NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 30 – A political trade-off between the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy and United Democratic Forum Senators to support Moses Wetangula (CORD) and Issa Timamy (UDF) in the Bungoma Senate and Lamu gubernatorial by-elections has fallen flat on its face after UDF Leader Musalia Mudavadi disowned it.
Coming hours after the 20 Senators from both political outfits announced the pact, Mudavadi through his Private Secretary, Kibisu Kabatesi disowned the deal and accused Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale (who claimed to have the blessings of the party to engage the Minority Coalition) of being “cheap and insincere.”
“The record of the UDF NEC/PG meeting does not support Hon Khalwale’s contention that the party leader or any other person was given a blanket mandate to enter into political barter trade with other parties over support for candidates,” stated the UDF Leader Private Secretary.
Kabatesi added: “The claims by Senator Khalwale are therefore the height of dishonesty and double-speak. His is merely a claim to justify his personal turnaround given grassroots pressure exerted on him to play honest and support party positions.”
Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar and Khalwale had earlier on Wednesday convened a meeting to announce the ‘win-win situation’ which had been arrived at following a meeting on Tuesday evening.
“I am very proud to come back home to UDF with something in hand; namely we are getting the unreserved support of CORD which by the way controls the entire coast region both in senatorial and gubernatorial positions. This is a very big decision,” the Kakamega Senator told the news conference attended by Cord Senators Mutula Kilonzo Junior (Makueni), Janet Ongera (Nominated), Kennedy Mong’are (Nyamira) and Catherine Mukite (Nominated).
“As they say in English we have created a win-win situation or a quid pro quo (Latin term meaning ‘something for something).”
Khalwale said that the trade-off came after Mudavadi failed to secure a deal for TNA to withdraw their challenge against Timamy – who lost the post in a petition – in the December 2 by-election.
“Every party has a duty to ensure that each member toes the line, but if anyone wants to fault either myself or Senator Khaniri for backing Wetangula candidature. I find solace in that, in UDF as a party we don’t have a candidate for the Bungoma Senate seat, it therefore leaves us free to decide who to support in the December mini-poll,” he said.
But, Kabatesi was quick in playing down the claim and stated that a UDF National Executive Council and Parliamentary Group meeting had unanimously resolved to support New Ford Kenya’s Musikari Kombo candidature in the Bungoma race.
“NEC/PG also unanimously resolved to support New Ford Kenya (NFK) candidate Musikari Kombo in Bungoma. Though he was lone voice against the UDF unanimous decision on Bungoma, Hon Khalwale is bound by that resolution.”
Kabatesi also refuted Khalwale’s claim that the party leader was unable to convince Jubilee to withdraw its candidate in Lamu.
Khalwale is of the opinion that Jubilee Coalition would be hard pressed to withdraw the candidature of TNA’s Fahim Twaha, because he successfully petitioned Timamy’s victory in the March 4 General Election.
“Because Jubilee refused to support our candidate in Lamu, it is Jubilee which took our candidate to court; they can surely not be partners at least in the meaning of being partners in this by-election.”
But Kabatesi responded to the claims stating that; “The record of the UDF NEC/PG meeting resolution, attended and endorsed by Hon. Khalwale, was to field Issa Timamy in Lamu so as to retain the seat. The resolution has a residue for the party leader to engage TNA not Cord. Consultations are ongoing.”
The Lamu gubernatorial seat and Bungoma Senate seats fell vacant following Twaha’s and New Ford-K Musikari Kombo’s successful election petitions.