By Athman Amran
Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka faces the headache of consolidating the more than two million votes in Eastern region that eluded him in 2007.
As he met political leaders from Embu, Isiolo, and other Eastern areas in Nairobi recently, the Wiper leader said the region’s votes would give him a head- start in the General Election.
The VP is so far confident he has consolidated support in Kamba counties, but is yet to capture the support of the Meru and Embu in Central Eastern and the Samburu, Turkana, Gabra, Burji, Borana, and Rendile in Upper Eastern.
In the 2007 elections, Kalonzo got much of his support from Lower Eastern. While the Central Eastern largely supported Kibaki in the last two elections, the Upper Eastern, which had largely been a Kanu zone, had seen a shift of alliances in 2007, with the VP’s party getting Saku constituency.
While Isiolo South and Laisamis remained Kanu zones, Isiolo North went to Narc-Kenya. Moyale and North Horr went to ODM in the bungled 2007 elections.
“I pray that we should vote as a province to show that we can unite. Then, we will save this country,” Kalonzo said when he met leaders from Embu County (comprising Siakago, Manyatta, Runyenjes, and Gachoka constituencies) at a Nairobi hotel last Tuesday.
He, however, expressed fears the region may vote on tribal lines, which he said would be unfortunate.
“This time President Kibaki is not going to run after his term expires. Then why not support Kalonzo?” the VP said.
He went on: “Wakati huu sitaki kusikia nitapita katikati. Tutanyakua kutoka kwa mdomo wa simba (this time I do not want to hear that I will pass between others. We will grab leadership from the lion’s mouth),” Kalonzo said.
The Embu County leaders, however, while promising they would mobilise support for Kalonzo, wanted the VP to pledge he would help them get markets and subsidies for their coffee and tea.