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CEPHAS MUTAI:Why Raila Must Endorse Mũvísí as Early as Yesterday

Since the demise of Mũlu Mũtisya, former Vice President Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka has been the undisputed kingpin of the Ukambani nation. His political star started shining while he was a comrade at the University of Nairobi, UoN. He first unsuccessfully contested for Kitui North MP against Mr. Philip Manandũ whereby he was thrashed hands down. 
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka with other Azimio-Oka coalition principals at a past function. This writer says it's time Raila Odinga to say Kalonzo Tosha for 2027 presidential elections. /Kalonzo Musyoka 

After the death of the then incumbent M.P for Kitui North, the Buffalo Soldier easily clinched that seat and managed to defend it until when the new Constitution 2010 became implemented requiring separation of powers among the three arms of government. This implied a sitting MP could be a member of the executive under where the Presidency lies.

The first general election under the Kenyan Constitution 2010 was held on August 2013. Uhuru and Ruto were a formidable opponents since two comes from first and third most populous ethnic groups in the country respectively. Coalition for Reforms and Democracy then rooted for Mr. Musyoka as their running mate with Baba [Raila Odinga] as the flag bearer. 

The closely contested elections saw IEBC chairperson declare Uhuru the fourth President of republic of Kenya since independence.  CORD challenged the election results in the Supreme Court of Kenya, but the IEBC’s results were upheld. 

Undisputed King of Ũkamba

Most of elective positions in Ukambani were clinched by the Wiper Democratic Movement -Kenya (WDM-K). Some seasoned politicians who went against the Buffalo Soldier’s wave were swept ruthlessly. Among the victims were former Kitui governor Mama Ngilù who was vying for the senate then. Fortunately for Ngilù, she was named as the Cabinet Secretary for Lands, Housing and Physical Planning in UhuRuto government. Other long time critics were forced to realign within Wiper party in order to seek elections. It is also during that time when Kalonzo’s ally, first senator for Makueni Mr. Mùtùla Kílonzo was allegedly murdered mysteriously. He was believed to be a key think tank that steered Mùvísí’s ship. 

In honor of his ally, Kalonzo fronted late Mùtùla Kílonzo’s daughter who was seen as the best replacement for her dad, especially after having impressed many Kenyan during the 2013 presidential petition in the Supreme Court. Kethi was somehow frustrated by the system a move that led the ticket be given to Mr. Mùtùla Kílonzo Junior who was overwhelmingly voted for by the wananchi.

Pitia Katikati Yao Moment

During Mr. Mũsyoka’s first trial on presidency, he managed to be a distant third after the elections in 2007. Kibaki named him as his Vice President seeing him become the 10th Vice President and the last one before the 2010 Constitution. This position is equated to Deputy President currently. Sometimes before 2013 elections, the official residency for deputy presidency was fully furnished but Mr. Musyoka was reluctant to move in anticipating to relocate after being sworn in in the successive elections. 

In 2013, he shelved his ambitions to support Raila Odinga. They put a worthy fight against Uhuru who trounced them with 50.5% of the valid votes cast. A petition was filed in the Supreme Court after CORD rejected the results but the seven judge bench unanimously threw out the petition citing lack of merit.

MOU Dishonored

There are claims that Raila and Mr. Musyoka had a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) that stipulated that, Kalonzo will support him during 2013 elections then during 2017 elections Raila would return the favor and back him for the presidency. When time arrived Raila gave excuses that he never won the election so he should be supported for the second time and that he will only go for only one term. Obviously, Mr. Musyoka was disgruntled by Raila’s incapability to keep his word. Raila used delay tactics making the NASA principals then feel that anyone among had equal chance to be named the flagbearer. Other principals included Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and Isaac Ruto.

A lot of time was wasted in closed door meetings purporting to deliberate on the best formation to field against Uhuru and Ruto who were seeking reelection.

Clueless Planless & Radarless Opposition

Mr. Ruto used to make jibes about how disorganized NASA was then terming them as planless, clueless and radarless. Having not learned from previous loss, NASA settled for the same 2013 ticket for presidency. After elections, the IEBC declared Uhuru to have defended his seat. This did not sit well with NASA, so they rushed to the Supreme Court of Kenya to challenge the IEBC Chairman’s Pronouncements. This time, the courts ruled to their favor. During the ruling the President of the Supreme Court then Chief Justice David Maraga Kenani termed the election results as invalid, null and void. It was alleged to have been characterized with a lot of irregularities. A fresh election was to be held after 60 days.

People’s President Oath of Office

When the rerun approached, Raila withdrew from the race and urged his supporters nationwide to boycott the election. He claimed that there was no point of repeating the election under the same electoral body that had purportedly rigged them out. Raila and NASA planned to swear himself in as the "People’s President" according to the nullified election results. During the day of swearing himself in, the process that was led by General Miguna Miguna and Tom Kajwang, the other four principals were conspicuously missing from the show. It was claimed that Raila had tricked them that he will call them using a Nigeria number but he convinced them not to leave the house that day. Actually Mr. Mũsyoka’s gate was vandalized by unknown goons on that material day. Raila managed to make his way into the Uhuru Park where the oath was to be administered by the National Resistance Movement, NRM, leader.

