What you need to know:
- Talk of a secret agreement with Mr Odinga comes at a time Mr Musyoka is also pursuing a post-election coalition arrangement with Jubilee Party.
- The Wiper leader appeared to blame Mr Odinga and his ODM party of engineering the collapse of Nasa by refusing to attend key organ meetings, ostensibly to run away from sharing political parties funds with coalition partners.
Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka has said he has a secret pact with Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga on how they will work together in 2022.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Nation, Mr Musyoka said the pact is separate from the 2017 National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition agreement that included Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and Chama Cha Mashinani’s Isaac Ruto.
According to Mr Musyoka, even though Nasa is dead, he has signed an agreement with Mr Odinga on how they will approach the 2022 elections. He refused to disclose details of the deal to this writer, but said it was entered into without the knowledge of the other Nasa principals.
“You cannot just assume that since I was the deputy to Raila, then ODM has to support me,” he said. “These things have to be done expressly, which is what we have done under a separate arrangement that I can’t disclose at this stage. The arrangement is between Raila and I and not with the other parties in Nasa. I am not free to talk about it because it is a highly confidential matter,” said Mr Musyoka.
Talk of a secret agreement with Mr Odinga comes at a time Mr Musyoka is also pursuing a post-election coalition arrangement with Jubilee Party. He, however, dismissed talk of him working together with Deputy President William Ruto, saying he was focused on the coalition with Jubilee under the leadership of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Mr Musyoka also narrated how ODM has frustrated the Nasa coalition arrangement to the point of total dysfunction, forcing Wiper to initiate the process of disengaging from the alliance that was formed ahead of the 2017 General Elections.
Mr Musyoka’s claims of a 2022 secret pact with Mr Odinga while blaming his party ODM for the near collapse of Nasa, and his confessed pursuit of a coalition arrangement with Jubilee, sound contradictory and confusing at the same time.
The former vice-president’s revelations come just days after his party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) recommend that Wiper initiates the process to withdraw from Nasa because the coalition is “dysfunctional”.
The recommendation drew a quick reaction from the coalition’s largest partner, ODM, which has asked MPs allied to Mr Musyoka’s party to relinquish parliamentary offices and House committee memberships, which they got courtesy of the 2017 arrangement.
In the interview with Sunday Nation, Mr Musyoka reiterated that Nasa is dysfunctional as its Summit, which brings together all the leaders of the five parties forming the coalition, has not met since the 2017 elections were concluded. The coalition’s management committee has not met since, too.
The Wiper leader appeared to blame Mr Odinga and his ODM party of engineering the collapse of Nasa by refusing to attend key organ meetings, ostensibly to run away from sharing political parties funds with coalition partners.
“The critical issue had we met would have been to work out a formula for sharing funds from the Political Parties Fund. We did various things to try to have the meeting. I remember the four us — myself, Musalia Mudavadi, Isaac Ruto and Moses Wetang’ula — coming together to ask our friend in ODM to convene. But it did not work out. Now, if you cannot have a meeting of the leadership of a coalition, then there cannot be an effective coalition,” he said.
He added that the Nasa coalition management team, which is the other organ, has not been meeting as the ODM representative has not been showing up. Membership of the management team comprised Minority Leader of the Senate James Orengo for ODM, Johnson Muthama (that time for Wiper), Dr Eseli Simiyu for Ford-Kenya, Sakwa Bunyasi for ANC, and the CCM representative.
Mr Musyoka wondered whether ODM’s refusal to honour key meetings of the coalition was a way for Mr Odinga’s party to run away from a clause in the agreement that the orange party does not field a candidate in 2022.
Though Mr Odinga has not himself said so openly, his elder brother Dr Oburu Oginga and other ODM figures have said he will have a final shot at the presidency.
“We have not bowed out of the 2022 race. We don’t see any person who can pose a challenge to Raila and that is why we are saying, let him be president, even if for just one term,” Dr Oginga said early this month.
On his coalition plans with Jubilee, Mr Musyoka said Wiper wants to work with President Kenyatta because of his commitment in the fight against graft, uniting the country following on the post-election handshake with Raila, and leaving a lasting legacy via the Big Found Agenda.
He, however, said Mr Ruto is not a factor in the coalition talks as their “minds were focused on President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta”.
“There was no mention whatsoever of William Ruto because we assumed that the DP is under Uhuru Kenyatta. We are working with President Uhuru Kenyatta and that is it,” he said.
On the growing opposition in his Ukambani backyard, led by Governors Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), Charity Ngilu (Kitui) and Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Mr Musyoka dismissively said he is “used to these voices” and suggested that the three governors were of little political consequence
Governors Kibwana and Mutua have declared their interests in running for the Presidency in the 2022 elections and have separately been critical of Mr Musyoka.
On the other hand, Ms Ngilu’s on-off relationship with Mr Musyoka soured recently following her attempted impeachment by MCAs in Kitui. Ms Ngilu has accused Mr Musyoka, Kitui Senator Enock Wambua and Kitui County Assembly Speaker George Ndotto of being the sponsors of the impeachment motion.
“I want to tell you that in 2013 and 2017 the same voices were against me running with Raila, but what was the outcome? The Kamba nation voted more for Raila than even the Luos. There will always be people who say they also want to be president. You cannot deny them the right to shout. That would be very unfair,” said Mr Musyoka.
On Ms Ngilu’s accusation that he was behind the failed impeachment motion, Mr Musyoka said that the governor is looking for an excuse “after failing in her job”.
Mr Musyoka also said the decision by former Machakos Senator Muthama to move to Dr Ruto’s camp was regrettable, but he has no ill feelings despite the latter having rejecting the Wiper party’s nomination to defend his Machakos seat in the 2017 elections and declaring that he would only campaign for Mr Odinga and not Wiper party.