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Joho’s ‘Raila tosha’ comment causes storm in Cord

ODM partners in Cord on Monday reacted with fury to comments by the party that they stop wasting time and endorse its leader Raila Odinga as the coalition’s presidential candidate next year.

On Sunday, the Orange party for the umpteenth time insisted that Mr Odinga was the best-suited candidate to beat President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 General Election.

“Politics is about numbers and nobody has the numbers more than Raila,” ODM deputy party leader Hassan Joho said in Homa Bay. “If we want to beat Uhuru, then we must give Raila a chance.”

But on Monday, a furious Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior of Wiper warned that such comments, which appeared to force the other partners into a Mr Odinga candidature, will be the death knell of the coalition.

“These miscalculated statements are causing the coalition to appear like a limping duck. With this, the coalition will soon face its sunset years,” the senator told the Nation.

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He argued that Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and his Ford-Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula had not reacted to the comments because they respected the coalition.

“It is not out of lack of words or platforms that Wiper and Ford-Kenya are not making statements of a similar nature,” the Makueni Senator said. “It is because of political maturity that we have allowed wisdom to prevail over our tongues.”

The senator proposed that the 15-member bi-partisan Cord management committee be left to do its job of trying to find a suitable candidate.

Mr Wetang’ula had said on Saturday that the three principals were on talking terms and would only turn to the committee if they failed to agree.

The three parties have been at constant loggerheads with each other on who should fly its flag with Mr Wetang’ula and Mr Musyoka asking Mr Odinga to step down for them.

And while Mr Wetang’ula says he was the untried and untested option as he had not lost a presidential election, Mr Musyoka argues that he had sacrificed a lot for the outfit.