5 times Kalonzo Musyoka changed his mind

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 16 May, 2022 09:34 | 3 mins read
UDA leaders are 'standing' with the Wiper Leader
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka. PHOTO/Courtesy

Wiper Democratic Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has on several occasions been branded as having no firm stand in matters politics, something that has earned him the nickname 'watermelon'.

Kalonzo was given the nickname during the 2010 referendum for a new constitution, after he seemed to be on both sides of the political divide, supporting the constitutional drive while at the same time opposing it.

The "Yes" team had been given the green colour code while the "No" team had the red colour code. Kalonzo was likened to a watermelon, which is green outside and red inside.

Below are some moments when the Wiper Party leader turned around to do something he had vowed not to do:

2007 elections

After the failed 2005 Constitutional change, former President the late Mwai Kibaki sacked Kalonzo from the cabinet alongside Raila Odinga, for going against the government stand and opposing the drive. Despite being ousted from the government, Kalonzo, according to opinion polls, was the most prefered successor for President Kibaki.

In the subsequent election of 2007, Kalonzo refused to support either Raila or Kibaki for President, opting to go all alone promising to "pass in-between" the two.

However, when the results were announced, Kalonzo was a distant third, behind Kibaki. In the disputed elections, Kibaki was losing to Raila.

In the standoff that followed, Kalonzo was silent, only for his name to be announced as Kibaki's Vice President. This is recorded as one of the biggest U-turn moments for the politician.

Supporting Raila Odinga for the third time

In June 2021, Kalonzo was quoted saying that he would be the most stupid person on earth to support Raila Odinga for the third time without reciprocity. Prior to that, he had supported Raila in 2013 and 2017 elections as a running mate, although they never won the two elections, which they disputed in court.

In his own words, Kalonzo said, “For me, as of now, it is unthinkable that I, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, would support Raila Odinga for the third time…. I would be the most stupid fellow on earth to go and support — for the third time — a presidential candidate without a measure of reciprocity.”

UDA leaders don't want Kalonzo to be subjected to a running mate interview
Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka with ODM Leader Raila Odinga. PHOTO/File

However, in March 2022, Kalonzo changed tune, saying that he was ready to support Raila for the third time, sometimes in political rallies saying his support was unconditional.

“I pray that he becomes the next president, and I will traverse different parts of this country to campaign for him. I said for the third time, now if people asked me if I would support Raila Odinga 20 times I would, I will if that’s what it would mean to keep this nation together,” Kalonzo said.

Attending running mate interviews

The Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya Alliance chose to have candidates aspiring to be Raila's running mate vetted by a select panel. However, Kalonzo, who was thought to be a front runner vowed that he would not attend the interviews, which he termed as demeaning to a man of his stature.

Later, on the deadline day of the interviews, Kalonzo was the first to enter the interview room to face the panel.

Addressing the media later, he said, "I want to tell you that it was my decision to come because I realized we didn't want to give anybody an excuse whatsoever to say I refused to show up."

2002 elections

Moments before the 2002 elections, most Daniel Moi stalwarts had left the government to form the National Rainbow Coalition, seeking to form the new government. However, Kalonzo stayed in government for longer, hoping to be picked as Moi's successor, which did not happen.

Instead, Moi picked Uhuru Kenyatta to run for Presidency, disappointing Kalonzo.

Kalonzo, who by his actions and words had pledged loyalty to Moi shifted to the opposition, joining the likes of Raila Odinga, Martha Karua and Mwai Kibaki in the coalition that formed the government in 2002.

Supporting Uhuru in 2013

In 2013, Kalonzo revealed that he had accepted to be President Uhuru Kenyatta’s running mate in a tripartite pre-election deal, but walked out of the plan after Deputy President William Ruto changed his mind on the plan.

In the less-talked-about events, Kalonzo refused to take an offer that would see him become the Leader of the Majority party in Parliament.

In an interview in 2013, Kalonzo said that the change of mind killed the G7 Alliance, which saw him join his political rival, Mr Raila Odinga.

“I had accepted to be his (Mr Kenyatta’s) running mate because we had agreed with my supporters and elders from my side that a deal that would have offered us at least a status quo at the time was the best compromise. Ruto had agreed to be Majority Leader but he later changed his mind. That is what killed the G7 Alliance,” Kalonzo said in the interview.

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