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We are ready to soldier on without Raila, Kalonzo says

By Cecil Odongo February 18th, 2024 4 min read

Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka on Sunday, February 18, said the Azimio Coalition will remain intact and soldier on even in the absence of Opposition Chief Raila Odinga from local politics.

Mr Musyoka said there will be no gap in the opposition leadership as Mr Odinga who has been the face of Azimio Coalition, prepares to launch his bid for the African Union Commission chairmanship.

The former Prime Minister last week accompanied by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo declared that he is interested in the AU top job whose holder Moussa Faki, term ends in January 2025.

“Raila is going to hold a higher position and we are praying for him to be successful. We are looking at the interest of Kenya and not Kenya Kwanza or Azimio la Umoja because Raila is now above local politics,” said Mr Musyoka.

“I want to assure you as Azimio la Umoja, we are united. Two days after Raila announced his bid, we met and agreed that as Azimio we must stand firm and defend the rights of Kenya,” added Mr Musyoka

The former Vice President made the sentiments while addressing traders at Kenyatta Market in Lang’ata Constituency Nairobi moments after attending a church service at Nairobi Baptist Church.

Mr Musyoka said the meeting between Azimio luminaries after Mr Odinga declared his bid, was a symbol of unity and there should be no cause for alarm that the opposition politics will disintegrate in the absence of the former premier.

The meeting which took place on Thursday, February 15, was attended by Mr Musyoka, Narc Kenya Leader and Mr Odinga’s running mate in the last election Martha Karua, and former Meru Governor Peter Munya.

Others were DAP Party Leader Eugene Wamalwa, Roots Party Leader George Wajackoya and Jubilee Party Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni among other leaders.

“I want to assure you that there is no gap and what has happened to our brother Raila Odinga is something we are proud of and we shall campaign because now he is beyond partisan politics,” added Mr Musyoka.

Mr Musyoka was accompanied by Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna, his Kitui counterpart Enock Wambua and legislators Musili Mawathe (Embakasi South), Stephen Mule (Matungulu), Edith Nyenze (Kitui West).

Being viewed as the heir apparent to the throne in the absence of the ODM leader, Mr Musyoka seemed to have cut his niche in earnest on the road to the 2027 election.

He insisted all the controversial issues raised after the 2022 elections must be addressed after the National Dialogue Committee Report (NADCO) has been discussed and passed in parliament.

“After the Nadco reports have been discussed, President William Ruto and Raila will have a team of auditors to lay bare what happened in 2022. There are a lot of things which must be addressed because if they are not taken care of, the results of the 2027 elections will still be disputed,” he said.

Among the issues which must be addressed is increasing the number of those on the selection panel of Independent and Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) commissioners from six to nine.

The former Mwingi North MP sentiments on IEBC came even as the High Court on February 1 gave the green light to the former panel appointed by President Ruto to go ahead with its constitutional mandate of recruiting new commissioners.

High Court Judge Mugure Thande said that the political truce between Azimio and Kenya Kwanza doesn’t override the current constitutional stand on the process of selecting new IEBC Commissioners.

Mr Odinga has since opposed the court ruling the process of the recruitment of the commissioners will only happen once the Nadco Report has been ratified by parliament.

As he prepared to gun for the country’s top leadership, Mr Musyoka promised to engage in a vigorous Wiper party strengthening exercise by recruiting members en masse and opening its offices across the country.

“ODM has been strengthening itself by engaging in a massive recruitment exercise and as Wiper, we shall be doing the same with engagements across the country,” he said.

He asserted that opposition MPs will oppose the Housing Levy bill when it is taken back to parliament this week and will communicate the same to its members during a meeting on Thursday.

Mr Sifuna said so long as Mr Musyoka remains in good political books with Mr Odinga, they will back him for the top job come 2027.

“These people are Raila diehard supporters and so long as you are with Baba (Raila), you don’t need to be worried. What Raila says is what they will follow even if he is away,” said the ODM Secretary General.

Mr Mawathe and Mule said that now Raila wouldn’t be engaging in local politics, Mr Musyoka was the best bet for the presidency in 2027 having supported the ODM leader thrice.

“Even if Raila is taken to AU or New York, he will still be our leader. Raila and Kalonzo have been together and in 2027, Kalonzo will take over the reins of leadership in this country,” said Mr Mawathe.
Mr Mule called on the opposition politicians to be united, brimming with confidence that Mr Musyoka will bag the presidency via support from ODM.

“Even if you take Raila to AU or Addis Ababa thinking you will rule Kenyans with an Iron fist, Zakayo (President Ruto) you will still not succeed. We shall be behind Kalonzo in 2027 and he will be representing Raila here,” said Mr Mule.