Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka agree to attend Wetangula’s Presidential bid Launch
CORD principals Tuesday met and agreed to attend the launch of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula’s presidential bid.
The three principals – Raila Odinga (ODM), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Mr Wetang’ula –handpicked three of their lieutenants James Orengo (Siaya senator), Johnstone Muthama (Machakos Senator) and Eseli Simiyu (Kiminini) to co-ordinate the logistics of the launch.
“Kakamega governor Wycliffe Oparanya will be the host. All CORD elected leaders including MCAs, MPs, senators and governors are invited to the event,” said a brief sent to newsrooms Tuesday in the evening by Mr Raila’s spokesman Dennis Onyango.
The launch is scheduled for Saturday at Masinde Muliro Grounds. All the seven politicians – the principals, their lieutenants and the governor–attended the meeting in Nairobi to smooth the way for the rally that has threatened to ignite intra-coalition rivalry ahead of what promises to be a nomination headache for the coalition to pick a single flag bearer for the 2017 General Election.
Mr Oparanya, who is ODM’s deputy party leader and who supports Raila’s presidential bid, had urged Wetang’ula to cancel the launch, as it would divide CORD in Western region. The governor had led ODM party officials in opposing the launch of Wetang’ula’s bid in Kakamega.
Oparanya had asked Wetang’ula to find another place for the political event and not the “ODM stronghold of Kakamega”.
But Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale, who wants Oparanya’s job in the next elections, pushed to have the rally. In the end, Raila intervened and Tuesday’s meeting was meant to smooth the way to eliminate the potential of clashes between Khalwale’s supporters and those of Oparanya.
“We have booked and paid for the venue, notified the local police and arrangements are in high gear. Other CORD co-principals Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka have also confirmed attendance,” Dr Khalwale had said as the matter raged.
Then Khalwale said Wetang’ula, as the leader of the Luhya community, was at liberty to choose any of the areas within the region from where to launch his bid. The senator said CORD had not determined who its flag bearer would be, insisting that any of the three co-principals had equal chances of flying the flag.
“The decision by Wetang’ula to launch his bid debunks the myth that there are flower girls in CORD. On the contrary, all the co-principals enjoy equal chances of being the presidential candidate,” Khalwale said.