• June 18, 2024
  • Last Update June 18, 2024 3:03 PM
  • Nairobi

7 former Raila allies now holding influential positions in Ruto’s government

7 former Raila allies now holding influential positions in Ruto’s government

By Patricia Mollyne Mataga

There has been a belief within some political quarters in Kenya that individuals who abandon opposition leader Raila Odinga usually end up having a better political career.

Whether this is true or not depends on how you look at it. While not all that have ditched Raila in the past made it politically, we have several that are currently doing better – an example being President William Ruto.

Ruto was a key ally of the ODM leader, especially in 2017 but fell off following the International Criminal Court.

We went on to form his own party, and later became Deputy President in 2013, before assuming the highest political office in 2022 – interestingly after defeating Raila in a closely contested election.

For the many decades Raila has been in politics, he has witnessed many politicians ditch him. The list is endless if we were to count each and every one of them.

But we take a look at some of his former allies’ now influential figures in the Kenya Kwanza administration.

Amason Jeffa Kingi

Up until the 2022 general election, Kingi was an ally of the former Prime Minister. In fact, he served as an ODM governor for two terms.

However, the former Kilifi Governor switched camps at the last minute – a move that paid off as he would end up securing the Senate speaker seat.

Moses Wetangula

The Ford Kenya leader played a key role in Raila’s 2017 presidential bid and ended up being handed the Senate minority seat.

But he would later be ceremoniously replaced by the now Siaya Governor James Orengo. During his ouster from the minority seat, Wetangula had warned that the move would be ‘messy, noisy and with casualties’ – and it came to pass in 2022 when his Bungoma County helped Ruto win the presidency.

Today, Weta, as he is commonly referred to, is the National Assembly Speaker.

Musalia Mudavadi

Alongside Wetangula, Mudavadi were the founders of the Kenya Kwanza Coalition after they ditched Raila months to the 2022 general election.

Mudavadi, as promised was made the Prime Cabinet Secretary.

Josphat Nanok

For years, Nanok, who served as the Turkana Governor for two terms under the ODM party was a key Raila ally in Rift Valley.

He was also the ODM party vice chairperson. But before the last general election, he quit the Orange party and landed the State House Deputy Chief of Staff role after Kenya Kwanza won the elections.

Aisha Jumwa

Jumwa was a key face of ODM in the coastal region. Her closeness to Raila saw her get the plum job of a member of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC).

But she declared allegiance to Ruto years to the general election which led to her fallout with ODM. The party unsuccessfully attempted to remove her from the position.

In 2022, she unsuccessfully vied for the Kilifi gubernatorial seat but made the cut to be the Cabinet Secretary in Ruto’s government.

Ababu Namwamba

Namwamba was once a fierce supporter of Raila. In 2007, he caused a commotion in Parliament after taking an oath in the name of the ODM leader.

But the two fell out and in 2017, he played a key role in shaping Ruto’s presidential campaigns. At some point, Namwamba was tipped to be the Foreign Affairs CS but ended up in the Sports and Artts docket.

Eliud Owalo

This is another Raila ally who found himself in Ruto’s cabinet thanks to his calculative move.

Owalo served as the CORD presidential campaign manager in 2013. He resigned from ODM in 2019 after what he described as persistent criticism from MPs surrounding the ODM leader.

He would later join Ruto’s think tank ahead of the 2022 general election after which he landed the ICT Cabinet Secretary docket.

These are just but some of the many leaders whose political careers turned for the better after abandoning Raila.

As for whether things become better once an individual decides to leave Raila, it’s up to you to make your own judgement.

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