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Between Kathungu and Karen: Kalonzo’s memoir Against All Odds unfolds

Between Kathungu and Karen: Kalonzo’s memoir Against All Odds unfolds
Former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka during his book launch/ Photo by


Kalonzo Musyoka’s memoirs Against All Odds is an interesting read with vivid descriptions and full of high octane power plays covering his entire political and public life spanning more than three decades.

  The book demonstrates how a self-made son of a commoner rose from the base of poverty in Tseikuru to Karen’s affluence. Yet he remains humble. He does not call himself hustler or brag about it.

  Without escaping criticism, Musyoka addresses some of the sticking hard questions that his detractors have long held. Like did he betray Raila in 2007 by joining forces with Kibaki to form national unity government?  He argues that by him forming the government he helped stop the post-election violence escalation that had already claimed 1133 lives of innocent civilians and displacing 600000 others.

  “I am sure that had I joined Raila in the dispute, the violence would have spread to my stronghold in Eastern Province with disastrous consequences. Because of this proximity, thousands, perhaps millions of Kikuyu immigrants live here. Had I joined the ODM side, these people would have come under attack, he observes.


  Musyoka revisits the trashed MoU that informed the formation of NARC in 2002 claiming that Raila was denied the Premiership and himself denied the second Vice Presidential position after the death of Kijana Wamalwa.

  From warning Interior Minister Dr. Chris Murungaru from playing God when he “predicted” the death of Wamalwa lying in London hospital bed, to being the go between when the high and mighty differed the book makes for historical and political attempt to draw the life of Musyoka.

  In a tense meeting with Uhuru and others, Kalonzo reveals how he was dropped as the preferred presidential candidate by the Uhuruto only being offered lesser positions and not the president and the deputy presidency. He writes “[Uhuru] walked five steps to the waterfall, removed a packet from his jacket pocket and pulled out a cigarette. Holding it in his hand, he lit it with a lighter in his right hand and furiously puffed on it…My brother, in the spirit of transparency, I wish to inform you that tomorrow we are flying to Bujumbura to meet with President Pierre Nkurunziza and our sister Charity Ngilu will accompany us.”

  Writing a newspaper article titled Why Kalonzo Musyoka is a safe bet, not CORD leaders, Musalia, in The Standard on Sunday, Prof. Makau Mutua opines that Kalonzo is a safe bet terming him as “honest policitican.” Only later to add a rider that “I’ve only compared him to his species.”

The book is coauthored with former Nation journalist Caleb Atemi  and published by Peace Book Co Ltd of Hong Kong.

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