November 22nd 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

Witnessing distrust from opposition, Kalonzo fights to save face

He said that NASA principals will meet after the team tasked to handle the matter submits its report and agree on who is to be the alliance's candidate. The committee mandated with advising the principals on the flag-bearer has recommended a formula that favours former PM Raila Odinga.

By Nyambura Muthoninmuthoni@kenyafreepress.comFriday, 31 Mar 2017 19:22 EAT

Mr Musyoka addressing journalists at Wiper House today.

Wiper Party Kalonzo Musyoka has stated his commitment to stay in NASA and do all he can to ensure opposition victory in the upcoming presidential election. The former vice president dismissed claims about him leaving the opposition and joining Jubilee if he is not picked as the presidential candidate.

"Anybody talking of bolting or leaving the party (NASA), look at them. They are saboteurs, distractors and negative forces," Mr Musyoka told journalists at Wiper House, his party's headquarters in Nairobi. He denied claims that he is being bribed to weaken the opposition ahead of the elections, saying he is a man of integrity.

More importantly, he said that the four NASA principals will meet after the team tasked to handle the matter submits its report and agree on who is to be the alliance's candidate. The committee mandated with advising the principals on the flag-bearer has recommended a formula that favours former prime minister Raila Odinga.

Mr Musyoka, under pressure to discard perceptions that he was the weak link in NASA, fought off rumours that he had a secret working relationship with Jubilee. The current reporting in the media about his impending defection has revived a perception of him being an indecisive politician (watermelon) which has haunted him since the 2010 referendum campaigns.

The Wiper party leader’s political reputation was greatly damaged by his seeming inability then to determine whether he was for (green) or against (red) the then proposed new constitution. Critics called him a watermelon (green on the outside and red on the inside).

Mr Odinga, till then Mr Musyoka's main opponent, was was supporting the document and the latter didn't want to be on the same side as him, even though he recognised the document's popularity. Most senior figures in the coalition government were supporters of the "Yes" campaign, including President Mwai Kibaki, PM Odinga and deputy PMs Musalia Mudavadi and Uhuru Kenyatta.

That ambiguity came on top of his last-minute split from Mr Odinga in the 2007 presidential election, and, following the deeply flawed election in which President Kibaki was declared the winner, he joined the president's side as a deputy president. 

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