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Kalonzo misused and dumped me, says Ojiambo

BUSINESS
By | Mar 14th 2010 | 3 min read
By | March 14th 2010
BUSINESS

By Stephen Makabila

Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s presidential running mate in the 2007 General Election, Julia Ojiambo, has spoken on strained relations with her former ally, and the risks of pre-election coalitions.

The Labour Party of Kenya (LPK) chairperson told The Standard on Sunday how Kalonzo and his ODM-Kenya team misused LPK and later abandoned it after the party housed him when he was ‘politically orphaned’.

Ojiambo said LPK would not associate with ODM-Kenya again, and would not enter any pre-election coalition where stronger parties misuse and dump weaker ones after elections.

"I have clearly no soft words for ODM-Kenya. I did a lot for Kalonzo, campaigning for him countrywide but he could not even consider a single LPK member for parliamentary nomination. Even if I was not his favoured choice, he could have gone for any other party member even from his own Ukambani region," said Dr Ojiambo.

Apart from nomination, she says the VP rewarded members of his ODM-Kenya with Government appointments but forgot those from LPK.

"LPK has many qualified professionals who could have been hired in Government positions but it has not been the case," she told The Standard on Sunday during the interview at her LPK head office in Nairobi.

She adds: "The way Kalonzo treated LPK leadership is not the best way to treat others."

Ojiambo, who was the first woman Assistant Minister between 1974 and 1983, says she is a national leader in her own right and should not be viewed as a woman leader.

Government appointments

Some believe she faired badly in the parliamentary race because she dedicated most of her time to moving around the country with Kalonzo in presidential campaigns.

Many had expected that in return, Kalonzo would consider her for either nomination or a senior Government post.

Kalonzo went for Ojiambo as her running mate after he broke ranks with Raila Odinga following differences on nominating the party presidential candidate.

Kalonzo and team were briefly housed by Ojiambo in LPK offices before he established a base along Ngong Road, Nairobi.

Ojiambo’s sentiments come in the wake of a new pre-election coalition movement formed by ODM-Kenya and a section of PNU affiliates.

The Progressive Democratic Movement (PDM) has Kalonzo, Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Internal Security Minister George Saitoti as allies, for now.

However, some PNU affiliates in the 2007 General Election such as Ford-Kenya, Kanu, Safina, Narc-Kenya and Democratic Party have disowned PDM.

While Kiraitu has told PNU affiliates not interested in the coalition they are free to stay away, Kalonzo has maintained he will work towards uniting all the parties under PDM.

Speaking on coalitions, Ojiambo says LPK learnt and may only join a post-election coalition if need be.

"We will first field a presidential candidate as a party. We are to have open nominations where any eligible member can run and not necessarily the party leader," she notes.

LPK Executive Director Peter Mukasa says the party will hold its National Executive Council on April 8, where dates for grassroots and national elections would be announced.

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