Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s aides say they are not upset that he disregarded their advice and attended interviews for the Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya coalition presidential running mate.
Kalonzo who had earlier vowed not to appear before the 7-member selection panel on grounds that the exercise was “demeaning” surprised Kenyans on Tuesday, May 10, when he pulled up at Serena Hotel on the final day of the vetting.
The Wiper leader stated that he instead opted to attend the interviews so that the committee would not use it as a reason to accuse him of boycotting the session which sought to find the suitable candidate to deputize Raila Odinga.
It has now emerged that Makueni MP Dan Maanzo, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo were among the ‘advisors’ counselling Kalonzo against presenting himself before the committee.
Maanzo, while speaking on Citizen TV’s Day Break show on Thursday, said that they are fine with Kalonzo’s U-turn because the final decision had to be his.
“It was our advise that he does not show up for the interviews from myself, Mutula Kilonzo Jr. and a few of his party members, but after we advised him he had to make a decision of his own… Advise is advise, it is what you feel and he might take it or not,” Maanzo told the show host Trevor Ombija.
He argued that, if anything, Kalonzo’s move was an act of humility.
“The decision he arrived on is because he is a very experienced politician and he is very humble. His showing up to that team is a sign of humility that he can even subject himself to people who are lesser than him politically,” he said.
Added the legislator: “When you are humble you are lifted but when you chest-thump, then you are brought down. We are politically younger than him and once in a while our opinion may be wrong or inaccurate and we accept it.”
Kalonzo had said that the interviews were beneath a person of his political stature and that he should be the automatic pick for the position.
Maanzo echoed Kalonzo’s sentiments, saying: “The whole matter of a running-mate should be settled because it is political and it needs a political solution. In my opinion, he should not be taken through all these circles when it is a matter which should be of public notoriety and obvious.”
The selection panel is on Thursday, May 12, set to unveil the list of top three shortlisted candidates that would be submitted to Odinga for a final decision.
The panel had shortlisted 11 candidates who appeared for vetting. They include; Kalonzo, Sabina Chege (Jubilee Party), Martha Karua (NARC Kenya), Charity Ngilu (NARC), Peter Kenneth (Jubilee Party) Ali Hassan Joho (ODM) and Stephen Tarus (National Liberal Party).Others are Agriculture Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya, deputy ODM leader Wycliffe Oparanya and Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui