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Kalonzo tests the waters in Raila strongholds

By - Nick Oluoch | Oct 11th 2012 | 3 min read

By Nick Oluoch

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is set to face a major challenge in wooing voters in Nyanza to vote as a block, if Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s Kuria visit is anything to go by.

The party, which has been carrying out its campaigns to ensure Prime Minister Raila Odinga gets the required 25 per cent votes, has been camping in Gusii land and parts of Luo Nyanza, giving their opponents an opportunity to move into untapped areas.

The recent endorsement of Kalonzo by Kuria MP Wilfred Machage during his two-day tour of the region has raised the possibility of voters casting their votes in favour of the VP, who is also eyeing presidency.

During the visit, Machage, who is also the Democratic Party Vice Chairman, said he believed Kalonzo was the best candidate to lead Kenya forward when President Kibaki leaves office.

“Of all the presidential candidates, I have looked at Kalonzo and realised he is the right candidate to lead Kenyans. This is the main reason I decided to accompany him in his campaign,” Machage said.

Choice of words

Machage, who has not accompanied any presidential candidate campaigning in the area recently, said the main reason he was with Kalonzo was because he believed in his ‘leadership’ abilities’.

Although Machage came just short of fully endorsing the VP, his choice of words and the decision to personally travel with him has fuelled talks regarding the two political parties. VP’s Wiper Democratic Movement and DP working together by forming some form of alliance before the presidential election expected next year.

Mr Musyoka said they would work closely with Kenyans and smaller tribes to win the elections next year.

The VP said he would assess the situation before choosing his running mate, when he was pressurised by locals to name Machage as the one.

Clinch the seat

And by promising to work with ‘smaller’ communities, Kalonzo was visibly targeting the Kuria community, which has for generations complained of being ‘ignored’ because they are considered a smaller community.

Mr Musyoka urged the locals to back him for the top seat, describing himself as the most qualified successor of President Kibaki, as he had worked with him for the republic and could aid cohesion.

“We want the country to choose their leaders wisely and check a candidate who can unite people,” he said.

Nominated MP Mohammed Affey, who accompanied the VP, said the party had empowered the VP to seek out like-minded political leaders.

“The VP is the ideal presidential candidate,” he said, adding they were also in dialogue with other political parties within the G7 alliance to clinch the seat in next presidential elections.

However, it remains to be seen if Machage’s support alone will enable the VP to clinch the votes in the region, given the voting nature of the community where each and every clan votes in favour of its preferred candidate.


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