Kalonzo Shouldn’t Be Rocking The NASA Boat

April 11, 2017, 1:00 am

Billows of smoke have been coming out of the National Super Alliance lately. What has yet to be established is the magnitude of the fire. But judging from his deportment, the level of doublespeak and lack of an unequivocally defined stand, it is hard to fault those who christened Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka ‘watermelon’. I have listened to him speak on several occasions and his heart and mind appear not to be fully with NASA.

Recent public declarations by Francis Nyenze, Leader of the Minority in Parliament and a member of the Wiper Democratic Movement, to the effect that it is either Kalonzo or Kambas will not support NASA do not aid matters. This has been said twice now, so it cannot be taken lightly. 

Until recently when he labelled Jakoyo Midiwo an irritant, Kalonzo merely alluded to individuals inside NASA trying to elbow him out in the matter of presidential nominations. Regardless, I believe Kalonzo knows in his heart of hearts that he stands little chance of upstaging Raila at the NASA presidential nominations.

My take is that he lacks the resources, charisma, and that magnetic pull that morphs masses into fanatics. He may have networks locally and internationally, but they pale in comparison to Raila’s, and that could be why he has become such a faultfinder.

Presently, only Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga command fanatical followership, but thanks to the former, Hassan Joho now has one foot in the club. The moment someone successfully transforms Joho’s tribulations into a ‘Muslim’ affair, he will be fully in and the stage will be set for more friction.

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In August 1997, after two police stations were razed, there followed clashes between two communities in Likoni. At least 40 people were killed and many fled the area.

If the government fails to tread cautiously, a repeat is not improbable. Last week, I alluded to a plot to make the country ungovernable as an excuse to postpone the elections.

In part, Kalonzo’s discomfort also appears to stem from Joho’s growing political popularity. Forget the lame duck excuses about the ‘sacrifices’ that Kalonzo made. When Kalonzo squeezed between Kibaki and Raila in 2007 to become vice-president, it was for his own benefit.

In case he is so fixated on becoming the next president he has not noticed, the dynamics have changed. The gap between the Opposition and Jubilee is just a hairline fissure, not big enough for a person to squeeze through, and William Ruto is standing guard over that fissure. Further, wisdom has it that lightening does not strike the same place twice. Kalonzo’s best chance for a stab at the presidency is with NASA. Going it alone would be suicidal and I don’t believe he is so unambitious that he is willing to wait in line until 2032 to enter Jubilee's inner sanctum, currently appropriated by Uhuru and Ruto.

Whatever clandestine memorandum Kalonzo had with Raila became a nullity when the National Super Alliance was formed. It cannot form part of the discussion now and Kalonzo, of all people, should know that, being a lawyer. I will give it to him, though; he is an astute politician. He is competent enough to weigh his chances irrespective of whether he comes to terms with the reality or not.

Nevertheless, I have a problem with those who contend that Kalonzo commands two million votes in Ukambani. That is so improbable it is ridiculous. Of the four principals, Kalonzo comes third in terms of commanding ethnic numbers. The prominent Kamba leaders who have been needling Stevo and causing him to sulk are not in NASA.

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Many of them either lead political parties openly sympathetic to Jubilee or have publicly declared their defections to Jubilee. Kalonzo has been forced to ‘bury the hatchet’ with Madam Charity Ngilu so many times that it is impossible to miss the elaborate prank being played on him.

Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua has taken with him a sizeable chunk of the Kamba vote to Jubilee, forget the pretexts. Kalembe Ndile, despite his comical antics, cannot be ignored. He has a loyal following that will go with him anywhere.

Jubilee has so many front men in Ukambani the only steadfast voice for the Opposition is Senator Johnstone Muthama. Kalonzo should, therefore, be aware that most Kamba leaders want to use him as their ladder to the top, but once there, poor Stevo becomes expendable.

In that inflatable dinghy of theirs, the Opposition principals must not start a knife fight that could draw blood. Back-stabbing is real in politics and public denials only serve as a smoke screen while the plot progresses.

It will help the quartet to remember that the sharks are resolutely circling their boat, in full view and with jaws snapping. A single drop of blood in the water will have the sharks so frenzied that they will tip over NASA’s inflatable and have themselves a sumptuous meal.

The Opposition has a very realistic chance, not a guarantee, of beating Jubilee. Anyone who jumps ship now, even if the Opposition is destined to fail, will take the heat. No sane person wants to be in that unenviable position.


Source : standard

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