Kalonzo holds firm on Raila running mate position

Kalonzo Musyoka

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka speaks during the launch of his party’s Persons Living with Disabilities League in Nairobi on April 5, 2022.

Photo credit: Dennis Onsongo | Nation Media Group

Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka is holding firm on his quest to be Mr Raila Odinga’s running mate under Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya coalition.

During the launch of the Wiper People Living with Disabilities organ in Nairobi yesterday, Mr Musyoka said it’s the “obvious position” for him in the new party.

“We’re looking for the deputy presidency. We don’t want to talk about the obvious,” Mr Musyoka said.

He was the ODM leader Raila Odinga’s running mate in the 2013 and 2017 elections.

Kitui, Makueni and Machakos counties, which form Mr Musyoka’s political base, gave Mr Odinga 900,405 votes out of the 1,068,684 who had registered in 2013. The tally jumped to 968,437 in 2017. 

There are many Wiper supporters in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale and Taita Taveta counties.

For Deputy President William Ruto, flipping a region that snubbed Jubilee in the last two elections would be a bonus, which explains why he has lately stepped up vote hunting in Makueni, Machakos and Kitui.

Last week, he portrayed Mr Odinga as dishonest and unfit to lead, saying, Mr Musyoka suffered under him.

“He (Mr Odinga) will no longer torment you. He has duped Kalonzo on several occasions; once on the deal to support his presidential bid and recently when he forced him to sign an agreement even before the Wiper party leader interrogated its details,” the DP said in Kikambuani, Machakos County.

Mr Musyoka’s demands have a bearing on President Kenyatta’s Mt Kenya bloc. The region has demanded the running mate post too, saying, its share of government positions should be commensurate with the number of votes it would bring to the basket.

Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua, former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth and Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui have been proposed as Mr Odinga’s running mates.

Those pushing for a Mt Kenya running mate say Mr Musyoka is a late arrival to the coalition.

Wiper supporters, however, say the Raila-Kalonzo ticket—which got 44 per cent of the votes in 2013 and 2017 — is a sure bet for the presidency.

The Wiper party leader says the Azimio-One Kenya government would have people living with disabilities.

“In the next government, we will make sure people living with disabilities lead better lives,” he said during the launch yesterday.