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Raila hints at backing Kalonzo for top seat in 2027 elections

 Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Siaya Senator Oburu Odinga and Opposition Chief Raila Odinga in Bondo during the thanksgiving ceremony for Oburu on Otober 15, 2023. [Michael Mute, Standard]

Opposition Chief Raila Odinga has he hinted at the prospects of backing Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka to face President William Ruto in the 2027 general elections.

Speaking in Bondo during a thanksgiving ceremony for his brother, Siaya Senator Oburu Oginga, Raila told off President William Ruto for claiming that Kenya Kwanza is ready for a duel with Kalonzo in 2027 because he (Raila) could be retiring from politics.

The ODM leader who ruled out quitting politics said either he or Kalonzo will be on the ballot to face Ruto. "I heard Ruto saying that I will not vie and he is comparing himself to Kalonzo. I want to tell Ruto that Kalonzo is better than him," he said. "We are seeing the games you (Ruto) are playing and we want to tell you that among us, someone will vie," he added.

Raila heaped praise on the Wiper leader saying he is trustworthy and has been steadfast in rallying behind him for several years. He described Kalonzo as a straightforward leader and promised to support him.

"Twice Kalonzo was on my side and our victory was stolen. He has been steadfast. Even in the last election, he was not given the mantle as the presidential candidate but he stood with us," he said.

He described the Kalonzo as a leader with a big heart who can be trusted.

The ODM leader claimed that Ruto is attempting to split them by setting himself for a political duel with Kalonzo, several years before the next polls.

Yesterday, Azimio appeared to be strategizing how to counter Kenya Kwanza charm offensive across the country, including Raila's Nyanza backyard.

The opposition leaders declared that they are united and are bracing for a duel with the president.

But reading from the speeches in Bondo, Kalonzo's political stars could finally be aligning ahead of the 2027 General Election.

In the ODM leader's fold, there is speculation that he could be grooming Kalonzo to inherit his support base across the country.

Oburu heaped praise on the Wiper leader saying he has been with them in good times and tough times.

"Kalonzo can take very tough decisions. Kalonzo in the past has made tough decisions to support Raila when it was not easy for him to support Raila to be the flag bearer," he said.

Kalonzo's allies also urged Nyanza to consider him in the future because of the role he has played for Raila's candidature in the past elections.

Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Jr urged Nyanza not to overlook the Wiper leader.

"We request the Luo community to look at our son with kind eyes when the right time comes," said Mutula.

Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti said they are on a mission to show that they are united as a coalition.

"We are here to show you that we are united and we will always be together. We will cement this relationship more," she said.

Kalonzo exuded confidence that Azimio will have a field day in 2027 General Election. He claimed that Kenya Kwanza has exhibited flaws in leadership and has lost touch with the people.

"We are not yet done with 2022 before we talk about 2027. The one who will vie from Azimio side will have a walkover. Kenyans are fed up," he said.

He criticized the government for failing to address insecurity in the country and other challenges.

However, the Wiper leader steered clear of the cost of living debate saying that they will address it comprehensively later.

Former Defense Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said Azimio will reveal their political game plan later and challenged Ruto to stop focusing on 2027.

"When 2027 comes and Raila decides to run we will support and if he opts to send any member of our Azimio team to meet Ruto on the ballot, we will be ready," said Wamalwa.

He criticized the government for failing to address challenges that Kenyans are facing. Theb DAP-K leader said they will not relent until the high cost of living is addressed.

Oburu claimed that the president has been competing with Cabinet Secretaries to launch projects, which can be handled by junior officers.

"He has refused to make the government function. Ruto is the minister of everything. He should let his ministers work," said Oburu.

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