What you need to know:
- Mr Musyoka said last week that, with his qualifications, he should not be weighed against any other candidate.
- Musyoka allies list his numbers, experience, international network and working chemistry with Mr Odinga as some of his strengths.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, a former vice President, 2007 presidential candidate, and 2013 and 2017 running mate, wants his troops to stop their demands that he must deputise Mr Raila Odinga for a third time in the August 9 General Election.
For Mr Musyoka, the demands — which he said were weighing him down — were working to his disadvantage.
“Stop the debate on what Kalonzo will become. Leave that to God and be confident. There is a way you can make noise until it creates the impression that we lack confidence,” he said in Masinga, Machakos County, yesterday during the funeral of Wiper Masinga parliamentary hopeful David Mutuku’s father, Mzee Michael Nduto.
Mr Musyoka said last week that, with his qualifications, he should not be weighed against any other candidate.
“I worked with Mr Odinga in 2013 and 2017 and everybody knows the results. In 2013, the Supreme Court declared that we did not win but in 2017, it said we won. I can assure you that a Raila-Kalonzo ticket is a sure bet ,” Mr Musyoka said.
And as the team assembled by Azimio Council — the coalition’s top organ chaired by President Kenyatta — is racing against time to get the best candidate, Mr Musyoka says they should look at available scientific data to settle on the best person.
“People know the obvious truth but they don’t want to do it. That is the folly of Kenyan politics. We all live in this country and we know the winning formula,” Mr Musyoka said.
Before declaring his support for Mr Odinga’s presidential bid for a third time, Mr Musyoka was fiercely being courted by both the Deputy President William Ruto and the former Prime Minister not only for optics but the numbers from the Ukambani region. It is estimated that Mr Musyoka delivered as much as 1.8 million votes to Mr Odinga’s vote basket in 2013 and 2017.
Kitui, Makueni and Machakos, which form Mr Musyoka’s political base, gave Mr Odinga 900,405 votes out of the 1,068,684 who had registered in 2013. This jumped to 968,437 in 2017.
Musyoka allies list his numbers, experience, international network and working chemistry with Mr Odinga as some of the strengths that make the Wiper leader stand out among other contenders. Kitui Senator Enock Wambua says his party leader ticks all the boxes of a perfect running mate for Mr Odinga.
“If they’re looking for numbers, Kalonzo [has them], if they want someone respected in the international circles, Kalonzo is the one, if they are looking for regional balance, then Western and Eastern perfectly fits that. What else are they looking for?” Senator Wambua, who sits in the seven-member panel chosen to identify a running mate, posed.
“With all due respect to her, when Martha Karua ran for President, she got around 40,000 votes. She then tried the Kirinyaga gubernatorial seat and lost,” he said of Ms Karua.
Political analyst Masibo Lumala from Moi University says Mr Musyoka brings on board the bloc of Kamba votes, experience and the diplomatic mien to Mr Odinga’s candidature.
“Raila will have a short time to make a difference, so he needs a person who has experience who will not struggle to do simple things and Kalonzo fits the bill because he has worked as the Vice-President,” he said.
However, Dr Lumala said Mr Musyoka’s constant demands that he be given the position are working against him because he is threatening that the coalition will lose if he is not chosen.
He pointed out that, by the time Mr Musyoka joined Azimio, Mr Odinga was working with Ukambani governors and was sure of getting sizeable votes from the region without the former VP.