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Wikileaks: VP a self-interested opportunist

Updated Friday, March 4th 2011 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Beauttah Omanga

US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger views Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka as a political opportunist.

The latest cables released by WikiLeaks also indicate the VP expressed concerns about the health of President Kibaki, and the negative impact on the electoral process should Kibaki experience a health crisis before the elections.

According to Ranneberger, Kalonzo knew he had no chance of winning the presidency in 2007, but strategically placed himself in vantage point for 2012.

"Though Musyoka presents himself as a born-again Christian with the purest of political intentions, keen observers see him as largely an opportunist interested primarily in advancing his political ambitions," wrote Ranneberger.

The envoy concluded his assessment of the VP as a political lightweight.

"Though Musyoka is polished and glib, some astute observers consider him an intellectual lightweight. Thus far he has not presented a credible national political agenda."

The reports expose Kalonzo’s alleged desire to use external forces to prevail upon President Kibaki to step down on health grounds.

"Musyoka seriously suggested that President Bush should call Kibaki to urge him to step aside. If Kibaki were to pull out, Musyoka contended, he would receive much of the support Kibaki had received (based on the traditional close ties between Kibaki’s Kikuyu community and Musyoka’s much smaller Kamba community)," noted Ranneberger.

A confidential report sent by the ambassador but on a different date says that Kalonzo stated flatly that Kenya would clearly be better off with Kibaki for another five-year term, than with Prime Minister Raila Odinga as President.

Asked the possibility of switching to support Kibaki before the elections, Kalonzo replied that doing so would amount to political suicide for him.

The WikiLeaks also indicate Kalonzo considered joining President Kibaki even prior to the last General Election.

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