Where is Kalonzo as Raila team campaigns?


Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

As the Supreme Court gives its verdict on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) today, some focus will be on Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Kalonzo has been silent since he hosted President Uhuru Kenyatta and Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi at his Karen home on March 19.

For two weeks, Kalonzo has been missing from key political events, and has not convened a press conference.

Today’s ruling might, however, catapult Kalonzo back into the limelight

The ruling is expected to have ramifications on the August 9 polls. The Supreme Court could uphold the decision of the Court of Appeal that the BBI process was null and void, or invalidate its ruling.

This is expected to have an impact on the elections considering the reforms proposed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga to expand the Executive to address the winner takes-it-all system, which has been blamed for election-related violence.

This is not the first time the Wiper leader has gone missing. While Azimio la Umoja leaders were campaigning for Raila during his five-day tour of the UK, Kalonzo took a back seat.

So where is Kalonzo?

Sources yesterday said a standoff between ODM and Wiper could be to blame for his absence.

Wiper is said to have stuck to its guns demanding nothing short of a running mate, and that Azimio-One Kenya alliance be registered. But the Raila camp insisted on a running mate from Mt Kenya.

There are also reports that Wiper party signed a “blank” MoU document with Azimio during the National Delegates Conference held at the KICC to create an impression that the talks between Kalonzo and Raila had been concluded.

A number of allies yesterday revealed that a high-stakes meeting between President Kenyatta, Kalonzo and Raila will take place today.

“Kalonzo’s silence has nothing to do with the BBI ruling. The conclusion of tomorrow’s (today’s) meeting is what will determine the way forward for Kalonzo and how the campaigns will be conducted,” the source added.

BBI verdict

“Raila has a history of forgetting other principals every time he is endorsed as a presidential flag bearer and that is why this time we will do things right and not jump into anything akin to the 2013 and 2017 elections.”

Another source said Wiper, like other political players, was keen on the BBI verdict, which could influence a re-alignment in the current political formations.

The source said Kenya Kwanza Alliance has intensified efforts to lure Kalonzo as evidenced by the many tours Deputy President William Ruto was making in the lower Eastern region. (See separate story)

“Kenya Kwanza is offering a third of government and willing to consider a Musalia-Kalonzo or Kalonzo-Musalia presidential ticket. We are, however, not keen on it for now. But it looks like they (Kenya Kwanza) are waiting for the BBI ruling today to consider changing their lineup.”

The source blamed Raila for the protracted negotiations and intractable challenges facing Azimio.

“Raila has refused to engage and take the negotiations further. He is not keen on giving the Deputy Presidency and a third of government to OKA. It’s not too late to change a presidential candidate,” the source said.

“Until we finalise the Azimio-One Kenya deal, we will work together but until then we are working for Wiper party. The sooner we sit and merge the secretariat so we know who engages where, the better. But until then, what are we discussing?”

Party recruitment

Another source, however, said the former Vice President has for the past two weeks been recruiting new members and mobilising aspirants for his party.

“Kalonzo is not holding back on his deal with Raila but has been busy meeting new party members. He knows without numbers you cannot win.”

The source, however added that by endorsing Raila for the third time, Kalonzo deserved the running mate slot.

“In his time, Kalonzo will re-embark on the Azimio campaign trail. It should, however, be understood that he will be going to Azimio-One Kenya and not Azimio la Umoja as agreed in the three-legged stool power structure.”