Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has chronicled his 30-year political career in his new autobiography, Soaring Above the Storms of Passion.
There are many interesting revelations in the book, but what has grabbed national attention is what Mudavadi says about ODM leader Raila Odinga.
While dwelling on the National Super Alliance (Nasa), a coalition they used in elections, Mudavadi paints Raila as somebody who always has a ‘Plan B’ in everything.
The book written by Mudavadi’s ally and ANC Secretary-General Barrack Muluka and published by Mudavadi Memorial Foundation Trust, claims that Raila was hard-pressed after the 2017 General Election, but has always had a way out.
The memoir claims that Raila told Nasa co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula at a meeting held in Athi River how a number of foreign countries had pushed him to abandon his hardline position in national politics.
Key Western nations, it is reported, used their envoys in Kenya to our pressure on Raila by announced travel bans.
“Raila mentioned to us at this meeting that he had received letters of cancellation of his visas by various foreign missions in Kenya. He showed us a copy of one such letter he had received from a leading Western mission.”
The former Vice-President says the other Nasa principals were against the then much-hyped mock swearing-in to install Raila as the people’s president and Kalonzo as his deputy.
They held meetings with their strategy team members, who had mixed reactions but many feared the consequences.
Foreign missions also invited them for talks at Odinga’s Capital Hill office in Nairobi and others at the US Embassy, where they were warned against the move.
Former US Ambassador Robert Godec told them he was paving the way for talks with the government.
All this time, Odinga was in agreement they cancel their oath-taking plans.
“We held a meeting at Raila’s office in Capital Hill, where we met foreign diplomats accredited to Kenya. They pleaded with us not to carry on with the swearing-in plan.”
It was what made them call off their first scheduled swearing-in on 12th December 2017, disappointing their supporters.
Subsequently, they also did away with other private swearing-in plans that were to happen at businessman Jimmy Wanjigi’s Muthaiga residence.
The plan for the private ceremony was for Raila to take the oath in secrecy, then a video be shared to the media and on internet.
Mudavadi notes that things started changing when Raila involved his then aide Miguna Miguna and tasked him with their new baby, National Resistance Movement (NRM).
Miguna was a radical who wanted nothing but the swearing-in and even agreed to commission the oath.
Before 30th January 2019, the coalition leaders cheered up their supporters with an assurance that they were ready for the swearing-in, but in private they were against it.
When the day came, they knew Raila was not taking any oath until the last minute when they saw him at Uhuru Park after hoodwinking them all day with failed calls, that created an impression he was under siege.
From that point, they maintained their relationship, but it started falling.
On the 9th March, last year, political deal between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga, the other three Nasa principals didn’t have a clue.
The ANC boss writes that he was on his way to Mombasa when phone calls came in, asking him if he was aware of the handshake that was being broadcast live at the doorsteps of Harambee House, he was in the dark.
Surprisingly, the Nasa leaders had held many meetings even days to the handshake with Raila only hinting of talks, but didn’t told them he was engaging the president.
What Mudavadi claims in his book that pressure from other corners of the world was mounting on Raila, with no choice but to reach an agreement with Uhuru.
He cited financial challenges as another reason for the handshake.
Odinga’s friends such as former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo also played a role in enticing Raila to talk with Uhuru.