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Wiper’s mixed signals on Raila swearing-in scheme

Wiper Democratic Party’s support for the National Super Alliance (Nasa) plans to swear in Raila Odinga as “people’s president” is now in doubt after the Kalonzo Musyoka-led party appeared to prepare him for the 2022 presidency.

Acting Wiper chairman and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana told Kalonzo to pay more attention to 2022 General Election by traversing the country to sell the party policy and manifesto.

“What we are telling our party leader Kalonzo is to shift focus from the current happenings and focus more on 2022 where our hope is,” Kibwana told a gathering at the home of former Kitui West MP, the late Francis Nyenze, last Friday when Kalonzo visited the home to condole with the family.

The governor said in 2022 poll, Kalonzo could be the undisputed Opposition presidential candidate, but he must first market himself and the party. “This time round Wiper will not be shortchanged and will go out fully to ensure that Kalonzo will be the Opposition flag bearer.

This is the message we are sending to other Nasa co-principals,” said Kibwana. Both Kibwana and Kitui governor Charity Ngilu were non-committal on the anticipated swearing in of Raila, but prevailed upon Kalonzo not to relent his bid for presidency in 2022.

Ngilu said her administration would mobilise resources to ensure residents who have attained 18 years obtain an identity card and register as voters in readiness for 2022. “We have failed as leaders to create awareness among our communities on the need to participate in electoral processes and that is why it has been difficult for one of our own to clinch the presidency,’’ said Ngilu.

She said her past political differences with Kalonzo had been resolved, and vowed to campaign for him to clinch the top seat. Ngilu and Kibwana’s remarks come in the wake of reported rift in Nasa over leadership and membership of key parliamentary committees.

ODM has been accused of playing “big brother” in Nasa and knocking its coalition partners —Wiper, Ford Kenya and ANC parties—off key parliamentary committee seats.

In what could widen the perceived rift in the Opposition coalition, Raila Odinga’s party wielded its strength in numbers and got two powerful positions in both the Senate and the National Assembly. Kalonzo visited Nyenze’s Kyondoni home in Kabati to condole with the family and the people of Kitui West following the MP’s death.

During Nyenze’s burial on December 19, Kalonzo was out of the country. Nyenze was Kalonzo’s ally. The Wiper leader said only dialogue between Jubilee administration and the Opposition will end the political disputes in the country. “ We are giving President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto a last chance to dialogue with us and if there is no light in the end of the tunnel, then Raila and I will have no alternative to be sworn in,’’ he said.

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