Reports of a meeting between Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka continue to draw mixed reactions from Kenyans after it now emerges the Wiper boss decided to bury the hatchet with his ODM counterpart, whom he had vowed never to make any political pact with again or support in 2022.
On Thursday night, the two leaders held a three-hour meeting after which Mr. Musyoka decided to postpone his Wiper Party Parliamentary Group meeting which was supposed to ratify and adopt a decision to leave the NASA Coalition.
Details of the meeting, which also discussed NASA finances continue to leak in bits to the media.
A number of things informed Mr. Musyoka’s decision to close ranks with Mr. Odinga, the first one being, the Wiper leader is outnumbered in his own backyard, where Governors Alfred Mutua of Machakos, Charity Ngilu of Kitui, and Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni are working closely with President Uhuru and have direct access to him, without having Mr. Musyoka act as a gateway.
Other than working closely with the government of the day, the three governors have also indicated they will back Mr. Odinga in 2022, and actively also campaigned in Kibra for the ODM candidate in 2019 despite the Wiper party’s protests.
The second factor which informed Kalonzo Musyoka’s decision was the political consequences of pulling out of NASA, given his Wiper Party holds positions in both the Senate and the National Assembly courtesy of its membership to the opposition coalition. Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo currently holds the Senate Minority Whip position, while MP for Kathiani Robert Mbui is the Deputy Minority leader in the National Assembly. Pulling out of NASA would mean vacating the two seats, plus other positions held by Wiper legislators, and giving them to ODM. This was too expensive for the former VP.
The third was the issue of his (Kalonzo) political future. Whereas Raila Odinga’s ODM has MPs, Senators, and membership across the republic, Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress has only two senators (Kakamega and Vihiga), and its membership is confined to two counties in Western Kenya. On a political weighing scale, Musalia Mudavadi still pulls very little weight compared to Mr. Odinga – a political animal with an unmatched following compared to the ANC leader.