By Jacob Onyango
Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has declared himself the official Opposition leader upon his return from a two-week tour in the United States.
The former deputy prime minister noted he will now continue with his work in the Opposition, suggesting he had taken over from ODM party leader Raila Odinga who has for long been presumed to the country’s Opposition chief .
Speaking to journalists in Nairobi shortly after he landed from America on Saturday, October 5, Mudavadi shared with Kenyans about his trip and also raised a number of national issues he felt should be addressed, promising to lead the way.
“I want to tell my fellow Kenyans in foreign lands – far away and close by – that I will come to you. I want to listen to your voices in our continuous search for the Kenya we want, and even as I listen to my fellow Kenyans at home. The Diaspora is an increasingly important demographic in our social, economic and political life. We must, accordingly, do everything possible to consciously include you in our planning and in all crucial activities in our life as a nation,” he said.
I'm pleased to be back home after almost two weeks in the US. I had a chance to interact with Kenyans in the diaspora and with leaders of other institutions of interest to our country and the region. This forms part of our continuous search for the Kenya we want. pic.twitter.com/1YycR4gGjq
— Musalia W Mudavadi (@MusaliaMudavadi) October 5, 2019
The ANC boss disclosed he was greatly touched by the love Kenyans abroad have for their motherland and their desire to see the country become truly one of the great nations in the world.
“I am pleased to bring home their warm greetings and their hand and message of goodwill. I want to tell you that your sons and daughters, and your brothers and sisters abroad love you and they care about you,” he said.
The former vice president advised Kenya must continue engaging with those in the diaspora in conversations on global and regional concerns. He, however, clarified, the primary responsibility of getting things right in the country rests with Kenyans themselves and especially the leaders. “As we return home with my team, our work is well cut out for us in ANC. As the Political Opposition in the country, we will continue with the task of keeping the Government under dedicated close scrutiny and surveillance,” he promised.
Mudavadi also took the opportunity to remind the residents of Nairobi that ANC party has a candidate in the Kibra by-election and expressed confidence they will emerge victorious.
“We want to settle down again and head to Kibra, where most of our minds and energies are going to be trained over the next few weeks. In this respect, let me repeat our call for a clean campaign in the coming by-election. Some of the enthusiastic remarks and idle propaganda that we keep hearing from our competitors are not good at all in a democracy. Of course we appreciate that there is palpable panic. We say to them, don’t panic. We are offering Kibra the best option in the candidacy of Eliud Okech Owalo,” he said.
Owalo will face off with ODM’s man Imran Okoth, Jubilee Party’s Mcdonald Mariga, Khamisi Butichi from Ford Kenya and several other aspirants in the Kibra race slated for November 7, 2019.