How Kalonzo's team duped Raila Odinga

Earlier, Kalonzo sharply differed with his deputy party leader Farah Maalim over the legality of him being sworn-in.

The possibility of eventually holding the colorful event is now in doubt, at least going by the recent developments from the party leadership, coupled with the unsettled wrangles in sharing parliamentary committee leadership positions.

2022 race

Acting Wiper chairman and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana told off Mr Kalonzo, a day after he landed from Germany, to instead pay more attention to 2022 General Election. He wanted him to start as early as 2018 to traverse the entire country in search of support.

“What we are telling our party leader Kalonzo is to shift focus from the current happenings and focus more on 2022 where our hope is,” Kibwana told a gathering at the home of former Kitui West MP, the late Francis Nyenze, when Kalonzo visited the home to condole with the family.

Opposition candidate

“This time round Wiper will not be shortchanged and will go out fully to ensure that Kalonzo will be the Opposition flag bearer. It is not yet clear how ODM leader Raila Odinga, who is also rumored to be preparing for the ballot in 2022, will react.

This is the message we are sending to other Nasa co-principals,” said Kibwana. Both Kibwana and Kitui governor Charity Ngilu were non-committal on the anticipated swearing in of Raila, but prevailed upon Kalonzo not to relent his bid for presidency in 2022.

‘Duped Raila’

While the duo remained mum on the swearing-in fete, despite Kalonzo reiterating that he will take oath “should President Uhuru Kenyatta fail to hold talks on the need for electoral justice”, Mr Odinga, claimed that his former running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, would be “part of the swearing-in”.

The hyped plans to swear-in of Raila Odinga on December 12 last year was  “put on hold, pending the resolution and consultations from Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka” who was in Germany at the time.

There has been no official statement to this effect, but the coalition, whose numerous affiliated MPs have poked hole in the plan, in a bid to win the allegiance from supporters, maintained that it will swear-in the two.

In what could widen the perceived rift in the Opposition coalition, Raila Odinga’s party wielded its strength in numbers and got two powerful positions in both the Senate and the National Assembly.

National dialogue

During Nyenze’s burial on December 19, Kalonzo was out of the country. Nyenze was Kalonzo’s ally. The Wiper leader said only dialogue between Jubilee administration and the Opposition will end the political disputes in the country.

“We are giving President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto a last chance to dialogue with us and if there is no light in the end of the tunnel, then Raila and I will have no alternative to be sworn in,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, a former presidential candidate and Thirdway Alliance party leader Dr Ekuru Aukot on Tuesday in his opinion piece published by and Kalonzo, terming them cowards as they ran away from the poll re-run.

National outlook

“The NASA leader has no basis on which to dialogue. On what basis does he want to dialogue with the President? If Uhuru accepts dialogue with Raila or any presidential candidate, he will weaken himself. He will be an extremely weak leader,” he said.

Dr Ekuru dispelled any need to hold talks and paint Raila as the most deserving political leader, adding that President Uhuru should instead have a national outlook in his cabinet set for unveiling in the next few weeks.

A reluctant Musyoka at Nyenze’s home seemed to give President Kenyatta a room for dialogue, which was different from Raila Odinga’s stand.

“I am telling my brother Uhuru Kenyatta that if he abdicates the responsibility of uniting this nation, he should not blame Raila and Kalonzo when we say we will be sworn in. If he doesn’t want to dialogue on electoral reforms then we will be sworn in,” Mr Kalonzo said.

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