Kalonzo hints at sealing deal with Raila’s Azimio
Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday gave the strongest indication yet that he may enter a political deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Azimio leader Raila Odinga ahead of the August 9 polls.
Kalonzo, a member of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA), said their team was open for talks with like-minded political parties.
The Wiper leader, who has lately become under intense pressure from governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Makueni’s Kivutha Kibwana to join Raila’s Azimio movement, however, said he will not be coerced into working with the ODM leader, saying he was a “negotiator.”
He said that if OKA and the Azimio La Umoja team negotiate, they will do so as equal partners.
“I tell Azimio La Umoja to relax. I am a diplomat and I cannot be dragged into it. I urge leaders to look at me with two eyes,” Kalonzo said philosophically.
The former vice-president said he had negotiated with President Mwai Kibaki for the post, adding that in 2013 and 2017, he supported Raila and the matter ended up in nullification of poll results, and the Handshake that restored peace in the country.
“You are going to see big names lose out in a big way as we approach the August elections because of the strategic mistakes they made along the away,” said Kalonzo during his tour of Kisii and Nymira counties yesterday.
“We are talking to like-minded parties and in particular President Uhuru Kenyatta because he has indicated that he will rebuild Jubilee. Everybody knows my history with Raila. We have been political partners for the last nine years winning elections and being declared losers. We are talking to everybody including Raila,” he said.
Kalonzo has teamed up with Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi under the OKA umbrella.
“We are going to talk. The talks have not even began. They will be very serious talks,” he said while responding to calls by OKA delegates in Kisii for him to team up with Raila.
Local OKA pointmen urged Kalonzo to negotiate with Uhuru and Raila to form a super alliance that will win the presidency in the first round during the August polls.
Borabu MP Ben Momanyi, his Kitui Central colleague Makali Mulu and Kitutu Masaba parliamentary aspirant Victor Swanya (Wiper deputy party leader) and Andrew Maubi (Kitutu Chache south) said they have given OKA leaders the go-ahead to negotiate with Azimio.
Speaking in Mosocho during an OKA delegates meeting and at Daraja Mbili market, the leaders said Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Ford Kenya colleague Moses Wetangula risked ruining their careers by joining Deputy President William Ruto.
Kalonzo, who received Bobasi MP Innocent Obiri who defected from Ford Kenya to Wiper, said if elected president, he will push for creation of Gucha County, Kisii Township constituency and fight corruption.
He said OKA will not negotiate with leaders who had embezzled public funds which they were dishing to Kenyans and challenged wananchi to take the money but reject the givers.
“It looks like corruption in Kenya is so endemic that if you do not steal, you are not a man. Let us change our attitude to save our country,” Kalonzo said.
Momanyi said he had known that Mudavadi and Wetang’ula were headed to UDA and ended up losing several Members of Parliament in the process.
Kalonzo spoke even as the three Ukambani governors yesterday trained their guns on Ruto, saying his “unfaithfulness” had led to his dramatic fallout with President Kenyatta even before the duo completed their second term.
Governor Mutua described Ruto as a “poison” that Uhuru is preventing the country from electing as his successor.
“Uhuru said he will serve for two terms and hand over to Ruto, but he changed his mind when he realised the DP will hurt the country. If you see Uhuru is not interested in Ruto, know he is poisonous,’” said Mutua.
Speaking at Masii in Mwala, the home constituency of Ruto’s ally Vincent Musyoka, Mutua warned voters against being lured into what he termed as a “false” Hustler nation narrative being advanced by the DP.
Ngilu warned Ruto against “fooling” Kenyans to his side by use of handouts terming him “a poor leader who is out to promote dictatorship”.
She said the Kamba community will not gamble with the presidential pick, having been out of government for decades.
Kibwana said that Azimio politics presented a unique opportunity for the country that has been divided since 1963. He described Azimio as a train of unity that all tribes in the country ought to take advantage of. —Reporting by Mutuku Mwangangi, Robert Ochoro and Evans Nyakundi