Why I want to be President – Wetang’ula

WetangulaFord Kenya Leader Moses Wetang’ula will seek the Cord presidential nomination on the grounds that he has the best chance of defeating Jubilee in next year’s election.

His two main rivals for the nomination, Cord co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila Odinga, will both attend the launch of Wetangula’s presidential bid on Saturday in Muliro Gardens in Kakamega.

“I fit the bill,” Wetang’ula told the Star yesterday.

“There cannot be a better candidate,” said the Bungoma senator

Wetang’ula has a five point agenda for enhancing devolution, implementing the constitution, fighting corruption, empowering women and youth and growing the economy.

The former cabinet minister is the first Cord leader to launch his presidential bid.

Kalonzo and Raila are planning their launches later this year.

Cord has not yet decided how it will select its presidential candidate but its constituent parties will all nominate their preferred candidates which almost certainly will be Wetang’ula for Ford Kenya, Kalonzo for Wiper, and Raila for ODM.

Wetang’ula’s entry into the presidential race will complicate relationships within Cord as the three co-principals all seem determined to run.

Kalonzo’s team have been asking Raila to back the former Vice President for the Cord presidential nomination.

Wiper party officials have threatened to ditch Cord unless Raila honours a pre-election understanding that he would endorse Kalonzo for president in 2017.

However Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, the ODM Deputy Leader, has damned Wetangula’s bid as “a waste of time” because Raila will be the Cord candidate.

A former magistrate, Wetang’ula was nominated to Parliament by Kanu after the 1992 elections and elected in 2002.

President Mwai Kibaki appointed him Foreign Minister after the 2007 disputed elections where he served until 2012 when he was named Trade minister.

He joined Raila in 2013 to form the Cord coalition.

Oparanya initially refused to allow Wetang’ula’s weekend launch in Kakamega, claiming that it would be hijacked by his rival Senator Boni Khalwale.

Raila and Kalonzo had to intervene so that the launch could go ahead.

Yesterday Wetang’ula confirmed that the Kakamega governor will be attending “the biggest and the most important event in my political career.”

“I have reached a level to ask Kenyans for the privilege to captain this great nation,” Wetang’ula said

Wetang’ula comes from Bungoma and defended his choice of Kakamega saying that is part of Kenya just like Mombasa, Garissa or Migori.

“I have chosen Muliro Gardens as the venue

for my launch because of its historical significance,” he said.

In the past Luhya leaders have used the park to make major political announcements.

Wetang’ula said he will be launching his manifesto in Nairobi later this year.

Wetang’ula is the only Cord principal in Parliament, having won the Bungoma seat during the 2013 General Election.

He successfully defended it in a by-election in December 2013 following a petition by his rival Musikari Kombo that said he had bribed voters.

He won the by-election by an even wider margin after the Cord brigade, spearheaded by Raila and Kalonzo, united to campaign for him.

ON YOUR MARKS

He has been Leader of the Minority in the Senate so he literally acts as Opposition leader in the House since the National Assembly Minority Leader Nyenze is junior to him.

Yesterday Butere MP Andrew Toboso, a confidant of Oparanya, confirmed that Cord will use Wetang’ula’s presidential bid launch to address issues of national importance among them the Cord demand for the disbandment of the Electoral Commission, Jubilee’s failure to address high level corruption, and the skewed allocation of national resources.

Toboso said the launch will be the perfect opportunity for Cord to respond to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s State of the Nation address on Thursday afternoon.

“It is important to note that the forum will expose Jubilee’s neglect of the Western region for the last three years that it has been in power.

There have been no tangible development projects from the national government for the region.

And the little that the counties have done has been frustrated,” Toboso said.

STRENGTHEN

Senators George Khaniri (Vihiga), Boni Khalwale (Kakamega) and MPs John Mbadi (Suba) and Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren) said that the launch will strengthen Cord more than its opponents expect.

“Senator Wetang’ula is exercising his democratic and political rights just like anybody else,” Khaniri said.

“We {Cord} have to ensure that we get a formula to ensure we stay together and not open ourselves to the opponents.

Our principals have shown us the way,”said Eseli Mbadi said that all Cord leaders and supporters will be attending the meeting in solidarity with one of their members.

“The issues were resolved by the principals. What you are reading in the media is a creation to portray the coalition as troubled and lacking proper leadership structures.”

-the-star.co.ke

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