10 December 2012

Kenya: Kalonzo Gets Party Nod to Contest Presidency

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka was on Monday afternoon endorsed by the Wiper Democratic Movement's National Delegates Conference to be the party's presidential candidate in next year's General Election.

Nominated MP Shakila Abdalla proposed the endorsement after a round of backing by selected county representatives and was then seconded by John Cheruiyot from Nandi County.

In his acceptance speech, Musyoka said that he aims to be the candidate who will spearhead the transformation of Kenya by leading the economy to grow to double digits, create employment opportunities and reduce poverty levels.

"I am running for president to lead a movement of Kenyans to confront these challenges head-on, with the sharpest focus and greatest energy. I don't need a focus group, opinion poll or research to know the major issues that affect wananchi," Musyoka said while reflecting on his upbringing steeped in poverty in rural Mwingi North.

The VP says that the transformation will be realised when the people of Kenya renew their hearts and minds. He says that Kenyans must change the way they relate to each other. Musyoka assured that his administration will ensure that the differences among communities are turned into fodder for greater unity and national.

The VP added: "This process must begin with the leadership. We need a leadership that gives to Kenya; not one that takes from Kenyans. This spirit ought to be embraced by our public servants, the private sector and all our citizens."

"Our 42 communities should be viewed as national variants and options. They are not enclaves for hate-mongering. They are not reasons for disintegration. Out of many people, we must forge one nation, one Kenya," he added while accepting endorsement from over 3,000 delegates gathered.

Other areas that the VP listed to be a top priority are food security, environmental conservation, transforming the healthcare sector, national security and initiating a 24-hour economy.

The NDC held at the Moi International Sports Centre gymnasium was also attended by Prime Minister Raila Odinga who was similarly endorsed as the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) flag bearer last Friday.

Odinga insisted that the recently formed Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) stood for the same national rebirth ideals like the National Rainbow Coalition (NARC) did in 2002.

The PM said that just like in 2002, CORD faces the same forces that tried to stop the realisation of the NARC dream that year.

"We remain the force for good that we were in 2010 when we said 'Yes' to the then proposed constitution, that is liberating Kenya today", he said.

He added that CORD will ensure unity, dignity and equality and an indivisible Kenya where every community, every region and every citizen gets a fair share of the national cake.

"Never should one part of Kenya wallow in plenty while another struggles in want. We must never again have two, three or four nations in one," said the PM.

Ford-Kenya leader Moses Wetangula whose party is also part of CORD, maintained that the coalition was a movement that will unite the country.

Wetangula reassured the country that CORD was not a political experiment but a real movement that will make the interests of the country a priority.

The Wiper party delegates also endorsed CORD which was formed last Tuesday between ODM, Wiper and Ford Kenya. The Wiper party at the same time extended the deadline for aspirants to make applications for nominations from December 10 to December 17.

The convention also unanimously filled vacant party positions confirming Assistant Minister for Defence David Musila as the Chairman, Esther Keino as Deputy Secretary General and Assistant Minster for Agriculture, Gideon Ndambuki as National Organising Secretary.

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