Kalonzo’s Major Announcement That Could Spell The End Of CORD
Cord co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka has finally announced that he will vie for the presidency in 2017 breaking the silence on his interest in the hot seat.
Musyoka said he does not intend to go for anything less as he is confident he will defeat President Uhuru Kenyatta to clinch the top seat in the country.
In an interview with Citizen TV on the evening of Tuesday, December 29, 2015, Musyoka said that he will seek Cord’s presidential ticket. Many people however still see Raila Odinga, another Cord co-principal as the favourite candidate for the top seat. Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula, who is also a Cord co-principal has already declared interest in the presidential ticket.
“Tayari imebainika wazi ndugu yangu Raila ametangaza angetaka kuwa rais, Wetangula vile vile, mimi pia nimesema wazi lakini sasa tunaelekea mkondo mwingine. Kwa hivyo mwaka 2016 ni mwaka wenye umuhimu kabisa katika historia ya nchi yetu ya Kenya. (It is obvious that my brother Raila has expressed interest in the presidency and Wetangula also has done the same but we are heading into another phase of 2016 which is an important year in the history of Kenya’s politics),” Musyoka said.
While the interest shown by Cord top brass for the party’s presidential ticket could appear healthy for democracy, it may bring about a split in the coalition should one of the three feel discontent if they lose out to their co-principal in the race for the ticket.
Odinga has contested Kenya’s presidency three times – 1997, 2007 and 2013 – and lost in all. In 2007, he vied against former President Mwai Kibaki and lost in a disputed poll that plunged the country into political violence. Odinga claimed to have won the election but was rigged out.
At the time, Odinga accused Musyoka of being insincere and termed him a coward for quickly supporting Kibaki for political mileage despite the contested poll that brought the latter to power. Musyoka however sought to dispel claims that he is a coward and cannot stand on his own.
“I used to be called watermelon, I used to be called a coward. Ikiwa ndugu zangu (Raila and Wetangula) watasema ni wewe, maajabu yatatokezea (If Raila and Wetangula back me as the presidential candidate, people will see wonders),” Musyoka further said.
He said that Jubilee administration led by President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto was working round the clock to ensure that Cord would split before the 2017 general elections. In 2013, Odinga vied against Kenyatta and lost. Musyoka was his running mate at the time and it remains to be seen whether he will agree to play second fiddle again come 2017.
The 62-year-old leader of the Cord-affiliated Wiper Democratic Party contested for the presidency of Kenya in 2007 against incumbent Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga. After the disputed elections in which Kibaki was pronounced winner in the poll that Odinga said he had won, Musyoka joined Kibaki’s administration as a vice president from 2008 to 2012.
The latest opinion polls, however, do not favour him as Kenyatta is rated as a favourite with Odinga coming in second place. Ruto comes third with Musyoka and Wetangula following in that order.