17 May 2018

Kenya: Wiper Party Begins Process to Rebrand Leader Kalonzo Musyoka

The Wiper Party has started a campaign to repackage its leader Kalonzo Musyoka, even as it reaches out to other parties in preparation for his 2022 State House bid.

Officials who spoke to the Nation said that the party had decided to "reach out broadly" to others.

There has been talk, which officials refused to confirm or deny, that the ongoing talks of a merger between the Moses Wetang'ula-led Ford-Kenya and Musalia Mudavadi's Amani National Congress (ANC) will end up in a coalition after Wiper reaches out to other parties as well.

"We have decided, as a party, and have mandated our leader to reach out to like-minded political parties and leaders to build national political alliances for the future. It is inevitable," Wiper deputy secretary-general Peter Mathuki said of the new thinking within the party.


After the March 9 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga, and the talks between Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang'ula, Mr Musyoka had appeared isolated in the political chess game, with signs that each of the principals in the National Super Alliance had been left out on their own.

"The party has been actively engaging others, and partners outside the glare of the media, and very soon, the outcome of these deliberate conversations will come to light," Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua said.

The party also hopes to use its stand on the push to amend the constitution as a launching pad in its activities this year.


While Mr Musyoka argues that Kenya should fashion its amendments proposals around the 2005 Bomas Draft that proposed a powerful president with an appointed prime minister as head of the Cabinet, he argued that the discussion should never be about sharing positions.

"The party proposes that the envisioned changes to the eight-year-old constitution should ensure inclusivity and strengthen devolution and be Wanjiku-focused," Mr Musyoka told the party's National Executive Committee meeting in Naivasha recently.

On Wednesday, Mr Wambua said the review should focus on removing the presidential system which, he noted, was "clearly not working".

On the handshake, Mr Wambua said it should not involve any theatrics on the 2022 elections.

"We support the handshake to the extent that it is meant to bring peace. But it can never be the centerpiece, as some people are trying to do," he said.


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