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Wiper, ODM top brass squabble over ‘secret pact’ between Raila and Kalonzo

Political squabbling over a reported 2022 pact between ODM leader Raila Odinga and Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka’s escalated on Sunday, with the latter countering a statement earlier issued by ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna.

Mr Musyoka earlier claimed he had a secret pact with Mr Odinga on how to work together ahead of the 2022 General Election.

SECRET PACT

Mr Sifuna then issued a terse statement in response to this claim, saying ODM would never work with the Wiper party leader and giving several reasons for the “death” of the National Super Alliance (Nasa).

The alliance brought together Mr Odinga, Mr Musyoka, Moses Wetang’ula (Ford-Kenya), Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress) and Isaac Ruto (Chama Cha Mashinani).

In its statement, Wiper rubbished ODM’s claim that the secret pact between Mr Musyoka and Mr Odinga was non-existent.

Secretary General Judith Sijeny explained that the pact Mr Musyoka spoke of may have been with Mr Odinga, not the Orange Democratic Movement as a whole.

“The two senior politicians may have made a deal without the knowledge of any other members or officials of the party,” she said.

IN BAD TASTE

Ms Sijeny further noted that Mr Sifuna’s statement was in “extremely bad taste as it appears to have been tailored to cast aspersions on the character of Hon Kalonzo”.

“I have a reason to strongly believe that Sifuna did not seek the views of Hon Raila before putting pen to paper,” she said.

“The tone and language used is totally unbefitting of a person holding the title of a Secretary General of any political party, leave alone the ODM which is led by the well respected Mr Odinga.”

Ms Sijeny also noted that Mr Musyoka has been Mr Odinga’s running mate twice – in 2013 and in 2017 – and that they are both senior politicians who respect each other.

“It comes as a shock to me and the entire Wiper fraternity, therefore, to see the shameless, unwarranted attack against Hon Kalonzo from a man who is so politically junior to him and who, for all intents and purposes, should defer to Hon Kalonzo, owing to the latter’s immense political, leadership, and diplomatic experience,”she said.

RUDE SURPRISE

Regarding Mr Sifuna’s claim that Mr Musyoka by Ukambani governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), she told Mr Sifuna to study the region’s voting trends since 2007.

“(The trends) should inform him that any politician outside Úkambani region, banking on the support of any (or all) of the three governors to win the voting block in the absence of Hon Kalonzo, will be in for a very rude surprise,” he said.

She added, “Hon Raila tried it with Hon Ngilu in 2007 and saw the results. Hon (President) Uhuru Kenyatta tried it with Hon Mutua in 2017 and saw the results. On the contrary, when Hon Kalonzo decided to support Hon Raila in 2013 and 2017, Kambas gave Hon Raila more votes than even the Luo voters did.”

Ms Sijeny called on Mr Sifuna”and his ilk” to tame their “antagonistic grandstanding” which she said was doing ODM more harm than good.

She added that many many feel this conduct and the “uncouth and untempered language … could be too costly to ODM by consigning it into a tribal block it was in 1997”.