What Kalonzo's Move Means to Azimio - Analysts

  • Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka addresses the media at SKM Command Centre on Thursday, June 2.
    Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka addresses the media at SKM Command Centre on Thursday, June 2.
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    Kalonzo Musyoka
  • On Thursday, June 2, Wiper party leader, Kalonzo Musyoka, rejoined the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition party in what was touted as a major announcement in Kenya's political history.

    Speaking at the SKM Command Centre in Karen, Nairobi, the Wiper party leader noted that he opted to shelve his bid for the benefit of the country and Kenyans at large. 

    The move was welcomed by proponents of the Azimio coalition and at the same time castigated by leaders who support the rival Kenya Kwanza coalition. 

    Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka with other delegates at the SK Command Center on Thursday, June 2, 2022.
    Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka with other delegates at the SK Command Center on Thursday, June 2, 2022.
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    However, critics and pundits argue that the move could be a double-edged sword for the Wiper leader, who is viewed by many as 'indecisive'.

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, political analyst Barrack Muluka opined that the power-sharing dynamics were the biggest issue for Wiper party leader who was skeptic about his slice of the national cake. He noted that this was the reason behind his indecisive nature and consequently pushed him into announcing his presidential bid. 

    "In the power-sharing deal, all these things were just carrots that were being dangled so that people who are perceived to have numbers to swing votes in a certain direction move with the tide."

    "As you saw in former President Daniel Moi's era, various politicians decried being promised powerful, sweet deals that did not actually happen. Kalonzo knew it was a trap and that is why he was delaying the process," Muluka pointed out. 

    The analyst explained that the Chief Cabinet Secretary position that Kalonzo was offered could be perceived as an endorsement but its legality will have to be proven by the court system should the Azimio coalition win the presidential race. 

    "Nobody is yet to see the agreement, so all we can say is that power is what sits in the position. Presidents can go on and say they have named the Chief Secretary position, and it is something the court has to prove in terms of legality. Let us accept that it is an endorsement and see how it unfolds," he added.

    University of Nairobi lecturer and political analyst, Jane Thuo, however, contradicted Muluka's sentiments noting that Kalonzo's move is a sure-fire recipe for success. She pointed out that Kalonzo, who has amassed years of political experience, had entered negotiations in order to secure positions for him and his close allies.

    Thuo stated that the aim for Kalonzo and the Wiper party, in general, was to ensure that they would be in government after the August 9 polls. 

    "For him to actually have rejoined Azimio, it means that some negotiations had taken place. Let us say he came into the realisation that it is not a must for one to be elected in order to be relevant."

    "Having done that, it means that after negotiations, Kalonzo still has a fallback plan whereby he negotiated on behalf of his interest groups in order to get a slice of the national cake. Kenyans are coming to appreciate the benefits of securing other prime positions other than the running mate position," she detailed. 

    Thuo hinted that the move spelled doom for the Kenya Kwanza coalition, which now has to play catch-up to match the steps made by Azimio. 

    Kanu party leader Gideon Moi (left) and his Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka pictured on Sunday, May 15, 2022..jpg
    Kanu party leader Gideon Moi (left) and his Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka pictured on Sunday, May 15, 2022..jpg
    Kalonzo Musyoka

    "What I see is the Kenya Kwanza team to slowly appreciate what the BBI was bringing to the table in terms of accommodating more people into the fold within the government."

    "If we look at the current president, who would have thought Interior Cabinet Secretary, Fred Matiang'i, would have become the Chief Minister?" she inquired.

    She also praised consensus as the best means for settling on a suitable candidate for political coalitions. 

    "People are looking at who is stronger on the ground, and coming to a consensus in order to agree that this is not the time to divide votes and let's join hands," she pointed out. 

    Muluka, on the other hand, termed the move as pathetic for a politician to shelve his bid and interests upon the request of the party leader who is seeking to consolidate their position on the grand scale of things. 

    "Let us take the case where you have invested your time and energy to be cleared by the IEBC just to have your political party leader tell you to shelve your ambitions because of his own agenda. I think that's pathetic," argued Muluka.

    Mulkuka compared Kalonzo to the different stages of growth that a butterfly undergoes. 

    "Kalonzo has no ground to stand on. One thing that many people don't know is that at some point before Kalonzo had settled for an umbrella, he had selected a butterfly as the party symbol. However, his allies urged him to select a different symbol, hinting that butterflies fly around aimlessly and also go through many stages of metamorphosis. That is the case with Kalonzo," he stated. 

    In conclusion, both pundits agreed that it was of the essence for Kenyans to get young and energetic youth who would step up and steer the country forward to a better future.