NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 25 – Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has given the strongest indication yet, that he will likely work with Wiper party’s Kalonzo Musyoka in the next election.
Odinga, who spoke Thursday at Wiper’s National Delegates Conference (NDC), said he has no doubt the will team up, in what has left tongues wagging particularly after Kalonzo’s chest-thumping in recent weeks vowing he will go to the ballot and that he won’t play second fiddle to the former Prime Minister.
“What Kalonzo wants is want Raila and I am confident that in the days to come our roads will meet again,” Odinga told the Wiper delegates at the NDC that was also attended by the Jubilee party officials as well as Kalonzo’s co-principals in the One Kenya Alliance (OKA). They include Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress (ANC), Gideon Moi (KANU), and Moses Wetangula of Ford Kenya.
Even though the NDC endorsed Kalonzo for the presidency, the presence of Odinga at the meeting raised more questions, than answers.
Odinga took the chance to narrate the long-standing political journey they have had with Musyoka ever since the KANU era. of and Narc in 2002.
The ODM leader painted his counterpart from Wiper as a brother who has stood with him in the turbulent political journey.
“I hear people are barking on why Raila was invited here. Kalonzo is my brother and I am happy he has been endorsed as the flag bearer of the party. We have tried it together over time and faced losses and we have been resilient together until now,” said Odinga.
They have twice unsuccessfully tried to clinch the presidency in the 2013 and the 2017 general elections with Raila as the presidential candidate and Kalonzo as his running mate under the National Super Alliance (NASA).
In recent weeks, Kalonzo has declared that ‘it is now or never’ insisting that he will not be a running mate to anyone.
In June this year, Kalonzo said he will not team up with Odinga for the third time,.
“For me as of now, it is unthinkable that one Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka would support someone for the third time. I would be the stupid person on earth, without a measure of reciprocity. If I don’t run now, when will I run,” he said.
Leaders from the Ukambani region led by Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu have been pushing Musyoka to shelve his political ambitions and stick with Raila.
“I have worked with Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka before and I know their track record. My appeal is that you will continue to engage in talks so that we can steer the country forward,” Ngilu stated at the Wiper NDC.
Ngilu, who is a fierce critic of Deputy President William Ruto, wants Raila and Kalonzo to stick together and come up with a working formula for next year’s election.
Kalonzo is banking to be picked as OKA’s presidential candidate, even though signs point at Mudavadi is the probable candidate for the team.
For several months now, President Uhuru Kenyatta who is serving his second and final term has been trying to convince OKA leaders to team up with Odinga who appears to be his most preferred successor after falling out with his Deputy William Ruto.
Musyoka and Moi have shown indications of joining Odinga’s camp in the next poll with Mudavadi insisting on finishing the race.
“You will have to make a tough decision. All of you presidential aspirants should sit down and consult. Time is running out,” said Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja who doubles up as Mudavadi’s Chief Campaigner in Nairobi.