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Kalonzo blames NASA insiders for rumours he is leaving coalition

By Rawlings Otieno and Protus Onyango | Updated Mon, March 20th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3

Wiper party leader Mr Kalonzo Musyoka fought perception that he has one foot out of the Opposition alliance and is only waiting for an opportune time ditch it for Jubilee.

When he mounted the platform in Kitengela during a National Super Alliance (NASA) rally yesterday, the message was that he was in NASA to stay, and dismissed speculation that has had eyes riveted on his every move since last week.

But he seemed to suggest the 'rumours' around his status in NASA were from inside the new movement.

"There are sycophants in NASA who don't want others to speak freely. These are the ones who have said that I am leaving immediately I presented my nomination papers to my party last week," Kalonzo said.

But for a man who a few months ago vowed while addressing a rally in Mombasa that he must be in the next Government by whatever means, and having ended up in Mwai Kibaki's government in 2007 when he and Mr Raila Odinga ran and lost in a disputed presidential race, the speculation was not misplaced.

PRESENTED PAPERS

The speculation rose when he last week presented his papers for nomination as Wiper presidential candidate while he is still positioning himself for a NASA ticket, over which he has asked Raila to reciprocate the support he gave him in the 2013 elections.

"I have spoken to Raila who is in the US and despite rumours in a section of the media that he has cut short his trip there to come for a crisis meeting (over NASA ticket), there is no such meeting," Kalonzo said.

He said he is ready to support anyone among the four of them, who will be named as the flag-bearer.

"I will support Raila again because I have supported him before. I am willing to support (Moses) Wetang'ula and (Musalia) Mudavadi. But if I am named as the NASA flag-bearer, I am focused and willing to carry the mantle," he assured anxious NASA supporters who have been fearful the new outfit may be headed for a split when Jubilee has no qualms over who is the candidate and running mate five months to elections.

He also seemed determined to demonstrate his fidelity to the Opposition's stance on Jubilee for allegedly promoting tribalism and lying about their first term scorecard.

"We have high rates of unemployment and drought, yet (President) Kenyatta is saying he has created three million jobs. These are lies," charged Kalonzo.

The Wiper leader is a man who has weathered the political storm but is determined to be on the ballot on August 8. Speculation is rife he could be positioning Wiper as his 'Plan B' in case things do not work out for him in NASA.

Insiders within the new coalition point at the fact that Kalonzo has not only secured his own party's ticket ostensibly because of a technicality in the new nomination rules, but he also has signed agreements between Wiper and other parties.

There are also claims that Kalonzo has tried more than on one occasion to lure some members of NASA affiliate parties to join him but under the NASA roof.

Kalonzo during the rally in Bomet hosted by Governor Isaac Rutto, reiterated he was ready to support a winning candidate.

"Me and my brother here Musalia Mudavadi served in the same government of Mzee arap Daniel Moi but we are now united again in saving this country without caring who becomes the presidential candidate. Kenyans will choose who becomes the flag bearer and save our country," he said.

Kalonzo would later maintain that he would support another Raila candidacy in the August polls.

"Even when my prayer is that brother Raila and Moses Wetang'ula will see it fit to support me, I want to assure you here that i will support Raila," said Kalonzo.

When Kalonzo met all 47 Wiper county coordinators in what is being viewed as a strategic move in his quest for the presidency, he said coordinators are the faces of the party's leadership at the grassroots level, lending to the Wiper leader's commitment to running for President in the next poll.

His meeting with the 47 coordinators followed a successful party leaders' meeting in Machakos County where he said any party's strength lies with the people and that grassroots leaders play a key role in delivering its message to them.

"I will be coming to your places very soon as I roll out my presidential plan. You play a vital role as our ambassadors in the grassroots... We really appreciate this," he said.



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