Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Boss Shollei. [File, Standard]
Uasin Gishu Woman Representative Gladys Boss Shollei says Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s chances of winning the August 9 presidential election are close to zero.
Shollei says, unlike 2017 when Kalonzo bagged over one million votes, mostly from Ukambani region, it would be difficult for him to repeat the same in August this year.
At the time, Kalonzo was Raila Odinga’s running-mate in the presidential contest.
Shollei says Kalonzo’s voters “know that he stands no chance of winning the presidential election”, and would, therefore, channel their votes to other candidates who “stand a real chance” of victory.
Shollei estimated that should Kalonzo decide to run for presidency in the upcoming polls, he would get around 600,000 votes.
“If Kalonzo decides to run alone, it would mean that the winner [of the presidential election] would win by a smaller margin,” Shollei said on Citizen Television on Tuesday morning, March 1.
“It would be a waste of his votes if he runs because he won’t win the presidential election. However, he would have taken away some votes [from the other competitors]. Remember he managed to deliver one million votes [for Raila Odinga] in 2017.
“If he goes it alone, chances are high his tally would reduce by a significant number. He might end up getting 600,000 votes. There are his supporters who might say: ‘we don’t want to waste our votes’. So, they’d move their votes elsewhere,” said the lawmaker.
Shollei says Kalonzo’s real chance of maintaining political relevance in the upcoming presidential election would arise when he joins forces with either Raila Odinga or Deputy President William Ruto.
“Kalonzo brings one million votes [to the matrix]. Historically, the people who have voted for him are one million. That’s the number of votes he brings to the table. People win elections by even a smaller margin than that. Kalonzo is an [important] factor in the presidential matrix,” she said.
“For Raila Odinga, it’s even more serious [for his presidential bid should Kalonzo fail to support him]. Makueni County voted 93 per cent for him (Raila) in the 2017 presidential race, compared to his Nyanza backyard that voted 89 per cent for him. Kalonzo does bring a significant number of bloc votes to Raila Odinga or to anyone that he would support in the presidential contest,” said Shollei.
According to IEBC’s latest voter registration estimates, the Eastern region, including Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi counties, has a total of 3.3 million votes.
The lower Eastern counties (Makueni, Machakos and Kitui), where Kalonzo enjoys significant influence, collectively have about 1.7 million votes, while the upper Eastern counties (Meru, Embu and Tharaka Nithi) have about 1.35 million votes.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior, who was also a guest on Daybreak Show, said it would be difficult for Kalonzo Musyoka to work with Raila Odinga if their terms of engagement are not negotiated afresh.
“Raila Odinga agreed to support Kalonzo Musyoka [for president] in 2022. We are not going to let go of that [agreement] just like that. Our position is clear; we will join Azimio la Umoja when Raila Odinga agrees to support Kalonzo [in the August 9 presidential election]. That’s not negotiable,” said Kilonzo Junior.
“If they don’t agree, let everybody do their thing [their way].”
The senator accuses Odinga of sweeping their unmet agreement concerns under the carpet, and that the ODM boss wants Kalonzo to support him without giving closure on why he (Odinga) reneged on a deal that would have seen the former prime minister support Kalonzo’s presidential bid in August 9, 2022.
“We have insisted that you can’t do away with things that are pending between ODM and Wiper. Since the things haven’t been resolved, we want them resolved [once and for all]. If they won’t be resolved, we see no reason why we should support Raila Amolo Odinga for a third time.
“We believed in the dream of NASA, and supported NASA with one heart. How the agreement – that Raila Odinga would support Kalonzo Musyoka in 2022 – changed, I don’t know,” he said.
Kilonzo further accuses Raila Odinga of attempting to win the Kamba region’s votes through the backdoor by pulling governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) and Alfred Mutua (Machakos) to his side.
“Raila has attempted to use the shortcut by onboarding governors Charity Ngilu, Kivutha Kibwana and Alfred Mutua. We have supported Raila Amolo Odinga unreservedly [in the past], but not anymore,” he said.
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna, who spoke on the same show, said Wiper MPs are pretending that Raila Odinga’s side is “desperate” for the Wiper boss’s support, “which isn’t necessarily true”.
“You guys have succeeded in creating the impression that we (ODM) are desperately running after you (Wiper Party). It is not a true reflection of the facts. This political association is based on your right of free choice and freedom of association.
“Nobody can force you to join an association that you do not want [to be part of]. If you have bought into the vision of the President and Raila Odinga, you join us without conditions and [allow us] to have a conversation,” Sifuna said, responding to Mutula Kilonzo Junior.
“The running-mate for Raila Odinga… we agreed that he or she has to come from Mt. Kenya. It just makes sense [for Raila Odinga to pick a running-mate from Mt. Kenya]. The math is there [to be seen]. However, I wouldn’t want to speak on behalf of Raila Odinga on who his running-mate should be,” added the secretary-general.
Sifuna, however, said ODM is still open to talks with Kalonzo Musyoka.
“In an election where the winner has to get 50 per cent votes-plus one, every person who buys into your vision is welcome to join you. We are all learning lessons from our past associations,” he said.
Kalonzo Musyoka on Tuesday, March 1, said he was ready to work with Raila Odinga ahead of the August 9 General Election on the condition that their 2017-2022 MOU is negotiated afresh.
Addressing journalists at his office in Karen, Nairobi, the Wiper chief said his 2017-2022 Memorandum of Understanding with Odinga was still binding, and that the ODM boss had breached the agreement.
During their time together within the now-defunct National Super Alliance (NASA), Musyoka was to deputise Odinga between 2017 and 2022, and that the former prime minister would support Musyoka’s presidential bid in the August 9, 2022 polls regardless of the outcome of the 2017 presidential election.
Citing that agreement, Musyoka urged Odinga, who has since expressed interest in succeeding President Uhuru Kenyatta, to reconsider his bid, and instead, support him (Musyoka) in the upcoming polls.
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