Kalonzo dismisses team formed to pick Raila running mate

Kalonzo Musyoka

Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka addressing journalists after attending Easter Sunday service at RGC Liberty Christian Centre in Nairobi on April 17, 2022.

Photo credit: Evans Habil | Nation Media Group

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday made fresh demands as the debate on the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition running mate position for the August 9 General Election rages on.

With just 10 days to the April 28 deadline to name running mates, Mr Musyoka rejected a team led by Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua, saying, discussion on the running mate position will only involve him, President Kenyatta and Azimio presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga.

President Kenyatta has been named Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition council chairman, Mr Odinga the party leader, while Mr Musyoka, Kanu’s Gideon Moi, Narc Kenya’s Martha Karua, Narc’s Charity Ngilu, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege, Taveta MP Naomi Shaban, Kanduyi MP and Democratic Action Party of Kenya (DAP-K) leader Wafula Wamunyinyi, Abdi Noor Omar Farah and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed are all members.

“What will happen is that there will be talks between [Mr Odinga] myself and President Kenyatta. That is how we formed the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition so take it to the bank that I am in the decision-making team,” Mr Musyoka said yesterday at Redeemed Gospel Church, Liberty Christian Centre in Nairobi.

Reports of a team being formed to settle on the running mate have emerged, with Mr Kinyua said to be heading the team that also includes Jubilee Party Secretary-General Jeremiah Kioni and Azimio executive secretary Raphael Tuju.

It also has a nominee of the Wiper Party, whose identity the Nation could not immediately establish. Prof Makau Mutua, who is the spokesman of the Raila Odinga Presidential Campaign Secretariat, is also believed to be a member of the team. The committee is to be assisted by two members of staff from Mr Mutahi Ngunyi’s State House office who will act as the secretariat.

The five-member team that is tasked with identifying the running mate consists of technocrats and politicians and operates outside the coalition’s known structures. It is supposed to develop data that will guide the alliance in picking the person to deputise Mr Odinga should he form the next government.

But Mr Musyoka yesterday said he was not aware of such a team.

“What is official is the Kenya Gazette notice the establishment of a council to be chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta as the chair of the coalition council and Raila Odinga to be the party leader of the new coalition party and I am listed as the coalition member that is a fact, my name is appearing at number three, but I am not aware of that other team,” Mr Musyoka said.

Mr Musyoka dismissed talk that the running mate should come from the Mt Kenya region, saying such talk was promoting tribalism. He said he had sacrificed enough to warrant being named the running mate.

“Let me tell you that I am tired of corruption, manipulation, deceit, and self-interest. What else can a man do beyond saying my brother Raila Odinga tosha mara ya tatu? What else am I supposed to give? Give me my neck? I am campaigning for Raila because he will make a better President than William Ruto,” Mr Musyoka said.

Having been Mr Odinga’s running mate for the past two elections, he said he was the best man for the job.

“Can you imagine a better ticket than the one that according to us won twice? So why do you want my brother Raila to end up being President and his running mate for the last two elections is out?” Mr Musyoka posed.