How it Started

Few days later, Raila was seen shaking hands with his opponent whom he claimed had stolen his mandate. How this handshake came to happen remains between him and Mr. Kenyatta. It was said not even Ruto or Mr. Musyoka knew the content and terms of the handshake. What was sold to their respective followers was that it was some peace accord and uniting Kenyan while giving the president ample time to focus on his legacy as he exits the stage.

Elite political analysts claim that Raila had already negotiate for this handshake arrangement before even going to the rerun elections. They see it as the main reason why he chose to boycott elections. If it is true, Raila threw his friends and followers off the bus for his position in the handshake, then he cannot be trusted. He truly is a conman.

Handshake Aftermath

Following the Raila and Uhuru pact, the then Deputy President William Ruto was sidelined and some of his responsibilities were reassigned to Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i who was seen as the prefect to the Cabinet. 

Raila became the chief advisor to Uhuru. They actually came up with some proposal to amend the constitution which to many Kenyans appeared like a way of creating more positions for politicians especially the regional kingpins and the second term governors who were no longer eligible to run for another term in office. The initiative popularly known as Building Bridges Initiative was later shot down by the Supreme Court terming it as among other things, unconstitutional. 

As the 2022 elections approached, Senior Counsel Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka had vowed not to support Raila for the third time. He said that he had supported him two times already and that it was Raila’s time to reciprocate by saying Buffalo Soldier Tosha.
UDA Poaching OKA Key Allies

Initially Mr. Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula were on the same camp as Raila and Kalonzo. Kalonzo had come up with the name One Kenya Alliance anticipating it would be the party on which he would lead towards clinching the presidency by trouncing Ruto. They later even were joined by the incumbent president Uhuru, Mr. Gideon Moi and Charity Ngilù to help them hatch a plan and a formation to defeat the then Deputy President Dr William Ruto who was the main contender. 

As time went by Ruto managed to poach Wetang'ula and Mudavadi into his camp. This was a gain in terms of numbers to Ruto’s side given that the “poached” leader were the regional Kingpins for the Mulembe nation which is the second largest ethnic group in the nation. So adding 2nd and 3rd largest groups in one basket was a milestone for the Chief Hustler’s presidential bid. 

Conned Again?

So Raila was left with Kalonzo and Martha Karua as chief competitors for Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya Alliance flagbearer. 

After several months of consultations, they managed to convince Mr. Musyoka to shelve his political ambitions.  As if being the flagbearer was not good enough for him, they also gave the running mate post to Martha Karua while leaving the post of Chief Minister for him. Many followers of Kalonzo Musyoka saw this as an insult and a slap on their faces. Many were urging him to ditch the Azimio side for UDA where they thought there was some decorum. Mr. Musyoka soldiered on and campaigned vigorously for the Azimio ticket. He delivered very many votes from his region. 

On the other hand, Mama Karua’s impact was negligible to Azimio. It is also said close to a million registered voters from Raila’s stronghold never turned up to vote. Consequently, Ruto won the 2022 elections.

The Loyal Wingman

Having stood with Raila for fifteen solid years, being called a watermelon among other demeaning titles, Kalonzo still finds it wise to stand by Raila Odinga. In fact, it was Raila who gave him that tag Watermelon. 

After the Handshake, it is also an open secret that Raila’s party ODM denied WDM-Kenya and other opposition political parties the funds that were meant to be shared amongst them. To show solidarity, Kalonzo has even vowed to join Maandamano called for by Baba. Some youthful politicians like Senator Kiio Wambua have joined him. However, they may have some selfish interests to ride on Kalonzo’s shoulder for political mileage. There are others who feel it will be wise for Wiper party to start campaigning for 2027 right away. Waiting for Raila to endorse their kingpin could be very risky. Hon Dr. Mũlyũngi alias Kisithe (Mwingi Central MP) for example is very outspoken when it comes to Kalonzo’s presidency. Mapema ndio best.

Baba must pass the Mantle

The ball is on Raila’s court. It is time to disapprove people who don’t believe he rewards loyalty. Those who cite examples of people who ditched Raila and were rewarded handsomely like the current Speaker of National Assembly and the Prime Cabinet Secretary. 

Madness is repeating the same thing and expecting different results. It is clear that Raila has been the problem on his presidential bid since 2013, not the running mate. Kenyan have rejected him. Raila must not seek reelection in 2027. If he would, then let him have common courtesy and tell Kalonzo to his face so that he can chart his own path as early as possible. If anything he must declare Kalonzo tosha as early as now and they start campaigns just like Ruto did from 2017 if he is serious about being on the winning side. 

There is nowhere written Raila must be the President of Kenya. On the other hand, Kalonzo is nationally likeable. He surpasses Raila’s traits by far in the eyes of rational Kenyans who don’t subscribe to fanaticism. Those potential voters who refrain from voting for Raila due to some irrational followers’ behavior would comfortable choose Kalonzo over other candidates. Mwando wa Raila nũvítítwe ni sua.

Time is ripe to pay the Buffalo Soldier his dues. Maybe, just may be, Plan B could work better. Mr. Musyoka should listen to his inner voice. Let him be sure no one is trying to pull him back or waste his time which he’d otherwise use selling his candidacy out there. Moreover, he is still young, instead of staying in Opposition for the better part of his remaining years in active politics, he can still work with Ruto and deliver services to Kenyan and specifically to people from his region.

CEPHAS MUTAI is a geospatial engineer and a regular commentator in MWINGI TIMES on topics related to politics, culture and land economics.

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