SEE ALSO :Raila tells off MPs over pay hike“We have weighed, assessed and determined that with Raila as our captain, we shall triumph,” added Trade minister Moses Wetangula of Ford-Kenya, who is the third principal of the Cord Alliance. In his acceptance speech, the PM thanked the VP and Wetangula for according him the opportunity to be the flag bearer: “I will, in particular, forever remember my brother Kalonzo’s gesture of declaring ‘Raila Tosha’” said an emotional Raila. Unveiling the Cord team, Kalonzo named Wetang’ula as candidate for Senate seat in Bungoma County, and Leader of Majority in the Senate, while he will be Raila’s running mate. In what appears to be a strategy to woo a big fish from without, nobody was named candidate for the influential position of Leader of Majority in Parliament. The seat was reserved for a yet-to-be-named individual. However, last evening, joint Cord Secretary General Simiyu Eseli clarified that the Leader of Majority for both Houses (Senate and National Assembly) has been designated for Ford-Kenya. The notion of targeting the business community is strategic, considering increased fears over possible economic embargo by the international community in the event Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto of Jubilee Alliance win the March 4 polls.
SEE ALSO :Moi, Kalonzo alliance mooted?The two politicians face charges at the International Criminal Court for alleged roles in the 2007 post-election violence. Last week, Uhuru publicly confessed to the embargo fears as the reason he was being pushed by some forces to give up his presidential bid in favour of fellow DPM Musalia Mudavadi. Other members of the Cord Summit are Raila, Kalonzo, and Wetangula. The VP explained the team would be expanded. Also unveiled was the Alliance’s Executive Board. Besides steering the three initial presidential aspirants in agreement, the board shall be in charge of top management duties, including campaign strategy. The team is co-chaired by Public Service minister Dalmas Otieno and Defence Assistant Minister David Musila. Other members include Cabinet ministers, Mutula Kilonzo, James Orengo, Musa Sirma, Anyang’ Nyong’o, Paul Otuoma and Lands Assistant Minister Bifwoli Wakoli. Kimilili MP, David Eseli, Nominated MP, Muhammed Affey, former Cabinet minister Nyiva Mwendwa, and Chris Wamalwa. Addressing the rally, Kalonzo revealed the negotiations to identify the flag bearer were not easy. He confessed initial reluctance to drop his bid a second time, the first being in 2002 in favour of Kibaki. But Raila, he said, had even more compelling reasons to be the candidate, having sacrificed a lot for the second liberation, including being jailed for a decade and the fact that he was making a third attempt for president.
SEE ALSO :Kalonzo: I will be president one day“The negotiations were tough and if you think it was a child’s play, just look at what has happened elsewhere,” said Kalonzo in apparent reference to the political divorce between Mudavadi and the Uhuru-Ruto camp. ?In dropping his bid in support of Raila, the VP cited the late Prof George Saitoti’s famous lines, “there comes a time when the interests of a nation are more important than that of an individual”. ?An elated Raila, accompanied to the podium by Kalonzo, Wetangula, and his wife Ida, promised to fix the economy, create more new jobs, and take advantage of infrastructural development to take the country “to the next level”. ?“Our plane had stalled, but under the leadership of President Kibaki, it was repaired and now it has left the hanger and is on the runway with me as the pilot. We are ready for take off,” Raila declared. Even as they spoke, the Cord leaders could not avoid taking snippets at the rival team of Jubilee Alliance. Speaker after speaker reiterated that unlike Jubilee that was operating under the spell of shetani (the devil), Cord was guided by the grace of God.