How Wiper aspirants voted to have Kalonzo back in Azimio

Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka

Azimio presidential aspirant Raila Odinga (right) and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

In a meeting called to chart a way forward for the Lower Eastern region in national politics, the party aspirants overwhelmingly voted 45 against five in favour of Wiper remaining in Azimio.

The meeting, held at Stoni Athi Resort in Machakos County, ended with a resounding ‘yes’ for the former vice president to throw his support behind Mr Odinga.

Wiper leaders ask Kalonzo to reconsider Azimio exit

According to several members who spoke to the Daily Nation in confidence, they were given two options to vote on – whether Mr Musyoka should go to the ballot or throw his weight behind Mr Odinga.

And in less than an hour, the members voted in favour of the latter choice with only five members in support of the first option.

“Those who voted for our party leader to remain in Azimio were 45 and those against were five. The overriding resolution was that it was too late to go it alone while the minority were feeling that the region was not being taken seriously hence pushing for Kalonzo to go to the ballot,” said one aspirant.

The meeting that was being led by Wiper vice-chairperson and Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior, and Organising Secretary Robert Mbui also had several MPs drawn from the three counties of Makueni, Machakos and Kitui.

Another aspirant

“We began the meeting some minutes after 9am and by the time we were going for tea break minutes before 11am, we had made our decision clear. We were even open to meet Raila to tell him what our position is,” said another aspirant.

According to the sources, the former vice president even made a call to Senator Kilonzo during the meeting to also air his views.

Addressing the press minutes past 1pm, Mr Mbui said that the members have implored Mr Musyoka to consider the possibility of further discussions under Azimio by exploring the available internal dispute resolution mechanisms.

“What we have agreed and discussed as a party is that the country is greater than Wiper. And because we had agreed to work under Azimio, it is time we exhaust all the options available. We are asking the principals to sit with our party leader so that we can make a final decision based on what is on the table,” Mr Mbui said.

The Deputy Leader of Minority in the National Assembly said they are pushing for structured discussions devoid of opaqueness so that the party is formally informed of what is in the coalition arrangement for them.

He added that there is still time for further dialogue as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has until the end of May to shut its doors to presidential candidates, saying that they were still consulting and the final decision would be communicated by the party leader.

“Our options are still open and we are not closing any doors. We want to be part of Kenya going forward but we want a structured discussion. Right now, the offers we are hearing about are in the media. Our party leader has no written document detailing any offers,” he said.

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