The mice, frustrated by the constant dangers of the cat, met in council to determine a solution to their tiring challenge. They discussed, and equally rejected, plan after plan. Eventually, a very young mouse raised up on his hind legs, and proposed that a bell should be hung around the cat’s neck.
“What a splendid idea!” they cried. “Excellent suggestion!” “Oh yes, that would very well warn of the cat’s presence in time to escape!”
They were accepting the proposal with great enthusiasm and applause, until a quiet old mouse stood up to speak. “This is, indeed, a very good suggestion and would no doubt solve our problems,” he said, “Now, which one of us will put the bell around the cat’s neck?”
One may wonder where I am headed with this story.
My message today is crafted for former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka who if he does not take the bold decision to join Jubilee will continue staying in an outfit that knows how to propose things not keeping in mind that it is something else to carry them out.
If the Wiper leader is not careful, he will continue playing second fiddle to Raila Odinga in Opposition politics. As it stands today, Kalonzo is in the NASA outfit that has already made a decision on its candidate and is just not sure how to tell him.
Kalonzo must like the quiet old mouse, stand up and ask his colleagues the hard question. How are we going to do this and what is in it for me if we fail to capture the presidency and form the next government? Otherwise, Kalonzo will find himself playing third fiddle in the Opposition.
Even with the numbers against the then Prime Minister, Kalonzo joined Odinga to play second fiddle in a losing coalition in 2013. He is bound to be in the same boat this time round with the newly formed NASA likely to settle for Raila as candidate and Musalia Mudavadi as running-mate to face the Jubilee duo of President Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto.
Kalonzo must rethink his options – he can choose to stay in the Opposition team with no definite position or negotiate with Jubilee for a prominent role. Since he cannot get number one or two, Kalonzo must chose to negotiate to be number three in the winning team.
It is more viable for Kalonzo to bring his supporters into the Jubilee boat and negotiate for the Speaker of the National Assembly – the number three in command, according to the Constitution. He can even go further and negotiate for several Cabinet appointments and even Principal Secretaries and ambassadors.
Why should he agree to be left out in the political cold for another five years?
It’s unlikely that Kalonzo would defect on his own accord, therefore the residents of Lower Eastern must revolt against its leader, and demand for Kalonzo to move into government. This is already evident and is the surest way to ensure that the Kamba vote supports Jubilee.
Five MPs from the Ukambani region who were elected though Kalonzo’s Wiper Party in 2013 have already moved to Jubilee. Chances of the supporters of these MPs supporting the opposition in August are slim and it is in time that Kalonzo reads the mood.
Wipers fortunes are diminishing in Ukambani with the growth of other parties such the Maendeleo Chap Chap by Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, who was elected on a Wiper ticket. MCC has already declared that it will support Uhuru’s re-election.
A defection by Kalonzo will make the win by Jubilee a definitive landslide first round victory, which will be good for democracy and peace in this country. At the end of it, it is better to be number three in government than number three in the opposition.
(The writer is a political and communications consultant. Twitter @MachelWaikenda)