Recent statements by Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwadeghu , who is planning to vie for the Taita-Taveta gubernatorial seat, that he would ditch the Cord coalition should his nemesis and incumbent governor John Mruttu be given a direct nomination by ODM, is a clear pointer of a looming fallout within the opposition coalition in Taita-Taveta County.
Mwadeghu who was speaking at Mwanda village in his Wundanyi constituency was quoted saying that he would leave the coalition should Mruttu be given a direct nomination.
This might be a strong acid test for Cord, not only in the county, but the whole of Coast region, where the coalition garnered a larger number of MPs, governors, senators and even women reps in the last general elections.
The Wundanyi MP who has served two terms , has been criss -crossing the county on a charm offensive, ready to take on Mruttu come next year.
However it remains unclear whether Mwadeghu will join another party within the Cord coalition or decamp to Jubilee should push come to shove.
Mruttu stirred a hornets nest recently when he advised his rivals to hold their horses till he completed his second term as governor in 2022.
“My opponents should hold their peace till I complete my ten years in office and retire in 2022 before they can consider going for the governors post,” Mruttu had said.
However, Mwadeghu, who has on several occasions differed openly with Mruttu on diverse issues, has called Mruttu's bluff, and has vowed to unseat him in next year’s polls.
On the other hand, the MP, despite being in Cord , is not considered a bosom buddy to the Cord leader Raila Odinga as opposed to Mruttu.
During a harambee held at the county headquarters site at Mgeno, Mwadeghu stood up against Raila over the location of the headquarters at Mgeno, a local issue that should ideally have been kept out of the former prime minister’s attention.
Mwadeghu has all along been advocating for the county seat of power to be located at Mwatate town.
On the other hand, senator Dan Mwazo , who has officially declared his intention to vie for the governors post is likely to tilt the political balance, more so in Cord, in which he was first elected as Voi MP and later Taita-Taveta senator.
Mwazo has been conspicuously missing during functions presided over by Raila in the county, one of them being the launch of the Okoa Kenya drive in Wundanyi town, and later at Mgeno, with suspicions that he could be planning to ditch the coalition.
The senator, whose presence has hardly been felt in the county, will have to face Mwadeghu and Mruttu during nominations should they decide to remain put and fight it out within Cord.
Speaking during the burial of the mother to Professor Morris Mbondenyi at Josa village, Mwazo warned locals against the so-called six-piece voting formula, saying it was not a guarantee for good leadership.
Instead he said voters should elect leaders based on their capabilities and not solely on their political parties.
This has been lent credence by the fact that in Kenya most political parties lack ideology and are merely stepping stones to political office.
However, a Jubilee activist in Voi who requested anonymity , said that there were widespread rumours that Mwazo was planning to ditch Cord for Jubilee.
“Mwazo is playing his cards very close to his chest, but there has been indications that he could be shifting allegiances to Jubilee,” said the activist.
My opponents should hold their peace till I complete my ten years in office and retire in 2022 before they can consider going for the governors post