By Stephen Makabila
History will be in the making if Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s name will not be on the presidential ballot.
So far, all indicators are that he is set for his second presidential bid on his Wiper Democratic Movement, formerly ODM-Kenya, ticket.
To local political observers, his bid is unique since he will be the first serving Vice-President to attempt to succeed a retiring president through the ballot.
If he wins the presidency, Kalonzo would also go down history as the third person to have served as VP, and eventually ascended to power.
Retired President Daniel Moi, and his successor Mwai Kibaki achieved the feat. Other former VPs, among them Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Joseph Murumbi, Wamalwa Kijana, George Saitoti, Josephat Karanja, Moody Awori, and Musalia Mudavadi never went beyond the number two slot. Mudavadi, who served the shortest stint as VP, will also be in the presidential race.
The Kalonzo question has, however, seen a historical replay, where no president has ever endorsed his deputy as a preferred successor.
“Kalonzo is in a unique situation because his appointment as VP was for convenience to rescue Kibaki after the bungled presidential election of 2007 and the violence that followed, yet he has to operate within Kibaki’s policies as he fights his own political wars without an endorsement to smoothen his State House bid,” says political analyst Kipchumba Murkomen.
Murkomen, who teaches law at Moi University, says without Kibaki’s endorsement, Kalonzo’s best chance would be if he were lucky to become the G7 Alliance compromise candidate.
“Outside the G7, Kalonzo’s political future is not assured. He faces political assault from all corners, including from Charity Ngilu in his own lower Eastern backyard,” added Murkomen.
But Francis Mwangangi, the national co-ordinator of Wiper Ambassadors, Kalonzo’s campaign lobby, says nothing will distract the VP from his presidential bid.
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