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Politics of MoUs returns to haunt Cord luminaries

The contentious subject of Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) between potential presidential candidates in Kenya is back with us again, incidentally as the 2017 General Elections draw closer.

These loose pacts have been part of Kenyan political dynamics since 2002. Political MoUs are normally signed in secret with only a few witnesses, yet when one party reneges on their pledges, the Kenyan populace is suddenly sucked into the matter which they were erstwhile not privy to.

The most infamous of these MoUs has to be the Kibaki-Raila MoU is 2002 that was promptly trashed by the former upon ascension to power on the wave a formidable NARC juggernaut.

That stand-off is in part is believed to have fuelled the murderous post election violence that followed Kibaki’s disputed victory over Raila in the 2007 polls.

In 2012, it was former Vice President Musalia Mudavadi’s turn to cry foul over a trashed MoU that was purportedly reached between him, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.


At the time Musalia claimed that the latter two had gone back on their word to back him for the Presidency.

But speaking later, Kenyatta claimed he had been mislead by the “devil” into entering the agreement.

Interestingly, Mudavadi was later reported to have walked out on a separate MoU with Raphael Tuju and Peter Kenneth on the day he agreed to work with Uhuru.

The latest of these MoU fiasco has arisen from an impasse involving partners in the Cord coalition.

This past weekend, Kimilili MP Chris Wamalwa, while speaking at a rally in his backyard, claimed to have witnessed the signing of an MoU between Cord co-principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula.


According to Wamalwa, Raila was to vie for the Presidency once and then hand over the baton to Kalonzo for the other term.

“Let us be honest and sincere this time round. I was there when the MoU was being drafted and signed and therefore wish to proclaim here that it is Kalonzo’s turn (to run for Presidency and be supported by Raila and Wetangula),” Wamalwa said.

However, a day later Wamalwa was declared out of order by two senior Cord Senators, Johnstone Muthama, and James Orengo, who are believed to be officially holding brief for Kalonzo and Raila respectively.

“The MoU was between Mr Odinga and Mr Kalonzo. The only other people who saw it were myself, Mr James Orengo, Mr David Musila and the late Mutula Kilonzo and the two principles,” Mr Muthama told a press conference on Tuesday.

Wetangula launched his presidential bid two weeks in an event that was marred by chaos at Muliro Gardens in Kakamega. Crucially, Raila snubbed the function.