic agenda for this country."

The Amani coalition extolled the need to recognize and observe the rule of law, justice and his spirit of implementing the new constitution.

"Indeed, those who have said it will be a two horse race, are damn wrong, today we have come here to seal the bond of a new agreement signed by Pambazuka and UDF as one team. And we shall field one presidential candidate in the name of Musalia Mudavadi," he said.

"It will not be a choice of reformers and non-reformers it will be a choice of giving Kenyans transformers," said Wamalwa.

The Saboti MP said that by backing Mudavadi, he will ensure that the Western Kenya bloc will vote as a united team, something that has been elusive in past elections.

The New Ford Kenya presidential candidate said Kenya is on a "take off stage" and all that this country needs now is "politics not divided on tribal outfits."

"What we need is a safe pair of hands that can unite and what we need to avoid is politics that will polarise the nation. We are here to tell Kenyans that they have a choice and the choice is right here at Bomas. The country is ready to change its politics," said Wamalwa.

On his part, KANU chairman Gideon Moi who was at the Bomas conference also pledged to fully support Mudavadi.

The son of former president Daniel arap Moi said the independence party will use its machinery to campaign for Mudavadi to ensure he succeeds President Mwai Kibaki whose 10 year term ends after the next General Election.

Gideon, an accomplished polo player criticised those saying the next polls will be a two horse race and described Mudavadi as a thorough-breed stallion who deserves to take over the country's leadership.

Moi added that: "If it is a matter of horses, Musalia is a thorough bred stallion. The rest are not even horses."

Kiyiapi who served as the Permanent secretary in the second Kibaki regime, said the only way out of the unemployment was through a marshal plan.

Pointing out the dangers of corruption, Kiyiapi declared war on "all kinds" of corruption and warned that under his watch few Kenyans will not be allowed to "eat for the whole population".

He promised to initiate a "genuine" process of settling land disputes that have ravaged the communities in the Coast and Rift valley on the basis of full public participation, fairness and due process of law.

"We want people to hold title deeds to their land. It will be a process that will be deliberate and time bound," he said, but warned that it will be done with utmost care because of the sensitivity of the issue.

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