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KALONZO: A sober leader battling watermelon tag


·         Wiper leader Kalonzo  had hard time explaining his party was in Opposition and could offer effective checks and balances to the ruling Jubilee Coalition

·         Musyoka supports the war against corruption and says that the 21 days President Uhuru gave to DCI and EACC to complete investigations into KEMSA scandal should also be cascaded to the counties some which have presided over unfathomable scales of corruption

·         Of all the tags he has been christened, his only preferred one is his diplomatic role he played when he was Kibaki’s Vice President which he proudly says he is a peacemaker and there is an opportunity to right the wrongs by amending the constitution, a living and breathing document

In his primetime interview at his Nairobi residence, former Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka cut an enduring picture of a peacemaker and a sober leader at a time the country is battling Covid-19 pandemic and divisive politics.

However, to his form, he was unconvincing when it came to the role of the Opposition in checking government excesses and the doctrine of Separation of Power between the Judiciary and Executive.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka during Citizen TV interview on Friday. He said that there was need for constitutional amendment to make it serve Kenyans better. Photo/COURTESY

Stephen largely supports the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) and disclosed that his party presented its position on various matters to the Haji-led committee. Among the demands Wiper Democratic Movement cited were prayers to make Senate the upper house of parliament and the National Assembly the lower house.

He termed committees in the parliament as ineffective in checking the government given they have been riddled, allegedly, with sleaze.

Mr Musyoka was of the view that Cabinet Secretaries should be appointed from among the legislators and be regularly responding to the issues raised by the August House on the floor of parliament rather than having to summon CSs who have a record of snubbing key parliamentary committees thus evading accountability.

Revisiting moment

As the country celebrates ten years of new constitution, the senior counsel urged both the Judiciary and Executive to work together and avoid blame games. High flying Citizen TV anchor Wahinga Mwaura had asked Kalonzo who should take flak for less than satisfactory implementation of the constitution. Kalonzo evaded specifying anyone yet there has been standoff between the two arms of government especially in the cutting of Judiciary’s budget and Uhuru’s failure to appoint judges recommended by JSC. Was this a revisiting moment?

The particular aspect of constitution’s shortfall that Musyoka called out was the presidential petition which he said that 14 days were too short a time to dispense with various election cases that arise during the presidential polls. He asked the BBI taskforce to consider that by increasing the time allocated in lodging and solving cases of presidential polls which go up to the apex court in the land.

With 30 MPs in both senate and national assembly, he said that his party is the third largest in Kenya after Jubilee and ODM. But the legal terms of cooperation and coalition left many ordinary Kenyans with little difference to tell given that his party signed a cooperation agreement and not coalition, he held.

Regarding the debate about the place of DP William Ruto in Uhuru’s government, Kalonzo termed the DP as having isolated himself and keen on playing the victim card. “He wants to paint himself as a victim. Are they really victims or they are self-alienating?”

In the last decade, Kalonzo has fought to shed many tags labelled against him.  A local newspaper this week called him a General without troops. ODM leader Raila Odinga and former Wiper official Johnstone Nduya Muthama are blamed for being the sources of the branding. For RAO he said he had called him a Watermelon and Mr Muthama gave rise to the “kupitia katikati yao” political rhetoric.

In his apparent siege after key lieutenants ditched Wiper, Musyoka is only sorry for the failure of former Kitui Senator David Musila in Kitui gubernatorial race. He says that the party had Dr Malombe as the sitting candidate and attributes the standoff to the loss the party suffered in the hands of Charity Ngilu’s Narc Party.

“David Musila… I can tell you that was a painful thing for me because he was a national Chair and wanted to be the governor of Kitui. We had Governor Malombe so we had to run them. Out of all fallouts, the failure I care so much about is David Musila. The others have taken their own political routes” said Muvisi.

Kenyans on Twitter weighed in on the discussion and here is a sample of their engagements:

Abdala Kizito: You are the only sober leader to lead this country…

Dennis Obande: When I remember you saying I will never join Jubilee in those day! Unaaribia Wakamba sifa zao. Wewe haueleweki.

Kilungya Mwinzila Jr: Uncle Steve Kalonzo Musyoka the only sober candidate

Samwel Waweru: The constitution is not the problem but the leaders are.

In his personal Twitter account which is verified, Kalonzo has one million followers and only follows 46 people.



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