Kalonzo allies scoff at pre-conditions by Raila's ODM for Wiper leader's 2027 bid

Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka

ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • ODM's conditions include a demand for the former Vice President to start organising and participating in street protests.
  • Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior said they have since advised Mr Musyoka to treat such conditions with the contempt.

The allies of Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka have warned ODM leader Raila Odinga’s camp against setting conditions for the former Vice President’s 2027 presidential ambition. 

On Tuesday, Mr Musyoka’s lieutenants asked their ODM counterparts in the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya Coalition to respect the Wiper leader and stop holding the party at ransom. 

Wiper Deputy Party leader Farah Maalim said from the ODM camp, it was clear that they were setting the stage to ditch Mr Musyoka ahead of the 2027 General Election.

“They are simply looking for a way to support somebody else. If he (Mr Musyoka) is smart enough, he must rethink his strategy in the best way possible and cut his losses early enough because it's better to live in reality than live in fantasy,” Mr Maalim said. 

Mr Maalim further said from the foregoing, any hope of ODM supporting Mr Musyoka's bid would be akin to daydreaming.

"It does not, however, come as a surprise to us. It doesn’t matter how many times you sacrifice for him (Mr Odinga). I think he is looking for a way to support somebody else,” Mr Maalim said.

Mr Odinga’s allies at the weekend issued fresh demands should Mr Musyoka wish to earn their support for the 2027 presidential race.

The conditions include a demand for the former Vice President to start organising and participating in street protests.

Further, Azimio National Executive Council chairman Wycliffe Oparanya, who is also ODM deputy party leader, said the coalition has other principals and it would not be fair for Mr Musyoka to act as if he is the only candidate for the top seat.

“Kalonzo should be able to stand on his own. Why should he need Raila’s support? Assuming Raila will still be in Azimio, then the support is guaranteed. But he cannot use his support for mzee (Mr Odinga) since 2013 as the reason he should be endorsed because mzee has never been successful,” Mr Oparanya said.

Some of Mr Odinga’s close allies have also asked Mr Musyoka to first consolidate his Lower Eastern base comprising Kitui, Makueni and Machakos counties and drive out other fringe parties from the area, including President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) if he is to be supported. 

They have also asked the Wiper leader to ensure all the 700,000 eligible voters in the region are listed and be ready to lead Kenyans to the streets to deal with what they  termed Kenya Kwanza’s administration’s excesses. 

But Makueni Governor Mutula Kilonzo Junior, who is Wiper party’s deputy chairman, told the Nation that they have since advised Mr Musyoka to treat such conditions with the contempt it deserves.  

“The Wiper Party will not be held to ransom. We can hold our own and will advance with or without them,” Mr Kilonzo said.

He said Mr Musyoka has supported Mr Odinga three times – 2013, 2017 and 2022 – and that the ODM leader had agreed in writing to support the Wiper leader unconditionally. 

“Those conditions are Frankenstein’s of the imagination of some of those leaders, most of whom have no capacity to give Kalonzo conditions,” Mr Kilonzo said. 

Makueni Senator Dan Maanzo said Mr Musyoka will be on the ballot in 2027.

“We shall be on the ballot, those who want to come with us, we are ready to receive them, but those not willing to back us, well and good,” he said. 

He said despite the conditions by Mr Odinga’s allies for their support in 2027, Mr Musyoka and the Wiper Party have taken the initiative of campaigning for the ODm leader's bid for the chairmanship of the African Union Commission. 

Mr Maanzo said Mr Musyoka’s bid for the presidency had received goodwill from Kenyans and would not be derailed by anyone. 

He, however, noted that Wiper Party was ready for the Azimio nominations for its presidential flagbearer in 2027.  

“We are ready for the nominations and Kalonzo will triumph,” the Senator said. 

At the same time, Siaya Senator Oburu Oginga, who is Mr Odinga’s elder brother, has been on record for telling off those pushing the ODM leader over the succession issue.

“You should not pile pressure on Raila to tell you that you are the one who is going to take over. No, just talk to people. If you force Raila ask the people to back you as the presidential candidate without talking and convincing them, they will not vote for you,” Dr Oginga said in Homa Bay. 

“Raila is still strong. Let us be democratic and select someone who will give us the leadership of this country. Let us give everybody a chance, including Raila,” he further said.