A “spoiler aspirant” presence in an election is meant to draws votes from a major candidate thereby giving a weaker opponent leverage to win. The lackey candidate causing this poll effect is usually referred to as a spoiler and, short of any electoral fraud, spoilers usually presents no grounds for a legal challenge.
Exactly three years ago, on 22 Jan 2013, after months of playing cat and mouse with ODM leader Raila Odinga, UDF’s Musalia Mudavadi of the Amani Coalition named the then outgoing Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni as his running mate for the 2013 general election. Mudavadi told the assembled media that he arrived at the decision after “painstaking reflection from an initial list of 100 people and that his choice was not influenced by tribe and politics of numbers”
While unveiling his running mate, Mudavadi showered the PNU hawk and Kibaki sycophant with praises saying “my running mate has displayed the ability to lead, he has always respected and fought for the rule of law, has been an example to many leaders in the country and has the interest of Kenyans at heart.”
In an interview with a local radio station early this week, Jeremiah Ngayu Kioni confirmed, without any shade of regret, that Mudavadi’s 2013 presidential bid was a carefully scripted charade. Kioni confirmed that when he and his family visited Kanyagia Primary School in Ndaragwa constituency, none of his six family members voted Mudavadi in the 2013 general elections. Indeed, when presidential votes were analysed; Mudavadi did not manage a single vote from the entire Ndaragwa constituency, which by then had about 50,000 registered voters.
Speaking very confidently on radio, Kioni made damning allegations including the fact that he knew all along that Mudavadi’s bid was to split the Western vote and therefore deny CORD’s Raila Odinga an outright win. Kioni also openly revealed that a series of meetings had been held at State House Nairobi between himself, Mudavadi, Uhuru, Kibaki and their close aides at which time it was agreed they would be given a party, they would be fully funded and friendly media would ensure they get adequate publicity; but the ultimate intention was not to win, or serve in the opposition ranks, but to give the Uhuruto Jubilee coalition its much needed boost by splitting Luhya votes that would otherwise have gone to the CORD coalition. In the end, Mudavadi managed 483,981 votes nationally in a controversial and poorly managed general election.
Kioni announced on Radio Maisha that he would seeking to reclaim his parliamentary seat in the forthcoming 2017 general elections via a Jubilee ticket and that his dalliance with Mudavadi is a closed chapter having already done the job he was contracted to do – meaning deny Raila Odinga the presidency. Kioni hopes to be rewarded by the voters of Nyandarua for standing with Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013. Meanwhile, Mudavadi’s UDF has rebranded to ANC, and as the season approaches, we wait to see how far his “spoiler effect” will impact the 2017 general elections.