In what appears to be a signal of his role in 2027 politics, former President Uhuru Kenyatta has said the Azimio coalition still has the potential to produce the next president.
And for that to happen, Uhuru urged the coalition leaders to remain firmly united.
Addressing faithful at Full Gospel Churches of Kenya in Mwingi, Kitui County, where he was hosted by the Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka for a fundraiser, Uhuru expressed optimism that the coalition still has a better chance to form the next government, adding that Azimio’s future political prospects are bright.
The former president who was appearing in public for the first time in four months stated that he was a proud member of the Azimio coalition, reiterating that his stance had not changed since the last presidential election in August 2022.
“I am a member of Azimio and I say it openly, my stand has not changed. We are where we are (in Azimio) to stay because I can still see a bright future where we are,” said the former Head of State.
Azimio coalition comprises his Jubilee party, Kalonzo’s Wiper and Raila Odinga's ODM, Narc Kenya belonging to Martha Karua and Eugene Wamalwa's DAP-K among other party affiliates.
Uhuru urged the coalition partners not to be swayed or lose focus on the coalition’s future if they wished to see the coalition ascend to the highest seat of power.
Political leaders from Kitui, Machakos and Mukueni counties urged Uhuru to declare his support for Kalonzo as Azimio flag bearer for 2027 presidential election.
Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua said that Uhuru's presence at the event was enough endorsement for Kalonzo’s presidential bid, adding that Raila had recently endorsed the former vice president for the top seat.
“I have heard all that you have said. Who knows, only God knows,” quipped Uhuru, while emphasising on the need for Azimio leaders not to allow “politics of division” to tear them apart.
At the same time, the former Head of State said that he would continue speaking his mind on issues of national importance and those affecting Kenyans such as the escalating cost of living, saying that he was used to being unnecessarily blamed by the current administration.
In his speech, Kalonzo urged Uhuru not to be cowed by the Kenya Kwanza administration, which has been trying to muzzle the former president.
Describing Uhuru as his brother, Kalonzo admitted Azimio coalition made some political mistakes that led to handing Dr William Ruto the presidency.
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He, however, said that the coalition partners had learnt from those mistakes and were forging ahead with renewed hope.
Kalonzo appeared to peg hopes on Uhuru's support for his presidential ambitions, saying that the former Head of State still commanded respect and a huge following among Kenyans beyond his Mt Kenya backyard.
“Let me correct Oparanya (Wycliffe), Uhuru still has a huge following not only in Mt Kenya but also across the country and if he shows direction, then all is possible,” said Kalonzo.
Oparanya, the former Kakamega governor who represented his boss Raila, had told Uhuru to consolidate his Mt Kenya backyard ahead of 2027 as he and Odinga solidified the Western and Nyanza regions in readiness to wrestle the presidency from Kenya Kenya.
The former vice-president also cautioned Azimio leaders against being enticed by President Ruto's administration to ditch the coalition.
Kalonzo further called for a closure of the 2022 presidential election dispute which he insisted can be cleared through a thorough audit of the presidential vote.
On the ongoing bipartisan talks spearheaded by the National Dialogue Committee in which he co-chairs, Kalonzo stated that Kenyans and the Azimio coalition will not accept any talks that do not address the high cost of living.
“Personally I will not sign the document if it does not address the cost of living for Kenyans,” he said.
Other leaders who spoke during the event were Machakos Governor Wavinya Ndeti, MPs Makali Mulu (Kitui Central), Charles Nguna (Mwingi West), Gideon Mulyungi (Mwingi Central), Jessica Mbalu (Kibwezi East), Stephen Mule (Matungulu) as well as Wamalwa of DAP-K.
The leaders said that the Kenya Kwanza administration had lost the legitimacy to lead the country owing to the failure to lower the cost of living and burdening Kenyans with high taxes.