Kalonzo Assured of support in 2022 race - Raila
National Super Alliance flag-bearer Raila Odinga is hopeful he will win the August election and that his deputy Kalonzo Musyoka will be the coalition's 2022 candidate.
With the declaration, and with the implication that the outcome of his fourth attempt aside, after this his deal with Mr Kalonzo will take effect, it means the next time Raila could run is 2027 when he will be celebrating his 82nd birthday.
However, he didn’t refer to the 2027 race in the promise to Kalonzo, leaving it open that he is on his last attempt after those of 1997, 2007 and 2013. This could also be because other younger leaders in NASA, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula, are also waiting for their turn.
“Kalonzo will be on the ballot in 2022. We are sure we will form the government and Kalonzo will be the Deputy President. He stands a chance in NASA and we will support him,” said Mr Raila.
The NASA presidential candidate revisited their pre-election pact in a thinly veiled attack on President Uhuru Kenya and his deputy William Ruto following their recent overtures to Kalonzo, the Wiper leader.
Raila said Kalonzo was in NASA to stay.
The statement is a strong indication that this could be Raila’s last bid for the presidency, irrespective of the outcome, as in 2022, he will be 77 and Kalonzo 68. And his pledge to back the former vice president in 2022 would mean he would not run and it would be highly unlikely to make a comeback in the following election.
President Kenyatta, while on a tour of the Ukambani region on Saturday, called on Kalonzo to ditch Raila and support their re-election.
“I urge my brother Kalonzo Musyoka not to be misled by Raila Odinga. Come and work with us. When I leave office, you can work with William Ruto and move this country,” Uhuru said.
In its pre-election pact that brings together Orange Party, Wiper, Ford Kenya, Amani National Congress (ANC) and Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM), the Nasa principals ratified that Raila would only serve for five years in a transition ‘dubbed ‘third and final liberation.
While meeting a delegation from Kiambu County ahead of NASA campaigns in Uhuru’s backyard, Raila said Jubilee cannot be part of the solution yet it was part of the problems bedevilling Kenya.
Raila charged that Central Kenya residents are Kenyans like other communities and have every right to be served equally.
“There are no special shops for Kenyans living in Central Kenya different from the ones in Nyanza or any part of the country. When the economy has collapsed, everyone feels the pinch. Jubilee cannot purport to be part of the solution when they are the problem,” said Raila.
At the meeting, Raila received 13 defectors, mostly sitting MCAs and new aspirants, from Kiambu County.
Raila is expected to lead his brigade in the hunt for votes in the region, which is Uhuru’s backyard. The ODM leader and Uhuru are facing off in an election that has attracted six other candidates. “It is time for change. NASA will campaign in Kiambu, Murang'a and Nyeri since we represent the face of Kenya,” Raila said.
The Opposition chief further said NASA was a movement for all Kenyans and the people of Central cannot be left alone in the quest for transformation.
“Our message to Kiambu residents will be, 'NASA is the solution,” Raila said.
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