Why Wiper isn't about to sever ties with Azimio

Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka when after naming his running mate Andrew Sunkuli at the SKM Command centre in Karen, Nairobi on Monday, May 16, 2022 [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

Despite Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka bolting out of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya, he is yet to sever ties with the outfit.

The Wiper leader's confidants have intimated that despite cutting the image of a man ready to go it alone, behind the scenes negotiations were still ongoing between Mr Musyoka and Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga.

The talks if progressive, they say, could see the Wiper leader return to the Azimio fold.

Mr Musyoka on Monday announced that he has quit Azimio and would vie for presidency on Wiper ticket.

“We are still waiting on Kalonzo to make up his mind. In the meantime, we cannot say that he is completely out of Azimio. Negotiations are ongoing,” said Mavoko MP Patrick Makau.

“We are still in the race but we are open for talks with principals in the Azimio coalition. What we know however is that we are well on course to be the third force in the August elections,” said Mr Makau.

Mr Musyoka's allies were also concerned with the “insincerity” within the Azimio camp and to counter this, they gave irreducible minimums for him to reconsider his exit from the coalition.

They argued that there is no constitutional provision backing the creation of the chief minister position offered to the Wiper leader by Mr Odinga and the same is not captured in the Azimio coalition agreement deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties.

They said for Mr Musyoka to return to Azimio, all the cards between him and Mr Odinga need to be on the table.

 “The promise they gave Kalonzo on the Chief Minister is not in the Constitution. In fact, the much they can do is to give him (Kalonzo) a ministeraial docket then add additional duties to his docket," said Makueni MP Dan Maanzo.  

“This time if we are going to support Raila it might be unconditional because we have realised that we cannot depend on him. The issuance of the Chief minister position to Kalonzo is a pipe dream, hoodwinking and it was just the dangling a carrot which has no meaning at all,” he added.

Mr Maanzo however did not rule out the possibility of a Musyoka- Odinga re-union.

“Kalonzo Musyoka is a reasonable man and wants the best for the country. I don’t know whether there are other instructions but I am aware of the fact that we have now asked him to run for president and he has agreed,” he said.

Kanu secretary of political affairs Fredrick Okango said the party leadership was also actively working towards return of the Wiper party leader to Azimio.

“As a party, through the leadership of Senator Gideon Moi, our chairman, we are actively engaged to bring together anyone who believes in the ideology of Azimio. Kalonzo Musyoka believes in the ideology, Martha Karua believes in that ideology and so does Raila,” said Mr Okango.

“As we speak, I am confident that there are other discussions between Wiper and Raila that are ongoing. We not only want to win majority seats under Kanu but also as the larger Azimio,” he added.