It is increasingly clear that Western province will be a major battleground for the presidency and also parliamentary seats between the major political parties, in the forthcoming mother of all general elections.
On accepting the ODM presidential nomination, Raila Odinga immediately chose Musalia Mudavadi as his running mate, meaning that chances are high that the former VP will end up as Raila's VP should he be elected.
It is no accident that President Kibaki chose the late Wamalwa Kijana as his vice president in the elaborate power sharing structure that was set up prior to the 2002 general elections. The advantage President Kibaki had then was the fact that the Bukusus have a very large voting bloc, probably the largest amongst the entire Luhya community. And they are also very influential.
Not only that, the Bukusu had full confidence in Wamalwa Kijana the sort of confidence they do not have in current Ford Kenya leader Musikari Kombo.
Musalia will now have to do battle for the people's hearts with Cyrus Jirongo of Kaddu who has been at the forfront of campaigning for Luhya unity. There are many who are sure that this is one battle that Musalia will lose badly, more so because the Bukusu will definitely not support him and ODM. This sect within the Luhya community may not have full confidence in their Musikari Kombo but their politics is that they would rather vote for an outsider than an enemy of their chairman.
By the way, my prediction about President Kibaki getting his next VP from Rift Valley seems to be shaping up already. In today's newspapers, Rift Valley politicians are demanding the VP slot in exchange for their supporting President Kibaki's re-election bid. Still it is too early to make any predictions, especially because there are those who insist that the Kalenjins and the main campaigner amongst them for Kibaki, Daniel Moi needs the current government more than they need him.
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