Karua joins OKA as principals promise to go all the way to the ballot

Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, KANU's  Gideon Moi and NARC Kenya leader Martha Karua address rally at Mulu Mutisya Gardens in Machakos. [Dennis Kavisu, Standard]

A resurgent One Kenya Alliance has declared they will soldier on to the presidential ballot despite the exit of ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya's Moses Wetang'ula.

Buoyed by the presence of Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi yesterday said they were unshakable in their quest to provide quality leadership.

Speaking during a rally at Mulu Mutisya gardens in Machakos town, they said they would present a winning formula and clinch the presidency.

Kalonzo and Gideon urged Kenyans to dismiss political propaganda about a two-horse race featuring ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto.

“We will remain in OKA no matter what happens. We will also seek new partnerships and alliances while inside OKA. Our main dream is to improve the livelihoods of Kenyans and we need the goodwill of Kenyans to achieve that dream,” said Gideon.

He pleaded with Kenyans to be vigilant in choosing the next set of leaders and ensure those tainted with corruption do not get the opportunity.

“We must get rid of corruption and Kenyans must be told that corruption is equivalent to death. If they allow corrupt leaders to manage affairs of the country, they will have nobody to blame but themselves,” he said.

The Baringo Senator noted that corruption had caused misery to majority of Kenyans. “We will not allow the corrupt fellows get away with it. We must tell Kenyans to use their votes to elect the right people who can be entrusted with the livelihoods of citizens,” he said.

He urged the Akamba community to rally behind Kalonzo ahead of the next elections.

Kalonzo said he will not bow to pressure to support any other presidential candidate, saying he has had enough of backing others for the top seat. “We are now tired of offering our support to other people. We are tired of people using our votes to sum-up their presidential tally. We are done with being belittled as a community,” said Kalonzo.

He defended his decision with Gideon to storm out of Mudavadi’s ANC meeting last week, terming it an attempt by the ANC party leader to ensnare them. “That was a protest against an attempt by a dishonest partner in our alliance to set us up against the Kenyan electorate,” said Kalonzo.

Karua delved into the ongoing debate about political parties Bill, saying Kenyans should not be forced to join “big parties” because the Constitution defends existence of multiple parties.

“We should not be told that we must belong to anyone’s political party. We are here as leaders of different political parties. Our Constitution is clear that Kenya is a multi-party democracy. We are therefore capable of working together without having to dissolve our parties. We can even form government with different political parties. It is everybody’s right to belong to a political party of their choice,” she said.

Karua cited the good working relations of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto during their first term in office when they got elected through different political parties, and contrasted it with their current term when they got elected on the same (Jubilee) party ticket.

“We should be afraid about being bundled up in one party. Remember the first term of Uhuru and Ruto was very rosy. But when they eventually got into one party, what we have been hearing is a lot of noise. That tells us how important multi-party democracy is,” she said.

Kalonzo said Wiper, Kanu, Narc Kenya and other parties that will join the coalition will field candidates in all the available six positions. “I want Kenyans to henceforth know that OKA will not be a pushover. We mean business and I can foresee many more leaders joining us as we head to the full campaigns,” said the Wiper party leader.

He also revealed he had opened talks with Meru Governor Kiraitu Murungi and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi with a view of consolidating the larger Eastern vote bloc.

He said the ongoing Konza City development project in Machakos will form one of the biggest priorities for funding under the OKA government. “The first Capital of Kenya was Machakos and we will work hard to ensure Konza City will be successful. There is already good indication that the project is capable of creating thousands of jobs,” said Kalonzo.

Other leaders present included Transport CAS Wavinya Ndeti, Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr (Makueni) and his Machakos counterpart Agnes Kavindu, MPs Stephen Mule (Matungulu), Jessica Mbalu (Kibwezi East), Thaddeus Zambia (Kilome), Joyce Kamene (Machakos County), Patrick Makau (Mavoko) and Machakos County Assembly Speaker Florence Mwangangi.