Kalonzo at crossroads in new Jubilee, ODM talks

Monday, June 21st, 2021 00:00 |
Wiper Democratic Movement Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Former Permanent Secretary Irungu Nyakera and other leaders attended Sunday service at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church in Ithanga, Muranga County yesterday. Photo/PD/DENNIS KAVISU

The reported talks going on between President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga for a possible merger could push Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka into a tight corner.

Kalonzo’ has been categorical that he will not back Raila in the next polls and a Jubilee-ODM merger leaves the Wiper leader with the option of either playing second fiddle or bolting out of his party’s coalition with Uhuru.

Kalonzo and his Amani counterpart Musalia Mudavadi have been spearheading the One Kenya Alliance (OKA). Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Kanu chair Gideon Moi and Ford Kenya leaders are all eyeing the OKA ticket to battle it out with Deputy President William Ruto and the ODM chief in the August 2022 polls.

Uhuru’s signal that he would be open to supporting one of  the National Super Alliance (Nasa) chiefs for president in 2022 has gained traction and now each are making moves to get the endorsement or support.

Wiper has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jubilee with a rider that the agreement may metamorphose into a coalition but with the entry of ODM to the matrix, Wiper seems to be trading carefully.

Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju told People Daily that although the MoU signed between Jubilee and Wiper was still valid, it would be premature to conclude what will happen should his party and ODM finally merge.

Large coalition forming 

Tuju was non-committal on the fate of the Wiper leader in the event that a large coalition if formed where both Raila and Kalonzo’s parties will be members of the same coalition.

“The cooperation with Wiper is still valid. It will be premature to talk about what will happen.

If I knew, then I would not be in politics. Raila has not declared he will vie for the presidency,” said Tuju.

Yesterday, Kalonzo responded to Raila’s Thursday remarks that he has not sought his support.

Kalonzo said he shall continue ‘barking’ until the weight of whatever he is saying sinks in and people get to see the reality. 

 Speaking in Ithanga lower Gatanga on Sunday, Kalonzo said Odinga was crafting a scheme not to honour his agreement with his former colleagues.

Kalonzo who last week said he will not support Odinga’s presidential bid stood his ground that this time the ODM leader has to return the favour and throw his weight behind him after being his running mate twice. 

 “I will continue barking until leaders learn to respect and honour any agreements made either in public or in private.

There must be integrity in politics and leaders must learn to stick to their promises without shifting goals,” he said. 

Friend-turned -foe

 At the same time the Wiper leader said he is likely to join hands with the Jubilee Party in the new merger if it shall be for a political goodwill. 

“We also have an agreement with the ruling Jubilee party and other parties can also join in so that we get a way forward in the country’s leadership” he said. 

Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka, a former friend-turned-foe of Kalonzo’s said that in the event that Jubilee merges with ODM, the former vice-president would have to eat humble pie and support what Uhuru says.

“When Kalonzo declared to work with Jubilee, he was received by Murathe unlike Gideon Moi and Raila who were received by the President himself at State House and Harambee House respectively.

This shows he was never a major factor from the beginning. In the possible event then Kalonzo has to bite humble pie and support what Uhuru says. After all, he already declared himself as ‘Mtu wa Mkono,” said Munyaka.

Presidential candidate

Outgoing Wiper party executive director Jared Siso charged they have a problem with Raila as an individual and that if the purpose and intent of Jubilee merging with ODM is to make Raila the presidential candidate, then they would rethink their option.

“If the merger talks between Jubilee and ODM is to make Raila the sole presidential candidate, then we shall cross the bridge when we reach there. We have a problem with Raila and not the ODM party. He is known for not honouring coalition agreements,” said Siso.

Kitui Senator Enock Wambua clarified that not supporting Raila does not necessarily mean the two  cannot work together.

“My party leader never said he can’t work with Raila. He said he can’t deputise Raila. Those are two different political arrangements,” said Wambua.

Political analyst Mark Bichachi argued that no single party can imagine that it will go it alone in August 2022 polls.

“Kalonzo is not in a position to say that he has to be on top of the ticket whichever ticket or alliance he will be in.

Kalonzo does not have the requisite numbers to take a stab at the presidency,” said Bichachi.

Bichachi, says who can take a stab at the presidency are those who command the Luo, Kalenjin, Luhya, Kikuyu votes.

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