A new political alliance is in the making, bringing together Deputy President William Ruto and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka.The DP has been using his Rift Valley and Central Kenya allies to reach out to Kalonzo. Much ground has been covered.The Star has learned that the closely guarded talks started about three months ago and since then at least three meetings have been held between Kalonzo’s strategists and Ruto’s political schemers.
The two politicians feel increasingly isolated in their respective political camps ahead of the 2022 presidential race.Multiple sources say that the lieutenants of the two veteran politicians are crafting a “political tornado” to vanquish opposition chief Raila Odinga’s 2022 game plan.Raila has not publicly declared his 2022 political ambitions but his latest moves have sparked speculations that the former Prime Minister will be in the presidential race.The imminent collapse of Nasa, the 2017 Raila-Kalonzo political vehicle, catapulted by today’s tense Kibra by-election, has triggered the urgency of a new political formation ahead of 2022.
Ruto is said to have deployed two of his Central Kenya allies and one from his Rift Valley political think-tank to spearhead the talks.The first meeting in which two staunch Mt Kenya region Ruto allies were involved was held weeks after Kalonzo’s appointment as Kenya’s special envoy to South Sudan in July.It is not clear if Ruto was behind Kalonzo’s appointment in a bid to win his support but a statement by State House implied that President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed him as his special envoy.One of the follow-up meetings was held on Monday night at the home of a senior Wiper official in Kileleshwa a day after Raila ridiculed the Kamba nation during the Kibra by-election campaign.A senior Wiper official confidentially told the Star that it was no longer if but when the two parties’ engagement would be made public.
“It won’t be business as usual. Our partners within Nasa, which after all is dying, started it by throwing all manner of insults at our party leader. We shall lock out Raila out of Ukambani completely,” the official said.The official was non-committal on whether Kalonzo will play second fiddle to Ruto in the new alliance. The DP has already launched a presidential vote hunt.“It would be premature at the moment to say whether the Wiper party leader will be Ruto’s running mate or vice versa,” he added.With Kalonzo’s growing isolation by his Nasa coalition partners Raila, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula, his political strategists are said to have endorsed a working arrangement with Ruto.The former vice-president’s strategists believe that an alliance with Ruto provides the best political formula to propel Wiper into the next government.
Yesterday, Soi MP Caleb Kositany, a key Ruto ally, said the DP was ready to work with any political formation(s) who share in his vision for the country.Without confirming the likely political juggernaut, the Jubilee deputy secretary-general and chairman of the Rift Valley Parliamentary Caucus said, “Nothing is impossible in politics.”He added: “They (Wiper leaders) are uncomfortable where they had high hopes because they have been insulted.”He said Wiper is welcome anytime to join the DP to form the next government.Prof Macharia Munene told the Star that Nasa’s imminent death due to its leaders’ bitter fallout and Wiper’s plummeting political fortunes in Ukambani, could be the last straws that might force Kalonzo into Ruto’s fold.
“Kalonzo is an isolated man. His backyard is being eroded,” Munene said.The history and international relations don at the United States International University said that although Kalonzo’s Ukambani bedrock is shaky he holds “some sway.”With the political landscape shifting fast ahead of the 2022 polls, Raila appears to be keen on cobbling a new alliance to further isolate Kalonzo.The ODM leader rattled the former VP after he roped in the three Ukambani governors – Charity Ngilu(Kitui), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) – in his 2022 line-up.The three governors have been critical of Kalonzo’s style of leadership and have launched a liberation of Ukambani from the bondage of poverty campaign.
Demonstrating his push to turn tables against his former ally in Ukambani, Raila last Sunday paraded the governors in Kibra where they campaigned for Imran Okoth, ODM’s candidate in today’s by-election.Kalonzo is said to be secretly backing Jubilee candidate McDonald Mariga who is heavily supported by the DP in a by-election billed as a 2022 dress rehearsal between Raila and Ruto.Raila has said the Kibra by-election will herald new political alliances. His allies have said it will be the last nail into Nasa’s coffin.A section of Ukambani leaders allied to the DP has been urging Kalonzo to abandon Raila and join forces with Ruto.They include Machakos Town MP Victor Munyaka, Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East), Rachael Mbai (Kitui South), Fabiani Kyule (Kangundo) and Vincent Musyoka (Mwala).
Last Sunday’s Kibra jibe by Raila has sent Kalonzo to the drawing board to craft an alliance that could buttress his chances of forming the next government.In the run-up to the 2007 presidential election, Kalonzo claimed to have lost the presidency because of Ruto’s shift to Raila’s corner.Then, Raila cobbled up an electrifying campaign machine with regional leaders in what was then known as the Pentagon. Kalonzo bolted out of the mix with the Eastern bloc before the presidential polls in which President Mwai Kibaki was controversially declared the winner of the contested presidential poll.
Kibaki named Kalonzo his deputy in the grand coalition government formed after the 2007 post-election violence.For almost two decades since Kalonzo broke away from Kanu in the run-up to the 2002 elections, the political script in Ukambani has been the same – ganging up to whip the community into supporting one of their own.However, critics have cautioned that every election year, politicians from the region have been joining hands to drum up support for the Wiper leader to guarantee them elective seats, but not Kalonzo.In 2007, 2013, and 2017, they effectively rode on the Wiper political wave to win ward and parliamentary seats. Kalonzo was left in the cold.Source: The Star