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Handshake has not affected my presidency bid, says Kalonzo

Saturday October 27 2018

Kalonzo Musyoka

Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka at the homecoming ceremony of Wundanyi lawmaker Danson Mwashako in Wundanyi town, Taita Taveta County, October 27, 2018. PHOTO | DENNIS KAVISU  

LUCY MKANYIKA
By LUCY MKANYIKA
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Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka said on Saturday that he is still in the 2022 presidential race.

He noted that the handshake between opposition leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta has not affected his ambition.

CANAAN

“The journey to Canaan is still there,” Mr Musyoka said in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County, during a thanksgiving meeting for member of parliament (MP) Danson Mwashako.

He added: “My friend Raila said they reached River Jordan and saw crocodiles. Recently, Mr Ruto said that nowhere in the Bible does it say there are crocodiles in River Jordan."

The Wiper Democratic Movement leader noted, however, that he will continue working with the government to transform the country.

Mr Musyoka said his party recognises the leadership of President Kenyatta. He said Wiper resolved to embrace the handshake for peaceful coexistence, which he said had been on the verge of falling apart due to the disputed general election.

Regarding the war on corruption, the politician said he fully supports the president’s resolve as he will deliver the country against the vice which has robbed Kenyans of development.

“I told President Kenyatta that if he blinks now, he cannot talk of a legacy,” he said, adding the president should stand firm and leave no stone unturned in the bid to see the guilty punished.

“Nobody should be spared. Nobody should be above the law."

At the function, Mr Musyoka launched the constituencies' strategic plan for 2018 to 2022.

PRESSURE

A section of Wiper legislators have asked Mr Odinga to support Mr Musyoka's 2022 presidential bid.

Mr Mwashako and National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader Robert Mbui piled pressure on the ODM leader not to vie for the presidency, saying he should instead pay back Mr Musyoka for supporting him in the 2013 and 2017 elections.

Mr Mbui, who is Wiper's organising secretary, said, "Mr Kenyatta is the country's president and Mr Odinga the people's president. Why don't we allow Mr Kalonzo to be the next president?"

Mr Mwashako asked Mr Odinga to abide by the parties' agreement for support for his co-principal in the National Super Alliance (Nasa).

He said Mr Odinga, who is Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) boss, should concentrate on his new role as an African Union envoy and leave politics to Mr Musyoka.

"We are surprised because ODM members are moving around campaigning for their party leader yet there is an agreement which says he pledged to support my party leader," he said.

He noted that he and his Wundanyi constituents will not support Mr Odinga’s presidential bid.

ODM SUMMONSES

Meanwhile, a section of Coast MPs have criticised ODM for summoning defiant MPs who have pledged to support Deputy President William Ruto in the next race for the top seat.

Coast Parliamentary Group Vice Chairperson Saidi Hiribae said they resolved to work with the government to bring development to the Coast region as it has been lagging behind.

Mr Hiribae told off ODM for "notoriously issuing threats" to members who have openly declared support for the government, saying they embraced the spirit of the handshake.

“We have never seen other parties saying they are considering disciplinary action against members who have resolved to walk together," he said.

“I have never been summoned by my party leader Musalia Mudavadi to be asked why we are moving together as Coast parliamentarians."

Mr Hiribae said the movement will chart the way forward for the Coast region come 2022.

Mr Mudavadi is the leader of Amani National Congress. The three parties, and Ford Kenya, whose boss is Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula, united to form a unit strong enough to defeat Jubilee Party but lost the presidential race.