INTRIGUES

How Raila, Uhuru last ditch efforts to get Kalonzo failed

Raila, alongside Gideon, trooped to Kalonzo’s residence in Karen and tried to persuaded him to accept the position

In Summary
  • The former vice president yesterday bolted out of the Azimio coalition in a protest after he missed out on Raila’s running mate slot.
  • Raila unveiled Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua as his running mate, jolting Kalonzo who had set his sites on the coveted seat
Kalonzo Musyoka names his running mate Andrew Senkuli.
SENKULI; Kalonzo Musyoka names his running mate Andrew Senkuli.
Image: WILFRED NYANGARESI

Details of the last-minute attempts by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM chief Raila Odinga to retain Wiper boss Kalonzo Musyoka in Azimio coalition have emerged.

The Star established  Uhuru and Raila held at least three meetings, including one chaired by the President, within 12 hours of Kalonzo announcing his presidential bid.

“My brother Raila ....... came to my house to try and convince me to accept his choice," Kalonzo said.

"We did not agree and he said he would choose Martha and I told him I would choose my own running mate."

The former vice president on Monday bolted out of Azimio in protest after he missed out on running mate slot.

Raila unveiled Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua as his running mate, jolting Kalonzo, who had set his eyes on the coveted seat.

He announced he will vie for president on a Wiper ticket.

He also unveiled Andrew Ole Sunkuli as his running mate in the upcoming election.

Kalonzo said his party never joined Azimio but was only affiliated to it courtesy of One Kenya Alliance, which Wiper is a founding member.

“My opinion is that Oka continues as originally established and we move on, compare notes," Kalonzo said.

It emerged the first meeting, attended by Uhuru, Raila, Kalonzo and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, was held at State House in Nairobi on Sunday.

It was chaired by the President.

The meeting that started at around 6pm, ended past 10pm.

At the meeting, Kalonzo was promised a chief minister position and a handsome share of the government.

“It was at the meeting that they offered him the chief minister position. But the catch is, this position is not captured in the coalition agreement. It is hot air,” Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr.

With the State House talks ending in disarray, Raila, alongside Gideon, trooped to Kalonzo’s residence in Karen and persuaded him to accept the position.

Again, the meeting ended without a deal being struck.

Yesterday morning, Raila went back to Kalonzo’s place to further the talks in what appeared to be desperate efforts to secure the backing of the Ukambani kingpin.

Once again, the Wiper leader rejected.

“Our question was, how should you disturb us with so many phone calls and meetings in the last hour when all along we have been calling for negotiations but you were reluctant?” Mutula asked.

Even as Kalonzo bolted out of Azimio, it emerged that his negotiations with Raila would continue until at least May 30.

This is when IEBC will gazette the final list of all candidates for the August 9 poll.

"They still have about 14 days. We do not know what will happen, but may be they will continue negotiating," Mutula said. 

During the event at the SKM Centre, Kalonzo said he made the extraordinary decision to run for president after Raila picked Karua for running mate.

“Even though the council of eminent persons had done their work, the final decision has actually been taken by the candidate himself, Raila Odinga,” Kalonzo said.

“It was his own decision, which I respect. And I wish him and his running mate, my sister Martha Karua well.

“But, I also made it very clear that I know my country well. That decision will be met by overwhelming opposition.  Therefore, we have agreed to go our separate ways and compare notes as we move."

Kalonzo said while he had publicly announced he would be supporting Raila for a third term, the Azimio candidate decision to pick Karua did not go down well with his camp.

“Some of us have suffered the consequence of bad faith for far too long. For how long does one expect Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka to be the one always to sacrifice?” he asked.

“And even after the sacrifice, they mess up this country. We will not allow this to continue."

Yesterday, Mutula, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua and Matungulu MP Stephen Mule protested what they terms as a third class treatment of their leader in the coalition.

They said ranking of Kalonzo as second to Karua by the selection panel, compounded the problem.

They revealed their leader has been denied access to the final coalition agreement that was filed with the Registrar of Political Parties Anne Nderitu.

Sunkuli accepted his nomination as Kalonzo’s running mate, saying he will be an asset to the team.

"With all humility, therefore, I accept the nomination to be running mate of Wiper Democratic Movement,” Sunkuli said.

Sunkuli is not only a teacher, publisher, writer, community worker, and businessman but also a politician who hails from the 'marginalised' Maa community.

He is also the chairman of Mara Education Trust.

Until his nomination, Sunkuli was Wiper's Narok senate aspirant.

“I left my livestock unattended to, my senate constituents unattended to. I have not made any formal communication to my campaign team that I am here," he said.

Sunkuli said he did not believe it when he received a phone call from the Wiper supremo to be his running mate.

(Edited by Tabnacha O)

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