Kalonzo Musyoka visits Kiraitu Murungi for Meru support

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi speak to the press after a meeting with other leaders at Kiraitu's Nkubu residence in South Imenti. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday held a meeting with Meru leaders who included Governor Kiraitu Murungi as he took his vote hunting to Meru County.

Governor Kiraitu hosted Kalonzo, some party MPs and National Executive Council members at his Nkubu home in South Imenti, before attending a church service at PCEA Kagaru.

At his home, Kiraitu revealed how Kalonzo who was his classmate at University of Nairobi, had come close to becoming president when he (Kalonzo) and the late Vice President George Saitoti were in the defunct Alliance Party of Kenya, which also had a bus as its symbol.

"Kalonzo was in the original bus, with Saitoti, even (President) Uhuru. But they left it for me because they refused to be the driver! We had tried to negotiate for him (Kalonzo) to be president when Saitoti was around but it brought problems," Kiraitu said.

In Meru, Kalonzo met various groups as he sought to bolster his chances of becoming president in the August 9 general election.

Even as he declared that he was still firmly in the OKA which brings him together with KANU's leader Senator Gideon Moi, Amani National Congress' Musalia Mudavadi and Senator Moses Wetang'ula, Kalonzo sought the support of Meru leaders and residents.

Kalonzo Musyoka (left) met various groups in Meru. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

"We are solid in OKA but want your support to become the next leader of Kenya," he said.

He said he was part of the 'mountain' and for devolution a vision he shared with Kiraitu's Devolution Empowerment Party (DEP).

He said he had pushed for the yet to be actualised phase two tarmacking of the Maua-Mwingi-Kibwezi road which would link enable miraa transporters and others from Meru to reach Garissa and other areas, easily.

Reacting to Kiraitu's sentiments that this year's presidential succession was foggy and more complicated compared with past ones, Kalonzo sought the support of DEP as he goes for the presidency, stating the two parties needed each other.

"The Bus needs the Wiper, and a wiper cannot exist in the air! God willing we will join and work together," he said.

Both stated they were for more resources to the counties, with Kiraitu challenging Wiper and others to support a Bill to give counties more economic benefits, saying it did not require constitutional amendments like one pledged in the Building Bridges Initiative.

Kalonzo Musyoka with Governor Kiraitu Murungi in Nkubu, South Imenti. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

Kiraitu said the Council of Governors had come up with an 'Economic BBI' which would ensure counties receive more funds for empowerment in the wards and for youth, people living with disability, boda boda operators, small businesses and others.

Kiraitu challenged the presidential candidates to marshal MPs affiliated ODM, Wiper and UDA to create Ward Fund and Youth Council, arguing it did not require a BBI to achieve it.

"Parliament can increase resources without constitutional amendments. Why can't we do it now, to know you are serious?" Kiraitu posed.

Kalonzo agreed and said the Wiper MPs formed a strong team in parliament and one of them will take the Bill developed by CoG to the House.

"We want to take that Bill as Wiper and push it. It doesn't require constitutional amendments. We want to see who will oppose it," he said.

Kiraitu said the DEP's National Delegates Congress will weigh Kalonzo, Raila and Ruto before making a decision on who to back in State House race.

Dr Shadrack Mwiti who plans to run for South Imenti MP asked Kalonzo and Kiraitu to work together.