Kalonzo takes new role in opposition as Raila mutes

Written by on 24 October 2022

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka sustained onslaught on the Kenya Kwanza  government after Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s activities took a lull has stirred debate on whether the former VP is angling for the leadership of the opposition.

The increasing likelihood that Raila might have taken his last shot at the presidency has created a window for the top opposition leaders to inherit the Azimio behemoth.

While Raila has been out of the country, Kalonzo has been issuing statements on behalf of the Azimio movement in response to President William Ruto’s policy actions. With the Azimio coalition still trying to find its footing after being trounced by Ruto, Kalonzo has lately sought to break the lull that has hit the opposition since the new government was inaugurated last month.

The coalition’s leaders, former President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, have largely kept off countering Ruto’s administration early in the day leaving the field to Kalonzo, Azimio’s third senior-most member who was destined to the Chief Minister, to carry their burden.

For the last three weeks, the wiper leader has come out forcefully calling out the government for some of the policies implemented including speaking against the lifting of the ban imposed on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) and denouncing National Assembly Speaker Moses Wetang’ula’s ruling on which coalition enjoyed the majority representation in the House. He has also been spelling out Azimio’s future plans.

At the weekend, he revealed Azimio will form a shadow cabinet to check Ruto’s administration promising a vibrant opposition the next five years. The leader said the names will be revealed once Raila arrives in the country from a tour abroad.

Yesterday,  President Ruto revealed to a gathering in Kitui that Kalonzo had resisted his overtures and vowed to stay in the opposition amidst calls by local politicians for accommodation in the new government.

Keen also to endear himself to Raila’s base, the former VP, was in Nyanza at the weekend where he toured the renovated Kisumu Port in the company of local leaders and also attended the burial of Homabay Town MP Peter Kaluma’s father.

While in Kisumu yesterday, he questioned Ruto’s declaration of vacancies in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.

In a gazette notice dated October 21, Ruto indicated that the Commission’s chairman Wafula Chebukati and two other commissioners Abdi Guliye and Bolu Molu would be vacating their positions as their term comes to an end.

Yesterday, Kalonzo questioned the hurry to let the trio leave when by-elections have already been set for December.

He also warned against any attempts to remove the four who challenged the President’s victory.  He also had a go at Ruto’s Cabinet nominees he said were wealthy individuals who if not checked might fleece the country’s resources in a bid to amass more wealth.

“These people must be kept in check so that they do not amass more wealth at the expense of the voters and impoverish Kenyans,’’ said Kalonzo in Kisumu, vowing that the Azimio brigade will soldier on. “There are those who are trying to write us off politically but we aren’t yet. This is just the beginning of a new dawn and political movement.’’

Siaya Senator Oburu Oginga,  thanked Kalonzo for standing firm with his younger brother, Raila since 2013 and for turning deaf ear to calls to join the Ruto administration.

“I must commend Kalonzo for his tireless support for Raila Odinga since 2013. His support will not go unrewarded. I beseech you people, to stay put and watch the space,” he said.

 One of Kalonzo’s confidantes, Makueni Senator Dan Maanzo, yesterday said Kalonzo would be a strong voice in the opposition going forward adding he would continue to expose and speak against ills committed by the Kenya Kwanza government. “He will play an active role in opposition. We want him to organize us and help us rectify the mistakes we made in the last election,” Maanzo told People Daily.

Kalonzo has chosen to soldier on with performing the oversight role despite coming under pressure to support Ruto’s government.

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