CCM leader Isaac Rutto, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe at Jubilee headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi, on June 17, 2020.
CCM leader Isaac Rutto, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe at Jubilee headquarters in Pangani, Nairobi, on June 17, 2020. Image/Courtesy

By Reporter

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka on Wednesday announced plans to ditch the Raila Odinga-led Nasa coalition almost three years after the 2017 General Election.

Kalonzo said Wiper’s continued stay in the Opposition is no longer tenable and that his party will soon be having a delegates’ meeting to endorse the divorce and approve a new marriage with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee party.

“The Nasa Summit has never sat since the election. If a summit cannot meet, let’s be realistic with ourselves, even the Nasa Management Team has not met since,” he said.

He spoke after Wiper signed a cooperation agreement with Jubilee, adding that it is at an advanced stage of joining the Jubilee coalition.

Former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto’s Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) also signed a cooperation pact with the ruling party.

Jubilee vice chairman David Murathe, chairman Nelson Dzuya and secretary general Raphael Tuju presided over the ceremony. Also present were other Wiper and CCM officials. 

Earlier, President Kenyatta held a virtual meeting with Kalonzo and Rutto at the Jubilee headquarters.

Wiper will be the second party to enter into a coalition agreement with Jubilee after Baringo Senator Gideon Moi’s Kanu did so last month. Kalonzo said the coalition decision has been approved by the party organs and will be tabled before its delegates for concurrence.

The former vice president said his party is determined to quit Nasa immediately the Covid-19-related restrictions on movement are lifted. The current partial lockdown is the only obstacle to their coalition-building with Jubilee, he said.

“Our intention is to conclude a coalition agreement with Jubilee. If it was not for this Covid-19 pandemic challenge, we would have our delegates okay the decision,” he said.

And as a show of gentlemanly conduct, he will soon engage Raila, ANC boss Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula over the exit plans. Raila, Kalonzo, Mudavadi, Rutto and Wetang’ula together form the Nasa Summit, the highest decision-making organ of the coalition.

“All these are matters we are going to discuss in a friendly manner but we are determined on the direction we are taking,” Kalonzo said.

He accused ODM of bullying other Nasa partners, citing the recent changes in Parliament, saying the summit was not consulted.

“If you are too much of a gentleman, people underestimate you and even call you names,” Kalonzo said.

The move will also come with a sacrifice on the side of Wiper as they will have to relinquish Minority positions it is currently holding in both the National Assembly and the Senate.

In the National Assembly, Kathiani MP Rober Mbui holds the deputy Minority leader position while his Borabu counterpart Ben Momanyi is a member of the Parliamentary Service Commission courtesy of Nasa.

Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo is the Minority whip — a position he will have to let go if the coalition deal materialises.

The Wiper boss also dismissed speculations that he is headed to the Cabinet in the anticipated reshuffle that would see a number of bigwigs join Uhuru’s legacy team.

“Would you expect that I relinquish my position as party leader two years to the general election?” he posed.