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Kalonzo wants talks with Raila, Uhuru to end running mate row

Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka addresses residents of Emali town, Makueni County. [Dennis Kavisu, Standard]

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday demanded fresh talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga over the running mate stalemate.

He made his stand known during stop-overs in Mlolongo town, Machakos Junction, Salama, Sultan Hamud, Emali and several other towns on the Nairobi-Mombasa highway on his way to the Coast for the grand entry of Mike Mbuvi Sonko in the Mombasa governor race.

He said the push for him to be named Raila’s running mate was driven by Kenyans and should be respected.

“They were telling me I must attend an interview but I refused because the best interview can only be done by Kenyans. The entire nation has spoken that I be Odinga’s running mate,” said Kalonzo.

Kalonzo insisted that it was a mockery to have him subjected to any interview, something that President Kenyatta and Raila should have done simply by calling him for a round table to discuss any arising matters.

“Uhuru and Raila should call me so that we talk instead of being subjected to an interview. Let us conduct interview among ourselves,” Kalonzo said.

At Mlolongo where he started his tour of his Ukambani turf, the Wiper party leader also dismissed claims that he had links with Deputy President William Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza coalition.

“I don’t have links with UDA (United Democratic Alliance) at all and I don’t need them to defend me. I want to defeat them. I am principled. I want to defeat Ruto so that Kenya can move forward,” said Kalonzo.

He said most Kenyans know that if he joins hands with Raila, they will win the presidency.

Kalonzo said politicians opposed to the naming of Azimio One Kenya coalition party were trying to block him from becoming Raila’s running mate. “You can’t block Kalonzo. Who are you?” he said.

He was accompanied by Patrick Makau (Mavoko MP), Robert Mbui (Kathiani), Joyce Kamene (Machakos Woman Rep), Sonko and Machakos Wiper governor candidate Wavinya Ndeti, Mutula Kilonzo Jr (Makueni senator), Rose Museo (Makueni Woman Rep), Dan Maanzo (Makueni MP), among other leaders.

According to Maanzo, who is also the Wiper Deputy Secretary-General, any move to intimidate the Wiper boss will see Raila lose.

“The qualification for any running mate is the number of votes that one is able to put on the table. I am sure none of the political parties running for the presidency in 2022 will form government without votes from Kalonzo Musyoka and his party,” Maanzo said.

Mutula Jr and Ms Museo said anybody touching Kalonzo risks losing the entire Kamba Nation vote.

Sonko accused Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho of causing division among tribes in the Coast region. He said his aim was to unite all tribes in Mombasa.

“I want to tell the “Mombasa Sultan” that county is for all Kenyans and anybody can vie. A leader should unite people. Let him stop politics of division,” said Sonko.

Today, the Wiper brigade will campaign in Mombasa before holding a rally at Tononoka grounds to crown Sonko for Mombasa governor race.