The Star (Nairobi)

12 January 2013

Kenya: How Mudavadi Can Easily Win the Presidency

analysis

We have effectively entered the homestretch, and as Somali turned British athlete Mo Farah showed the Kenyan athletes, it is the last kick that counts.

As things stand now, Jubilee will take the first round, but with no more than 40 per cent. Mudavadi's task must be to ensure that he beats Raila to the second position, and then face Uhuru in the run off. For Mudavadi to beat Raila to the second position, he would have to concentrate on these four key voting blocks.

1. Western

The Mudavadi team must quickly dispatch Eugene Wamalwa to seal off the Western vote, and put it under lock and key. Traditionally, the Bukusu have voted differently from the rest of the Luhya, but with Eugene doing the bidding, it is expected that the Bukusu vote will this time flow to Mudavadi. Wetangula has essentially no following among the Bukusu, further complicating Raila's equation. Mudavadi's team must constantly pump in the message that their son is just a heartbeat away from the presidency, and Western cannot afford to abandon their son at this hour of need.

2. Rift Valley.

While Jubilee is happy that Mudavadi is doing their bidding in Western, they should also worry about Rift Valley. My hunch is that Ruto will not hold onto the Rift Valley vote. Gideon Moi, Nick Salat, John Lonyangapuo and the old Kanu networks, plus Mudavadi's own bloodline in Rift Valley will ensure that he carries the Rift Valley vote.

3. Upper Eastern.

Uhuru will carry the Upper Eastern vote, but not as much as Kibaki carried it. If the Mudavadi team could implore on Kiraitu Murungi to do their bidding in Meru and friendly parts of Central, they could get as much as 15 per cent of the crucial votes, while Raila will get no more than 5 per cent.

4. Moderates.

Mudavadi's team must appeal to the moderates and detribalised Kenyans that he is the best bet to guarantee the country's stability. A Uhuru- Raila clash would be the worst case scenario, and would plunge the country into chaos, since each has a historical grudge against the other. When Mudavadi finally meets Uhuru in the second round, it will be game over for Uhuru.

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