July 25th 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Sceptical of Raila's plans, Musyoka walks tight-rope in NASA

Recently the former VP had gained credibility with his allies for standing firm in the opposition since 2013 elections. However, since the formation of the proposed NASA outfit, he has made repeated demands that he be the coalition's candidate, claiming he has "sacrificed too much" for Kenyans.

By Joshua Mwangangijmwangangi@kenyafreepress.comTuesday, 07 Feb 2017 14:27 EAT

Mr Musyoka at Kisii County sentisizing mass voter registration campaign tour.

Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, who is one of the NASA principals, is a man under pressure. The Wiper Party leader was forced to restate his commitment to NASA early today following preponderant reports that he was on his way to the government side. These reports could never have come at a worse time for the former VP, who, despite his steadfastness in the opposition coalition, is seemingly not trusted by his allies nor his Ukambani supporters to brave the storm to the end.

The Daily Nation today published in the front page an article in which key Ukambani leaders David Musila, Mutula Kilonzo Jr and Johnstone Muthama, all but disowned the former VP's presidential campaign. “It’s a shame Wiper party has portrayed a bad image on the national stage. We look indecisive and concentrating on the wrong things. The party has no choice but to remain focused within CORD,” the paper quoted Mr Kilonzo Jr as saying. The report, according to impeccable sources, forced Mr Musyoka to clarify his commitment to CORD, all the way from Kisii where he had taken his increasingly robust campaigns. 

Mr Musyoka claims that time has come for him to lead this country but he seemingly is in confusion of knowing what to do in in order to be in government. This poses a clear indication that he can run out of the coalition any time if he is not endorsed as the flag bearer. In that event, CORD leader Raila Odinga, who is the presumed NASA presidential candidate, would almost certainly lose the August 8 general elections to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The question is, what would Mr Musyoka gain? Mr Musyoka's migration would lead to the collapse of NASA. But if he opted for Jubilee Party, he would at best play a number four role, behind Uhuru, his deputy William Ruto and Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi.If he vied for presidential post using his Wiper Party, he would end up a failed presidential candidate without any future prospect of forming alliances.

Mr Musyoka has been shifting from one party to another from 2007 when he migrated from ODM in the run-up to that year's elections. President Mwai Kibaki appointed Mr Musyoka to the vice presidency after he was sworn in to lead the country for the second term. This, to the opposition then, implied how Musyoka can be a traitor.

Recently the former VP had gained credibility with his allies for standing firm in the opposition since 2013 elections. However, since the formation of the proposed NASA outfit, he has made repeated demands that he be the coalition's candidate, claiming he has "sacrificed too much" for Kenyans. This is seen as a threat which might lead to breaking of NASA.

A source in the former VP's campaign team informed the Kenya Free Press that Mr Musyoka was "extremely sceptical" of plans Mr Odinga and former VP Musalia Mudavadi have in NASA, fearing his partner since 2013 would accede to Mr Musalia's demands for a greater role in the yet to be formalised coalition. According to the source, Mr Musyoka suspects that he could be "cheated" of the number two position he currently holds in CORD in favour of Mr Mudavadi.

Mr Musyoka denied allegations that he is planning to stand for himself in the coming August elections. Addressing media at Ufanisi Hotel in Kisii Town early today, he said his appearance at NASA rally at Bomet on Saturday should show that he was in the coalition to stay. “It is my right to go for the presidential seat through NASA. Some agents who are not comfortable with the new alliance are agents of our competitors,” he said.

Mr Musyoka, who many CORD analysts believe to more valuable to the coalition that Mr Mudavadi, added that he had been with Mr Odinga one on one in Kisii, and their unity together with Mr Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula would not be divided and they will ensure that they take Jubilee home in the next elections.

"How can a Johnnie-come-lately like Mudavadi move right into the top echelons of a coalition he has been undermining for four years? At the moment we can't even before sure that NASA will win, which is to say we cannot be sure that Mr Mudavadi will be in NASA in 2018, or indeed even a month after the election," said the source. 

Additional reporting by David Mutua

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