Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka has explained why he chose to attend interviews for Raila Odinga’s running mate position despite earlier protests.
Addressing members of the press after the two-hour interview at Serena Hotel in Nairobi, Musyoka said he faced the 7-member panel vetting Odinga’s potential running mates on his own volution.
The former Vice President said he opted to participate in the process so as not to give anyone an excuse not to consider him for the post.
“The decision to come was my decision because I realized we didn’t want to give anyone an excuse whatsoever to say aligomea (he snubbed the panel),” said Musyoka, adding “It has been a wonderful conversation.”
He also said he made the decision out of respect for senior members of the panel including members of the clergy leading the process.
“Wazee kama Bishop Peter Njenga, Archbishop Zaccheus Okoth… I looked at that in my own mind and said why would not want to greet bishop Okoth at his age. I had to take that decision,” he added.
The panel chaired by former Kwanza MP Noah Wekesa is expected to conclude the interviews today.
Musyoka changed his mind about attending the ongoing interviews yesterday.
“His Excellency Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka SC, hereby states that he has decided to honour the invitation to attend interviews for the Azimio One Kenya running mate position that will be conducted by the panel of eminent persons,” Wiper said in a letter to the Azimio panel.
For months now, Musyoka has been insisting that he is the most suitable candidate to deputise Odinga having run as the ODM party leader’s running mate twice, in 2013 and 2017.
Attending the interviews, Musyoka said, would be demeaning for a politician of his statue.
“I want to tell all Kenyans that I will not attend the said process. I find the entire thing demeaning to my person and will therefore distance myself from it,” Musyoka said.
The search for Odinga’s running mate began in earnest on Monday, April 8.
Some of the big shots that attended the interviews were Narc Kenya party leader Martha Karua, Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege.
Others shortlisted include Agriculture CS Peter Munya, former Kenyan Ambassador to Australia Stephen Tarus, Kakamega County Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui and former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth.