Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka may face the prospect of standing alone in the political jungle after an opportunity to flex his muscles in a joint presidential nomination bout with Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta appears to fade.
This follows the move by Uhuru to consolidate his support base with support from the Alliance Party of Kenya (APK). The party associated with Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi, had entered into a pact with the DPM and the VP to fight it out for the presidential ticket under a party that was yet to be identified.
Kalonzo, Uhuru and the late Internal Security Minister George Saitoti had signed a protocol in which the three had agreed to pick one among them as the presidential flag bearer.
Kalonzo was to come in with his Wiper Democratic Movement, Uhuru with The National Alliance (TNA), and Saitoti with his Party of National Unity (PNU).
PNU National Organising Secretary, Maina Kamanda, said Saitoti was still committed to the MoU by the time he died in a helicopter crash in June. Kalonzo was seemingly still banking on the MoU.
But after the move by Kiraitu to declare Uhuru the APK driver of the ‘bus’ (the symbol of the party), this stand in no longer in doubt.
But nominated MP Mohamed Affey, who is one of the five members of the WDM negotiating team, said as far as the party is concerned, the MoU was still alive.
“If the DPM and the VP will approach the elections together then it will be through a different arrangement and not APK. So there is no neither conflict nor disadvantage to the VP,” clarified Affey.
APK, he says, has structures and Kiraitu is only one of the leaders. Affey said, arguing the Energy Minister’s assertion that APK now has a presidential candidate was his opinion. “All of us participated in creating APK. Kiraitu has a personal opinion, which he is entitled to. As far as Wiper is concerned, we respect our signature on the MoU,” Affey said.
Mt Kenya bloc
He viewed Uhuru’s move to create an alliance between TNA, APK, PNU and GNU as intended to consolidate the Mt Kenya region, which he said would make the alliance even stronger.
“Meanwhile, Kalonzo will continue with his presidential campaigns as we continue to dialogue,” Affey said. Before endorsing Uhuru as APK presidential candidate, Kiraitu had insisted the three leaders were bound by an agreement, which they had signed on October 1, 2010, at the Norfolk Hotel, Nairobi.
The Energy minister had been displaying a copy of the agreement in which the three leaders resolved to transform PNU coalition into a PNU Alliance, which changed its name to APK.
“I was leading the committee to organise the formation of the alliance. We did our work and formed the alliance as the three leaders instructed,” Kiraitu said.
“But the question has been who is the driver of the bus? This bus is not mine. The driver of the bus will be one of those mentioned. The driver of the bus can be Uhuru Kenyatta. The driver of the bus can be Kalonzo Musyoka. The driver of the bus can also be George Saitoti. But we will choose the driver,” Kiraitu had said.
To speed up the pact between the three, APK formed the National Governing Council, which was asked to come up with one presidential candidate.
But last Tuesday, Kiraitu and PNU Secretary General Amos Kimunya signed another MoU with Uhuru’s TNA to form a coalition, which also included GNU. This effectively cancelled the MoU between Uhuru, Kalonzo and Saitoti.
Just two weeks ago, Kalonzo still believed in an alliance before November in readiness to face ODM’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Kalonzo had said parties that were expected to enter an alliance was his WDM, Uhuru’s TNA, APK, Mudavadi’s United Democratic Forum, and Eldoret North MP William Ruto’s United Republican Party.
The VP had said they are planning to field one candidate against Raila, dismissing claims the G7 Alliance had callapsed. “Hakuna ugomvi (there is no disagreement between us). We want to win round one,” he said, when he met leaders from Embu County in Nairobi.
Kalonzo, however, maintained that members of the coalition would field their own candidates in other key elective positions, but the winners would be under one roof.
By Athman Amran, The Standard