Kalonzo Musyoka was unveiled at the KICC Azimio La Umoja Convention with pomp and a lot of joy within the Azimio family of political parties. Kalonzo himself gave a heartfelt powerful speech talking about putting the country first and moving Kenyan into the next face of its development as a united and peaceful country.
Many Kenyans were thrilled to see these developments in Azimio Coalition. The expectation among many Kenyans was that come Monday, March 14, 2022, with the Azimio presidential candidate out of the country in the UK for a week we would be seeing Kalonzo and other Azimio leaders mobilizing Kenyans building on the momentum to put this race right in Azimio hands.
Instead many of us are disappointed that come that on Monday Kalonzo had a whole media squad in his house complaining about the nomination, saying he didn’t read the agreement he signed and wants to read it again with lawyers, talking about the running mate issues and a whole bunch of stuff which is internal Azimio business.
Kalonzo doesn’t seem to know even the name of the coalition he joined. To him, the name of the coalition is the grand Azimio-One Kenya Coalition. To others, the coalition is called Azimio La Umoja Coalition Party. If these guys can’t even figure out the name of their coalition what other problems do they have?
In any event, does the new Political Parties Act 2021 allow coalitions to merge and form a political party of coalitions to run for the elections. It seems the act only allows different parties to join hands and form a coalition.
Azimio would be better off putting in place basic structures of the coalition that can build organic links with Kenyans from all walks of life under the leadership of their presidential candidate plus all the principals and others who have been very active since November 2021.
Spending time and energy on the name of the coalition would puzzle the millions of Azimio supporters. Who the heck cares what the name of the coalition is. Kenyans don’t. Kenyans have more urgent priorities they want the next government to deal with and that is what they want to talk about and vote on.
Kalonzo is effectively killing the robust post nomination momentum for Azimio and sucking the energy out of other principals who want to go to work as they have been doing for months when Kalonzo was calling press conferences every day. That is what UDA was praying for. Does Azimio want to answer their prayers? Not the Azimio voters for sure.
In two weeks to the nomination, Azimio leaders traveled through nine counties holding rallies every day and getting the support of millions of Kenyans. Those leaders brought that energy to KICC and to Jacaranda Gardens in Nairobi on Saturday, March 12, 2022, and it was the kind of energy Kenyans haven’t seen since the Narc run in 2002.
Why waste that energy with petty internal squabbles through the media. And in God’s name why does Kalonzo want to negotiate with other Azimio principals in the media. Doesn’t he have their phone numbers?
Go talk to Uhuru directly. Give Raila a call and spare Kenyans the media snippets that just generate a lot of confusion. The media love that kind of stuff. If every leader in the Azimio Coalition will be calling press conferences every day they won’t have time to do the real work in front of them which to convince Kenyans that they have a plan for Kenyans in the next government.
If there is one thing Kenyans have come to like about Azimio it is that they have been busy on the ground with no public infighting and tussles. The coalition needs to stay that way and focus on the prize not just by words but by the action of working on the ground to get the vote Azimio Coalition needs to be our next government. They have to keep that focus.
To that end, Azimio principals need to have an urgent meeting with Kalonzo and get on one platform and get working. Names win not win the election for Azimio. It is the work they do between now and the election day. People do not vote for big names. They vote for real and big ideas and plans that can improve their lives.
Adongo Ogony is a Human Rights Activist and a Writer who lives in Toronto, Canada