Musalia Mudavadi Biography: Age, Early Life, Education, Career and Family

Musalia Mudavadi

Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, alias MaDVD, is an experienced politician and a longstanding public servant. He is currently the Prime Cabinet Secretary of Kenya after being appointed by William Ruto following their pre-elections pact agreed at the Bomas of Kenya in 2022. He was also the party leader of the Amani National Congress (ANC), which was one of the coalition partners of Kenya Kwanza in the 2022 General Elections. Mudavadi has been a politician in Kenya for over 30 years, also being the son of a veteran politician.


Born in Sabatia Constituency, Vihiga County, in 1960, Musalia Mudavadi’s current age is 62 years.

Early Life and Education

Musalia Mudavadi was born and raised by a Christian family in Sabatia. His ethnic community is Maragoli of Vihiga County, which is one of the many sub-groups of the Luhya tribe. Mudavadi was born on 21st September 1960 to Hannah Mudavadi and Moses Mudamba Mudavadi. Moses Mudavadi was among the founding leaders of Kenya who became a member of parliament and minister in the then President Daniel Moi government.

Mudavadi schooled at Nairobi Primary School, then Jamhuri and Nairobi School for his A- levels and the University of Nairobi. He pursued a Bachelor of Arts (Land Economics) degree and graduated in 1984. For sports, he played rugby as a winger for his high school and university’s Mean Machine RFC.

Political Career

Mudavadi’s political career began in 1989 when his father Moses Mudavadi died. Moses Substone Budamba Mudavadi was an influential Member of Parliament for Sabatia Constituency during President Moi’s regime. When he died, his son Musalia Mudavadi inherited his seat by winning in the by-elections. Mudavadi successfully retained his seat in the 1992 and 1997 general elections.

In 2002, President Moi chose Uhuru Kenyatta to be his successor, but other KANU leaders including George Saitoti and Raila Odinga walked out to support NARC Party leader Mwai Kibaki. When Moi’s Vice President George Saitoti resigned and ditched KANU in the months to the 2002 general election, Moi picked Mudavadi to deputise him in the home stretch. Musalia Mudavadi remained in KANU to become Uhuru Kenyatta’s possible Vice President, but they lost to Mwai Kibaki. Mudavadi became the shortest serving VP for 61 days. Mudavadi also lost his parliamentary seat for Sabatia Constituency as the wave of change swept the entire country.

Musalia Mudavadi came back to political light in 2005 when he joined the Orange Democratic Movement alongside Raila Odinga, Joe Nyaga, William Ruto, and Najib Balala. The five leaders, popularly known as the Pentagon, came together to oppose the 2005 Constitution after falling out with President Mwai Kibaki. The movement later morphed into a political party known as ODM, which went strongly into the highly contested and controversial 2007 elections.

After Kibaki retaining his seat in the elections in a controversial manner, a peaceful resolution was made which brought Mudavadi and other ODM leaders into government. Mudavadi became Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister alongside Uhuru Kenyatta between 2008 and 2013 in the coalition government.

In 2013, Mudavadi hoped to join hands with Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, who were both taken to the international Court of Justice (ICC) for the part they alleged played in the 2008 post-elections violence. Ruto and Uhuru formed the Jubilee Party to run for Presidency, but due to the ICC case, Musalia was promised the role of a ceremonial president through the party. However, Uhuru and Ruto changed their minds in the last minute and Uhuru became President instead. Mudavadi joined the United Democratic Front and ran for President through the Amani Coalition and came third behind Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga.

Musalia Mudavadi then formed his own party, the Amani National Congress (ANC), in 2015. He later joined hands with Odinga to form the National Super Alliance (NASA), the political vehicle to the 2017 General Election. NASA however lost the election leading to a fallout that culminated in NASA’s dissolution in 2021.

Mudavadi momentarily worked with Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula, KANU’s Gideon Moi and Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka under One Kenya Alliance, a movement that was dissolved before formation. Mudavadi and Wetangula left OKA to join hands with Ruto as founders of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance. In 2022 Mudavadi chose to work with Ruto after years of associating with Kenyatta and the One Kenya Alliance.

When Ruto won the 2022 General Elections, Mudavadi was appointed as the Prime Cabinet Secretary, a newly formed position.

Scandals and Controversies

For a man who has served in government for a combined 18 years and been in cabinet every time he was in parliament, Mudavadi has had a share of corruption allegations. He was first accused of involvement in the Ksh.27 billion Goldenberg scandal of the early 1990s under Moi. He was appointed finance minister in 1993 and has spent his life since then distancing himself from claims of involvement. Mudavadi was found not culpable by the Bosire Commission probing the scandal.

 As he served as DPM and Local Government Minister, Mudavadi was accused of involvement in a cemetery land scandal that was purchased at close to Ksh.300 million despite its value being more than ten times cheaper. He was however found not culpable by the High Court in 2016.

Family and Personal Life

Mudavadi is married to Tessie Mudavadi and they have three children; Moses, Michael and Maryanne. Mudavadi is a fan of English premier league football team Manchester United and Kenyan premier league side AFC leopards. He once served as a patron of AFC leopards. In addition, he is also a golf and rugby enthusiast. He has an autobiography published in 2019 entitled “Musalia Mudavadi: Soaring above the Storms of Passion”. His nickname in the Kenyan political arena is Mdvd aka Earthquake. In addition, Mudavadi is an ardent fan of old school country music with Kenny Rodgers and Dolly Parton being his favourite musicians.

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