Relax! Raila tells Kalonzo and Mudavadi over 2022 elections
Harrison Kivisu and Alvin Mwangi
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga yesterday told off Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his Amani National Congress counterpart Musalia Mudavadi over the 2022 elections saying he has not asked for their support for the presidency.
Speaking in Mombasa on Thursday, Raila said he has not even announced his interest in the race, insisting that his main focus now was the Building Bridges Initiative(BBI).
Raila was reacting to comments by Kalonzo that it was very unlikely that he will support Raila again for presidency while Mudavadi had accused him of betraying his former co-principals in the National Super Alliance (Nasa).
But the ODM leader, speaking in Mombasa during the launch of a modern Catheterisation Lab centre (facility for treatment of patients with heart condition) at the Coast General Hospital said he would declare his presidential plan after enactment of the BBI constitutional amendments.
“Sijatangaza kwamba nataka kusimama urais, lakini wengine wanasema eti hawawezi kuniunga mkono, nimekuuliza wewe uniunge mkono?”(I have not declared that I will be contesting for presidency, but others are saying they will not support me. Have I asked you to back me,? posed Raila.
Raila termed their sentiments as unnecessary noise, saying it was not yet time for campaigns.
Would rather retire
On Sunday, Mudavadi ruled out the possibility of the Nasa co-principals reuniting ahead of the 2022 General-Election.
Speaking in Mombasa, he said the level of betrayal portrayed by some of the members of the coalition had made a re-union difficult.
“Mimi sijatanganza washaanza kutetemeka, wanaanza kubweka bweka.Subiri bwana mambo bado... sisi tunaangalia mambo ya BBI ”(I have not declared my interest yet they are already shivering. Let them wait, it is not yet time for that. My focus is on BBI,” said Raila.
During a TV interview on Wednesday night, Kalonzo said he would rather retire than support Raila who he blames for the break-up of Nasa and described possible re-union as a miracle.
“For me, as of now, it is unthinkable that I, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, would support Raila Odinga for the third time.
I would be the most stupid fellow on earth to go and support — for the third time — a presidential candidate without a measure of reciprocity,” said Kalonzo who has been Raila’s running mate twice.
But Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu yesterday asked the Nasa co-principals to re-unite, warning that they would lose if they run separately.
Ngilu narrated how she and Raila fought for the presidency in the 1992 and 1997 elections and lost because they ran individually but only won in 2002 when they finally came together to back one candidate – Mwai Kibaki – who eventually clinched the seat despite being hospitalised at the time of the polls.
“Back in 2017, we had plans as Nasa which we thought would transform this country. Unfortunately, we failed as the coalition and Jubilee Party took over but later engaged us through Handshake,” she said.
“Instead of wasting time, we want Nasa to unite as we work to implement what we wanted in 2017.
If these leaders go alone, they will lose but if they unite we will form the next government”.
In Mombasa, Raila said that the push to change the constitution through the BBI was still on course and that he was optimistic Court of Appeal judges would rule in their favour.
“If more resources are devolved, more development will trickle to the grassroots,’’ said the former premier adding that the clamour for constitutional change will ensure more resources are channelled to the devolved units.
He blamed corruption for slow development in counties, and urged Kenyans to be cautious of leaders dishing handouts instead of initiating development projects.
“That money they are dishing out is stolen money, that money is supposed to be in the government accounts to bring development to the ground,” he said in the thinly veiled attack on Deputy President William Ruto, who has been accused of dishing money to churches.
Mombasa governor Hassan Joho reiterated that he will not drop his ambition to vie for the presidency next year.
“Let me assure you, Ile vumbi ya siasa hujawahi ona iko 2022,We will show you our strength in the 2022 political duel, Kenya is our country and we have to unite and ensure its good leadership,” Joho reiterated.