Is Kalonzo planning to pick Wanjigi as running mate?
By Justus Karanja
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka (pictured) and businessman Jimi Richards Wanjigi are planning a new coalition ahead of the August 9 polls.
The two after storming out of Amani National Congress Leader Musalia Mudavadi's coronation at the Bomas of Kenya on Sunday held a consultative meeting on Wednesday in what they said would result in a major announcement.
Though they declined to address journalists, Wanjigi stated a major pact was in the offing.
Kalonzo will from today ring-fence his support base with a three-day campaign tour of the three Ukambani counties.
He will be accompanied by Wanjigi, who is also eyeing the country’s top seat, in an address at the Kitui Stadium.
Kalonzo and fellow One Kenya Alliance (OKA) co-principal Gideon Moi as well as Wanjigi walked out of Mudavadi's function at Bomas after Deputy President William Ruto allied MPs made a grand entry to the auditorium.
They later severed ties with the Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader saying they could not condone his political games and that they were moving to “higher grounds.”
The planned alliance between Wanjigi and Kalonzo will upset the scales in ODM leader Raila Odinga’s quest for presidencyu.
Both men backed Raila for presidency in 2017 elections,with Kalonzo being his running mate.
The Wiper leader was also Raila’s running mate in 2013 General Election which they lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Having fallen out with Raila, both Wanjigi and Kalonzo are reportedly planning to team up in a scheme meant to lock out the ODM leader from Mount Kenya and Ukambani regions, which combined have over 9 million votes.
Their calculation is that even with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s backing Raila will find it hard to bag even 2 million votes in the two regions.
Kalonzo, insiders revealed, has tasked his trusted ally, former Kathiani MP and currently Transport Chief Administrative Secretary, Wavinya Ndeti to negotiate with the businessman for a suitable political arrangement that will see them team up in the coming polls.
Ndeti is an aunt of Wanjigi's Kamba Wife, Nzisa, the rock behind the businessman’s business and political ambitions.
Insiders at Orange House revealed that on learning of the secret developments, Raila has deployed his allies to politically annihilate Wanjigi before he does maximum damage to the party by derailing his ambition for the presidency in his final stab.
Though details of the Kalonzo-Wanjigi alliance are scanty, sources revealed that the businessman is ready to be the Wiper leader’s running mate to deny Raila the crucial Mount Kenya region votes which the ODM leader is banking on after falling out with Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula.
In the 2017 election, Kalonzo brought about 2 million Kamba votes to Raila while Mudavadi and Wetang’ula made it easy for him to win the Luhya support.
Wanjigi, who has roots in Murang’a County and his father, late Maina Wanjigi, was a former cabinet minister in Daniel arap Moi’s regime and long-serving MP for Kamukunji Constituency, is riding on the fact that there is no strong kingpin in Mount Kenya and thus he can upset Raila in the region.
Insiders revealed that Raila is not taking lightly Wanjigi’s moves as they come at a time he has increased his vote hunt in Mount Kenya, hoping the region that has shunned him in the three times he has contested the presidency will this time round back him since it does not have a serious presidential aspirant and more so he has made peace with the regional kingpin, President Uhuru Kenyatta.
But Wanjigi, sources added, having been sidelined by the ODM leader has vowed to teach him a lesson by entering the presidential race to deny him the crucial votes or deputising Kalonzo to achieve the same mission.
Already, Wanjigi has caused apprehension in the ODM following a series of meetings he has been holding with aspirants eyeing to unseat Raila’s allies across ODM strongholds.
The Orange party is now accusing him of targeting to dislodge Raila’s longtime die-hard backers with a view to weakening the ODM leader which might see him lose the presidential race to Deputy President William Ruto.