Don't use African Union job to gag Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka tells Kenya Kwanza leaders

Kalonzo Musyoka

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition leaders led by Kalonzo Musyoka want Kenya's Kwanza to stop blackmailing their party leader Raila Odinga over his bid for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission (AUC).

Mr Musyoka, who is also the leader of the Wiper party, said politicians in the ruling coalition were trying to use their support for Mr Odinga's ambition against him by demanding that he stop discussing local politics.

The former vice president said Mr Odinga should be allowed to talk about the ills affecting Kenyans and local politics.

"We have heard Kenya Kwanza leaders castigating Mr Odinga for what he said in Mukuru Kwa Reuben. Mr Odinga is angling for the AUC chairmanship, I don't know if the Kenya Kwanza leaders thought they could compromise him because of his quest," he wondered.

Last week, the opposition leader told President William Ruto that he had failed Kenyans in dealing with disasters such as the current floods.

Speaking in Mukuru Kwa Reuben slums on Friday during a food donation exercise, Mr Odinga said President Ruto would still fail Kenyans if he was given two terms to govern.

He condemned the Head of State over the ongoing demolition of houses in the slums.

The demolitions came after the government announced the relocation of Kenyans living in areas affected by the floods.

“If they want to relocate people, they should first build houses and donate them to you before evicting and demolishing your houses. You can’t demolish houses and leave them homeless. The citizens are not wild animals, you must be humane,” said Mr Odinga.

It was the first time in months that Mr Odinga, who has been enjoying state support in his quest, has hit out at the current government over its handling of the floods that have killed 228 people and displaced thousands.

Mr Musyoka defended the ODM leader, saying he was speaking as the leader of the Azimio coalition.           

"That because it is a national issue, a matter of national pride, that if he (Mr Odinga) is going to enjoy the support of the state, which is important, he should be made to remain silent. Mr Odinga cannot be silenced," Mr Musyoka said during a church service in Mombasa on Friday evening.

Mr Musyoka, however, reiterated that Mr Odinga will remain the leader of Azimio until he gets the AUC chairmanship.

He said the Azimio coalition will begin its succession process once Mr Odinga exits local politics.

Mr Musyoka urged Kenya Kwanza leaders to focus on the national dialogue report.

Azimio co-principal Eugene Wamalwa said the opposition leaders would continue to fight to free Kenyans from oppression.

The former prime minister is among the candidates vying for the top AU job alongside Mahmoud Ali Youssouf, Djibouti's foreign minister, and Somalia's former Foreign Minister Fawzia Yusuf Adam. 

Mr Wamalwa also put pressure on President Ruto to declare the floods a national disaster so that affected Kenyans can get help from the international community.

"We have lost over 200 lives and thousands of others have been affected by the floods. If this is declared a national disaster, it will attract partnership responses from our international and local partners who will come to help those affected," said Mr Wamalwa.