The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Mudavadi Denies He Will Join Jubilee

THE United Democratic Front has denied reports that Amani coalition presidential candidate Musalia Mudavadi may quit in favour of Jubilee candidate Uhuru Kenyatta.

UDF secretary general Dan Ameyo said the information was the "handiwork of our rivals" out to create despondency among Amani's strongholds. Yesterday Mudavadi also condemned ODM for alleging that his candidacy helps the Jubilee Alliance.

"They are saying a vote for Amani Coalition is a vote for a Kikuyu. Yet just months ago, they were in the G7 group with the Jubilee leaders. Were they not aware at the time of the tribe of Jubilee leaders?," he asked.

Mudavadi was speaking yesterday during a meeting with all UDF candidates from the Western region at his Mululu home.

Mudavadi was responding to statements by Cord politicians Ababu Namwamba, Fred Gumo, Paul Otuoma Cyrus Jirongo and former Nairobi Mayor George Aladwa that he would deny Raila the votes he needs to win if he did not pull out of the presidential race.

"I am not aware of any meeting held, or intending to be held, involving Uhuru and Mudavadi. Amani coalition is in the presidential race to the end," Ameyo told the Star yesterday.

"Our opponents are in panic mode. If such meeting was held I would know, but I am not aware of any," he said. The two Deputy Prime Ministers allegedly met last Thursday and Sunday to explore ways of Mudavadi stepping down for Uhuru.

They allegedly met again at the home of former minister Simeon Nyachae in Kisii county on Monday morning. Uhuru was campaigning in Kisii while Mudavadi was in Nyamira.

Mudavadi has become of interest to both coalitions as it becomes obvious that the election may be decided in a second round runoff where the Amani votes could be decisive for the two top candidates.

Mudavadi has consistently had around 5 percent in the opinion polls which might be enough to give either Uhuru or Raila victory if they could be directly transferred.

"There are a string of forces determined to get Mudavadi on either side of the two coalitions. But he is in the race to the end," Ameyo said.

He said that Amani has an "iron clad" programme to ensure that Mudavadi runs the full course to March 4, including the last campaign rally at Nairobi's Kamukunji grounds on March 1.

Mudavadi's personal aide Kibisu Kabatesi accused ODM of spreading rumors to project Mudavadi as Uhuru's stooge. "ODM has been saying that a vote for Mudavadi is a vote for Uhuru. This is the propaganda they have been spreading," said Kabatesi.

"It is given that Mudavadi shall run the full course. We cannot have come all this far only to pull out of the race at the last minute."

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