People Daily Team @PeopleDailyKe
Opposition coalition, Cord, is considering registering as a party in readiness for the 2017 General Election. Cord co-principal and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka revealed the major plan by Cord to re-energise itself into a powerful outfit to counter the newly-formed Jubilee Party.
Perhaps reacting to move by Jubilee, which merged its constituent parties to form one outfit, Kalonzo said should Cord be registered as a party, the winner of a joint nomination exercise will use its ticket to vie in next year’s poll. Cord comprises three parties—ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya.
Kalonzo said the Cord party idea would be modelled along the lines of Narc Rainbow party of 2002 where political parties came together under the Narc umbrella without losing their individual identities. He said he has discussed the idea with other Cord principals Raila Odinga (ODM) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya), adding that there was “plenty of goodwill”.
Kalonzo disclosed they were selling the idea to Kanu chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, with a view to bringing his party into the fold. “We are now considering registering Cord as a political party. I am not forcing it on anybody’s throat, this is one thing we are studying as opposed to a merger,” said Kalonzo at his Karen office in Nairobi.
“Nominations can be done in ODM, Ford Kenya and Wiper parties then the winners can vie for the Cord ticket,” he added. Kalonzo spoke as Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi asked the Opposition chiefs to move fast and pick a presidential candidate to take on Jubilee’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.
“Well, I am ready. I urge all the people of Mulembe to join me and other Kenyans in removing this abusive regime that has the audacity to tell us we can only smell the meat even if we cook it. We must also vow that we shall all vote for only one person for president—Musalia Mudavadi.”
“I, therefore, appeal to my brothers Raila, Kalonzo and Wetang’ula to stop the talk. You want Jubilee sent packing by 8am on August 8, 2017? We have one weapon against this frightful regime – that weapon is Mudavadi.”
And in Mombasa, Senator Hassan Omar, who is Wiper party secretary general, insisted the MoU signed between Kalonzo and Raila in the run-up to 2013 General Election is still valid. He said the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting scheduled for today at Wiper headquarters in Nairobi will address issues affecting the party.
Omar said the party is negotiating with other Cord affiliate parties with a view to fielding a single candidate to face Jubilee in 2017. “Ultimately, we must front a candidate who can win elections, at the moment we are still on the table,” he said.
Omar also criticised declarations by some ODM governors, including Evans Kidero (Nairobi), Hassan Joho (Mombasa) and Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) that they would vie for presidency in 2022. If Cord registers as a political party, it would be a small departure from what the ruling Jubilee did when 13 affiliate parties merged into Jubilee Party (JP) on September 10.
Among the parties which folded to form JP are Alliance Party of Kenya, The Independent Party, United Democratic Forum, New Ford Kenya, Jubilee Alliance Party, Republican Congress Party, The National Alliance, United Republic Party, Grand National Union, United Party of Kenya, Ford People and TIP.
Kalonzo spoke yesterday after donating Sh100, 000 to John Horsfall, a Briton who is running across Africa to raise funds to assist Lewa Childrens’ Home in Eldoret. However, ODM Secretary for Political Affairs and Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said the ODM is yet to get details of the proposals to turn the coalition into a political party.
“So far I have not heard of the proposal. I will comment once I get the full context,” Wandayi told People Daily on phone. Kalonzo also confirmed that Wiper NEC’s meeting today to discuss nominations. He denied claims the meeting is meant to re-assess the party’s strategy after losing several MPs to Jubilee. (Reporting by Luke Awich, Atieno Akumu and Enock Amukhale)