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Kalonzo: OKA and Azimio in talks to form super alliance

 

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka addresses party leaders at Mosocho yesterday [Sammy Omingo, Standard)

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has given the clearest hint that a deal between the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) and ODM leader Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja could be sealed soon.

Mr Kalonzo said although they were yet to agree on the modalities, the talks are ongoing.

Speaking yesterday in Kisii, Kalonzo said the deal would lead to the formation of a grand coalition that will be a game-changer in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta.

He said at the forefront of the talks are President Kenyatta, Raila and other OKA principals. The alliance has Kalonzo, Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua and United Democratic Party’s Cyrus Jirongo. Kalonzo was upbeat that they would reach a deal soon. “The time to win the presidency in the first round is in the making. We are in talks to make this a reality. We are in talks with like-minded leaders, “ he said.

Yesterday, Kalonzo said leaders in Uhuru’s camp championing talks between OKA and Azimio include Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i. He described Matiangi as one of the gallant troops keen on ensuring there is national unity.

“We are focused on uniting the country and improving the lives of Kenyans,” he said.

The Wiper leader said he does not harbour any grudges against any aspirant and that a united force bringing together OKA and like-minded leaders would be the beginning of ‘big things’ to come. He added that they would be equal partners in the coalition.  Kalonzo was in Kisii to market OKA and his Wiper party. His foot soldiers led by Borabu MP Ben Momanyi urged him to ensure they strike a deal with Azimio.

While addressing supporters in Mosocho, Kalonzo spoke about his political journey with Raila, saying they will not make a mistake or an error of judgement in the August polls.

Kalonzo was Raila’s running mate in 2013 and 2017. “This time we will win first round and that is why we are talking,” he said. The former Vice President heaped praises on Raila and his OKA colleagues, saying they are not driven by personal greed. Should the talks bear fruits, it will set the stage for a bruising battle with the Kenya Kwanza alliance of Deputy President William Ruto, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula.  

He said should they form government, they will revive agriculture and health, and transform the country into an industrialized nation.

According to Kalonzo, they will build on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) proposals to improve governance, ensure political inclusivity and grow the economy. 

He also waded into the controversy sparked by Ruto’s comments on the Democratic Republic of Congo, saying: “You cannot insult a whole country. As a leader you must be careful with the words you utter.” Kalonzo termed Ruto’s comments unfortunate and said should they clinch the presidency, they will strengthen bonds with East African Community partner states.

He said they would also transform Kenya into a robust 24 hour economy.

“We will prioritise the fight against corruption. It has become an endemic problem,” he said.

In his forays in the Gusii region, the Wiper leader got a boost after 10 MCAs from Nyamira and Bobasi MP Innocent Obiri defected to his Wiper party. Momanyi, who accompanied Kalonzo, said they were optimistic a super alliance will be formed in the next two weeks. “We have given our party leader the mandate to engage with other leaders,” said Momanyi.