Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka (pictured) has opened up on why he had to take the bitter pill and accept a “skewed” handshake between former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.In a wide-ranging interview on the events of 2018 but also looking into 2019, a very humble Kalonzo (pictured) told the Sunday Standard that the handshake lacked requisite structure, was a secret and was not inclusive.But in light of its reality and with him counting on support of Raila in 2022 race, he had to move on with it.
The setting for the interview was his Karen home garden forest, itself a theatre of high voltage political deals, most of which have ended up broken. He sighed off betrayals of the year, chuckled at the moments he was caught off guard and sneered at cheap schemes against him.Walking us up his small forest at the edge of Rongai River, he had a story for every tree in the same manner he had a story to tell of every key Kenyan political mover.“I have been in this game for quite some time.“When President Kibaki thought he had booted me from the government by handing me the environment docket, I took a lot of time to create this little forest where I draw a lot of inspiration and through which I connect with nature,” he said, pointing at 100-year-old plus albizia tree that over-topped all.Tapping overgrown palm trees spreading into paths, he says his wife Pauline planted them. Kalonzo said 2018 was laden with so much upsets for him that the best thing is to forget them and forge ahead.
“You will remember I was the most ardent champion of dialogue. I could tell the situation was not tenable whichever way you looked at it. The problem was that Raila went it alone and that indeed created a problem but it having become a political reality, we had to move on,” he said.Reflecting on the January 31 swearing-in of Raila, he leaned back and said there was so much confusion on that day “that the best thing is to leave the whole thing” and walk into the future.He admitted that he came “a little bit late” in to the handshake deal but said his was more structured, consultative and genuine.“There was nothing secret in my engagement with the President. You cannot even call it a deal at all in the first place, nothing was signed. I met him initially for a conversation and later, and in broad daylight, I took my MPs to State House,” he said.He had very little to say about emerging fires in Wiper owing to his decision to work closely with Uhuru as amplified in his “errand boy” remark at the funeral of his late father late in the year.
He expressed zero remorse on that statement, only pleading for a “small leeway” for a man burying his beloved father.“We will remain engaged as Wiper. I have no problem with my party chairman and I encourage growth of internal party democracy,” Kalonzo said.