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Wiper leaders tell Kalonzo not to play second fiddle again even as NASA plans Oath

By Philip Muasya | Published Mon, January 8th 2018 at 00:00, Updated January 7th 2018 at 23:18 GMT +3
NASA leaders Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga at the Supreme Court on 20/9/2017. [PHOTO BY GEORGE NJUNGE]

In summary

  • Pressure mounting on Kalonzo Musyoka from some party leaders
  • They don’t want NASA co-principal to play second fiddle to Raila again
  • Leaders believe long stay out of power will jeopardise his political career

Pressure is mounting on Kalonzo Musyoka from some Wiper leaders who believe their party leader should never again play second fiddle in the National Super Alliance (NASA) presidential contest.

Already, there are calls from top party leaders indicating that Raila Odinga and other NASA leaders have no choice but to back Kalonzo for president in 2022, failing which he will go it alone.

Some of the key proponents of this campaign are acting Wiper chairman Kivutha Kibwana and Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi, a close confidante of the Wiper leader, who have lately insisted that Kalonzo should not play a supporting role again.

Prof Kibwana, who has spoken twice over the same issue in the recent past, insists that Kalonzo has sacrificed his presidential ambitions for far too long and it is now time for others to sacrifice for him.

Accompanying Kalonzo on a visit to the late Kitui West MP Francis Nyenze’s Kitui home to condole with the family after the party leader arrived back into the country from Germany, Kibwana noted that it was time for Raila to support Kalonzo for the top seat.

“Our eyes as a community are now firmly fixed on 2022. We know that Raila will not be on the (presidential) ballot and it will be our turn. We expect the other NASA luminaries to support Kalonzo for the presidency. There should be no other way,” Kibwana said.

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He is among a select few individuals in the Wiper party believed to have been given the onerous task of going back to the drawing board and plan how Kalonzo will get into a future Government if he does not win the top seat.

Others in Wiper like Mr Mulyungi (Mwingi Central) believe that Kalonzo’s long stay out of power will jeopardise his political career.

Mulyungi told The Standard at his Kalisasi home that it would be politically suicidal for Kalonzo to deputise any other candidate in future presidential campaigns.

“What we are saying as Wiper and the Kamba community is that we will never again allow Kalonzo to be number two to anybody. It does not matter whether he has the backing of Raila, (Musalia) Mudavadi or anybody else, he will be on the presidential ballot come 2022,” Mulyungi said.

The MP, who was at one time the Wiper executive director, said should other NASA principals renege on their promise to back Kalonzo, he would go it alone. 

“Kalonzo has twice supported Raila for the presidential contest and we have got into trouble. It is only wise for him to be number one (presidential candidate) in 2022 because if we make another mistake, he will grow old and lose taste among Kenyans. We cannot afford that,” Mulyungi stated.

Other voices in Ukambani do not believe the much-anticipated swearing-in ceremony for Raila and Kalonzo will yield much.

As such, there are leaders and professionals who feel that Kalonzo should start working closely with Deputy President William Ruto to bolster his chances of getting a Government position in 2022.

Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo (independent) said it was politically naïve of the Kamba community to  remain in the Opposition, noting that the consequences were grim.