MP Yusuf Hassan claims Raila Odinga early endorsement of Kalonzo will open up more fights he’s not ready for.
Yusuf Hassan, the Kamukunji member of parliament, argues that if Raila Odinga decides to back Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka as the coalition’s flagbearer, it will cause discord in the opposition party.
According to Hassan, Raila Odinga is a titan in the country’s opposition and the wiper leader will be in danger if he transfers the baton to Kalonzo too early.
This comes after Raila Odinga reportedly endorsed the Wiper leader as the Azimio la Umoja coalition’s flagbearer in the 2027 General Election.
The lawmaker asserts that Raila is a significant player in Kenyan politics and advises him to exercise caution in making decisions between now and the next election cycle, given the possibility that he may hang his political boots.
“If the declaration was right I think it would have damaged the opposition and would it will open up a fight which Kalonzo is not ready for at the moment,” he said speaking on Citizen TV’s Daybreak show on Thursday.
“If it is true that he is thinking of stepping down then it puts the whole opposition in limbo of what it is like to be contending in the next elections without the powerful figure of Raila being behind it.”
The lawmaker added that not only will the opposition be thrown in limbo but also Mr. Odinga’s party, the Orange Democratic Movement, which he says carries the firebrand’s DNA since its formation.
“I cannot imagine ODM existing in a very strong position in Kenyan politics without Raila. I cannot imagine the opposition without a torchbearer like Raila,” said Hassan.
“Raila is the patriarch of Kenyan politics, he is also the baron of the opposition. So what he says and how he says it carries alot of weight in our country and I think alot of people are saying does this mean that Raila is going to step back from politics.”
However, Mr. Odinga has denied the claims that he endorsed Kalonzo, maintaining that the praise for the Wiper boss should not be interpreted as the party’s position on its 2027 political ambitions, given that the elections are four years away.
Raila instead stated that he made those utterances in defense of Kalonzo after President William Ruto allegedly tried to divide the coalition by falsely speculating on Kalonzo’s candidacy in 2027.