Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has declared his name will be on the ballot in the 2022 presidential election and vowed not to support any other candidate for president.
Kalonzo’s revelation brings the number of those eyeing the presidential seat to six, with Deputy President William Ruto leading the pack.
Others who have voiced their interest include Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, his Kakamega counterpart Wycliffe Oparanya and Makueni’s Kivutha Kibwana.
Kalonzo said that he has twice sacrificed his presidential ambition to support opposition chief Raila Odinga, and it would be his turn to lead.
“I will not just be a candidate but a formidable candidate,” said Kalonzo, who will be gunning for the top seat for the second time.
The former vice-president during the grand coalition government said that in order to clinch the seat, he is “preparing the ground” for a grand contest.
The Standard has already established that the process of registering the One Kenya Movement (OKM) party, which is a rebranding of the Wiper Democratic Movement, is underway. This is the political vehicle Kalonzo would ride on in his quest to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Kalonzo, a certified arbiter, has since been appointed as President Kenyatta’s special peace envoy to South Sudan.
In an exclusive interview with Point Blank host Tony Gachoka on KTN News, Kalonzo maintained that he had twice supported Raila as his running-mate and on both occasions, they had failed in their quest.
“If you support somebody twice and he fails, would you still continue supporting him? But I don’t have any political enemy,” said Kalonzo.
Asked if he would still need Raila’s support to beat the other presidential candidates, Kalonzo admitted it would be important but noted that this would not stop him from criss-crossing the country to win the hearts of the electorate.
“Who would not want ‘baba’s’ support? But I don’t want to be an opportunistic leader. Wiper is growing in leaps and bounds. In fact, those who went to Jubilee from the region have come back,” he said.
Prof Kibwana and Dr Mutua, who also hail from the Kamba community, have trained their guns on Kalonzo and are challenging his claim to supremacy as the regional kingpin.
Kalonzo, who was the 10th vice-president in post-independent Kenya, revisited the Bomas Draft constitution and said the current presidential model is not best for the country.
He said that when he called for a re-assessment of the 20 per cent of the constitution that had issues before referendum, he ended up being called names.
He noted that under the National Super Alliance (Nasa) agreement deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties, the leaders prefer a hybrid system akin to the Tanzanian model.
According to Kalonzo, Kenyans should consider having a hybrid system of government in which even the losers in a presidential contest can still lead their troops in both the Senate and National Assembly in keeping the government of the day in check.
“If we won under Nasa, we had created the position of chief minister whose functions are almost similar to the one Interior CS Fred Matiang’i has been given. But if the Constitution allowed, if we were in the National Assembly or Senate, we would offer leadership to our troops to provide effective checks and balances to the Government,” said Kalonzo.
The former VP also took a swipe at the recent claims of an assassination plot targeting the DP where several Cabinet secretaries were summoned by police to record statements.
Kalonzo said that President Kenyatta and Ruto appeared to be at odds.
“The truth is Cabinet is divided and any pretense on the matter will not hold any water. The Government is divided. The collective responsibility of the Cabinet is now in jeopardy,” he said.
According to Kalonzo, the issue is crucial and an investigation should be undertaken so that the truth is laid bare. He also advised the DP to conduct some serious self-examination.
Kalonzo questioned why the suspects in the Arror and Kimwarer dams scandal had not been charged and why State officials implicated in the matter have not stepped aside.
He suggested that Uhuru should form a judicial commission of inquiry into the corruption scandals rocking the nation, and that anyone mentioned should be probed even as the team’s recommendations were adopted and implemented.
“If there are prosecutions, time is of extreme importance otherwise we will have no country to talk about,” said Kalonzo.
On the issue of harambees, the Wiper leader opined that contributions should not be a sign of showing off, but to help in development.
Raila and Ruto are currently at loggerheads over the practice of donating money to churches, with the sticking point being the source of money spent in such fundraisers.
Although Raila has maintained that the source of wealth and funds being spent on the harambees should be established, Ruto has insisted that he is “storing his riches in heaven”.
“God is not destitute. God cannot be bribed. This is not showmanship,” said Kalonzo.
On the Government’s bid to launch a lifestyle audit for public servants, Kalonzo questioned why the process had never taken off.
He maintained that corruption had bled the country, and that when the Government borrowed to fund infrastructure projects and the money was stolen, the economy would suffer.