Jubilee Party moves to woo Kalonzo Musyoka team

The invitation Deputy President William Ruto extended to Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka to abandon Opposition coalition for Jubilee Party has stepped up pre-election rivalry.

After wooing his Wiper MPs from Ukambani to join Jubilee Party, the political posturing by the DP directed at Kalonzo has the effect of stoking suspicions in CORD where Kalonzo, Raila Odinga (ODM) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford-K) are battling forcoalition's presidential ticket.

The invitation comes days after Kalonzo's declaration at a rally in Mombasa that he is fed up with being in Opposition and that he would explore options to ensure he is in the next Government.

Kalonzo's allies declared Jubilee wasn't among their options as Raila declared the CORD flag-bearer will be the one elected by members of the party.

"Why does the DP think that Kalonzo is interested in joining JP?" asked Kitui Senator David Musila who is also Wiper Party chairman. He added: "I want to make it clear that Kalonzo and Wiper have never at any time considered joining Jubilee. For this to happen, the DP will have to wait for a long time."

Kalonzo and Wetang'ula have told Raila to step down from the race and become the kingmaker by endorsing one of them to be the flag-bearer, a suggestion the ODM leader ruled out yesterday.

Observers suggest that should talks to field a joint Opposition presidential candidate fail, Raila's other strategy would be to ensure they all run separately, hoping this would force a runoff election under the 50-plus-one rule. 

The assumption is that a repeat presidential vote is likely to pit Raila against President Uhuru. It is a prospect Uhuru and Ruto are working hard to forestall by raiding Opposition zones to secure a first-round victory.

"We are selling the Jubilee 'gospel' across the country. Why would anyone want to stay in Opposition? We are opening up to work with everybody irrespective of which side of the political divide they are in," explained nominated MP Johnston Sakaja.