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Death knell for OKA as Kalonzo, Gideon walk out of Mudavadi’s meeting

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his Kanu counterpart, Gideon Moi, walked out of the ANC National Delegates Congress following the arrival of DP William Ruto. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The two top One Kenya Alliance (OKA) leaders staged a dramatic walkout from yesterday’s launch of Musalia Mudavadi’s presidential campaign at Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his Kanu counterpart, Gideon Moi, walked out of the Amani National Congress National Delegates Congress following the arrival of Deputy President William Ruto. Businessman Jimi Wanjigi, who has also expressed presidential ambitions, walked out with them.

The principals were among leaders invited to the NDC which had been convened to endorse Mudavadi as the party’s presidential candidate.

Kalonzo said that they had not been informed that Ruto and other United Democratic Alliance (UDA) leaders would be attending the event. 

Kalonzo and Gideon were in Bomas to reciprocate the ANC leader’s attendance of the Wiper and Kanu NDC last year. All three have now been cleared by their parties to run for president. However, they were expected to come up with a joint presidential candidate for OKA.

The walk out yesterday was a political statement that could now signal possible death of OKA given that the other principal who is Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula remained behind and said he was willing to work with Mudavadi and Ruto.

While recognising the protocols, Mudavadi skipped the names of Kalonzo and Gideon but mentioned former Kiambu governor William Kabogo and Wetang’ula, both of who are leaders of their respective parties.

Mudavadi had promised to make a declaration that would cause an earthquake in the political landscape. There had been indications of a shift in allegiance when he tweeted at 8:35am: “The ANC party has come to a decision that let nobody choose friends for us and if you have a problem with anybody, don’t assume we have a problem with them.”

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi launched his presidential bid on January 23, 2022. [File, Standard]

Interestingly, the 30-word tweet was shared by DP Ruto’s digital communication strategist, Dennis Itumbi and former Law Society of Kenya president Nelson Havi.

Wetang’ula said he would walk together with Ruto, Mudavadi and Kabogo in new journey.

“We ask many to join us in this journey. It is not an accident that Musalia and William Ruto, I am here and that Kabogo is here. No one he is in here by accident, winning we will, those who are here, keep your eyes on the ball,” he said.  

Speaking at the event, Ruto said they had started a new journey.

“We have had in-depth discussion with my brother and have agreed that Kenya is bigger than all of us and have agreed that we must work together, we will engage Kenyans,” he said. Nyamira Governor Amos Nyaribo, who was among the leaders that walked out, said that he was not party to the alliance between UDA and ANC.