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This Is the Deal that Saw Kalonzo Rejoin Azimio Coalition

Kalonzo Rejoin Azimio Coalition

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has secured Cabinet slots and a commitment to law change to create the post of Prime Minister, which he will hold, should Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga form the next government.

This was part of the deal Mr. Musyoka brokered to seal his return to Azimio after initially protesting his being snubbed for the post of Mr. Odinga’s running mate, which went to Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua.

It also emerged that a last-minute intervention by President Kenyatta facilitated Mr. Musyoka’s return to the fold and his acceptance of the Chief Cabinet Secretary position that had initially been earmarked for him.

The Kalonzo Musyoka camp might also get the Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary post he once held during the Kanu regime.

Sources indicated other ministerial positions fronted by Mr. Musyoka are those of Energy, Water, Health, and Tourism.

Gideon Moi

Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, who has been by Mr. Musyoka’s side for the two weeks he had severed ties with Azimio, was also reportedly instrumental in the talks that saw Kanu secure some Cabinet slots.

Insiders in Mr. Musyoka’s camp yesterday revealed that during the talks steered by the principals, President Kenyatta who chairs the Azimio Council, Mr. Odinga, and Mr. Moi, the Wiper leader held that the Chief CS post was less powerful than the Deputy President position and it would be imperative that a percentage of government be reserved for his side.

Mr. Musyoka, the source said, would secure a percentage of government and will “bolster Raila’s national and regional campaign teams” to secure a win for Mr. Odinga.

“Kalonzo said he was convinced by the choice of Ms. Karua and understood the current political dynamics,” the source added.

The deal that was finalized on Wednesday night saw Mr. Musyoka agree to rejoin Azimio yesterday, a position he announced in the presence of Wiper and Kanu leaders at his SKM command center in Karen, Nairobi.

Thereafter, he joined Mr. Odinga for a rally at Mukuru Kwa Njenga in Embakasi South Constituency.

Structured power-sharing pact

The Musyoka camp had initially called for a structured power-sharing pact, urging for the outcome of the talks to be included in the Azimio agreement already deposited with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties.

Yesterday, Political Parties Registrar Ann Nderitu said, whereas a renegotiation of an agreement is acceptable by law, the Azimio team was yet to make a fresh filing of a renegotiated agreement.

“I’ve not received any new filing. Maybe if there is, they will file it in due course,” Ms. Nderitu told the Nation.

Expanded executive

At yesterday’s rally, Mr. Odinga alluded to his deal with Mr. Musyoka, disclosing that the Wiper leader will also have a Cabinet role and will be tasked with coordination of government functions.

“Kalonzo’s role will be like that of Prime Minister. Just as the one I held in the Grand Coalition Government,” Mr. Odinga said, opening the lid on the promise to have a law change to implement the expanded executive.

Mr. Odinga and President Kenyatta had pushed for the inclusion of the Prime Minister post, two deputies, and the appointment of ministers from among MPs in the Building Bridges Initiative constitutional amendments that the courts threw out.

Yesterday, the Wiper leader officially dropped his presidential bid and promised to rally his supporters behind Mr. Odinga.

He said his change of heart was a result of wide consultation with his party leadership, the clergy, and professionals.

Essence of brotherhood

Underscoring the role of Mr Moi in his final decision, he said: “To my brother Gideon Moi, you have redefined the meaning and essence of brotherhood. You’ve been with me in the best of moments and the darkest of hours. You’re a gentleman. Receive my heartfelt gratitude. As a people, our true measure lies in our ability to discern when the nation is bigger than an individual.”

He went on: “After deep introspection, I have today deferred my dreams to run for the President of the Republic of Kenya in the forthcoming General Election. As Abraham Lincoln once told a nation, ‘We are friends, not enemies; the passion may have strained but it must never break our bonds of affection’.”

“Therefore, after wide consultation with the party leadership, the clergy, the professionals, I’ve decided to accept with humility and appreciation my nomination as the Chief Minister in Azimio la Umoja One Kenya when, and not if, we form government.

Congratulated Karua

The Wiper leader also used the occasion to congratulate Mr Odinga’s running mate.

“I would also wish to congratulate the Hon Martha Wangari Karua on her nomination as the Deputy President nominee of the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party and I assure her of my unequivocal support,” Mr Musyoka said.

Mr Musyoka had announced his solo presidential run on May 16, the same day Mr Odinga nominated Ms Karua as his running mate.

The former vice-president was expected to appear before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission tomorrow for registration as a presidential candidate, but this will now not happen.

Yesterday’s announcement follows resolutions by Wiper leaders from Ukambani region to have Mr Musyoka work with the Azimio team.

‘Musyoka is a friend’

A section of professionals from the region had also disclosed that the interests of the community would only be catered for under Azimio and urged the Wiper leader to reconsider his candidature.

Yesterday, Mr Odinga paraded his troops, including Mr Musyoka’s lieutenants, saying, the Azimio team was now complete and ready for the elections.

“Kalonzo Musyoka is a friend, and I’m glad by his sacrifice to rejoin our team. His return together with Gideon Moi now fills our positions 10 and 11. The team is now complete and ready for the match,” Mr Odinga said.

He dared Deputy President William Ruto to a duel, promising a match like never before.

“This is a very unique team. It’s none of the usual teams like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal or even Manchester United, it’s a combination of all those teams,” he said, alluding to Azimio’s might.

Ready for take-off

Azimio Secretary-General Junet Mohamed likened the team to a giant plane, full of passengers and now ready for take-off.

“The plane is now on the runway and passengers are advised to tighten their seatbelts ready for take-off,” Mr Mohamed said.

The Mukuru rally was also attended by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu and her Makueni counterpart, Prof Kivutha Kibwana, who both pledged to work with Kalonzo Musyoka, as well as Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa).

Ms. Anne Kananu (Nairobi), Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, his Kanu counterpart Nick Salat, Jubilee Vice-Chairman David Murathe and a host of other leaders and aspirants also attended the rally.

Mr. Moi echoed Mr. Odinga, saying, Mr. Musyoka’s return was a guarantee of a first-round win by Azimio in the August elections.

To win in the first round, a candidate has to garner 50 percent plus one vote.

“We’re now sure of a round one win and there is absolutely no doubt about that. We thank Kalonzo Musyoka for making this happen,” Mr Moi said.

Pledged his commitment

Kalonzo Musyoka pledged his commitment to the coalition’s campaign activities going forward.

“I’m back to play position 11, I’m Messi, I was on the bench and now I’m back on the pitch and will pass the ball to Raila in position 9 to score the goal,” said Mr. Musyoka, in reference to Argentine forward Lionel Messi, known for his swift passes and agility on the field.

Mr. Musyoka’s proposed running mate before he dropped his bid, Mr. Andrew Sunkuli, also pledged his loyalty to Mr. Odinga and Azimio, promising to take part in the campaigns to deliver victory to Azimio.

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