August 19, 2022

The son of Tseikuru, Wiper leader, Kalonzo Musyoka, is one Kenyan politician, whose baptism-by-fire tale makes for entertaining reading.

Back in 2004, while serving as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, under Mwai Kibaki’s presidency, the Wiper Democratic Party leader had lofty ambitions.

ODM Party leader, Raila Odinga, in his autobiography, the Flame of Freedom, revealed that Musyoka was positioning himself to make a major push for the presidency in 2007.

Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga (l) Mwai Kibaki (c) and Kalonzo Musyoka

He had been making his diplomatic rounds as a minister, gradually expanding his network in readiness for his bid. 

However, the stoic Kibaki soon caught wind of Kalonzo’s grand scheme and immediately made a move, that effectively swept the rug right from underneath Musyoka’s feet.

“When June 30, 2019, came, Kibaki announced a Cabinet reshuffle, in which he carefully moved LDP ministers to less high-profile positions, particularly Musyoka, who was modelling himself as a presidential candidate for 2007,” an excerpt of Raila’s autobiography disclosed.

During the surprise reshuffle, the former Mwingi North MP was haphazardly moved from his prestigious Foreign Affairs ministry to the less flashy Ministry of Environment.

In late August 2004, he was additionally removed from his position as chairman of the Sudanese and Somali peace talks and was replaced by John Koech.

According to Raila, only a last-ditch intervention from then UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, convinced President Kibaki to allow the Wiper Party leader to complete the work he had begun in Sudan.

Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (l) Mwai Kibaki (c) and Raila Odinga exchange pleasantries at a past event

He was, however, demoted from his position as chief negotiator, in yet another bid to bring him to heel.

Musyoka channelled all his pent up frustration towards his 2007 bid for the presidency, launching his famous “ntapita kati kati yao remark, loosely translating to “I’ll make it through in between them,” in reference to his direct 2007 presidential competitors, Raila and Kibaki.

According to official results, Musyoka was placed a distant third behind Kibaki and Odinga with 9% of the vote, amid a violent crisis over the results, with supporters of Kibaki and Odinga disputing the outcome.

Kibaki then appointed Musyoka as Vice-President and Minister of Home Affairs on January 8, 2008, following long contracted negotiations.

Kalonzo Musyoka (l) Mwai Kibaki (c) and Raila Odinga at a past rally

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