President Kenyatta helped to change Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s mind at the last minute to attend interviews for the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition running mate post.
It also emerged that those who are not picked would benefit from plum ministerial and state jobs should presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga win the August 9 elections.
Even though Mr Musyoka said his decision to appear before the panel was a personal decision, the Nation established that behind-the scenes manoeuvres could have influenced his change of heart. He’s said to have attended the interviews after consultations with President Kenyatta, the chairman of Azimio council and a push by Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi.
According to the source, President Kenyatta was concerned that Mr Musyoka skipping the panel date would send the wrong message as he (Mr Musyoka) was in the inaugural Azimio council meeting, which the Head of State chaired last month, and which had settled on using the panel to select Mr Odinga’s deputy.
“Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi, who has endorsed him for the position, implored him to attend so that it doesn’t look like both of them had ulterior motives against the panel,” a source privy to the developments told the Nation. “Gideon was calling Kalonzo after the President called him and told him to present himself before the panel.”
Mr Moi, who had also been shortlisted for the interviews that ended yesterday, backed out for Mr Musyoka.
“Hon. Moi is grateful to the committee of eminent persons for the consideration for the running mate position and stands by his letter endorsing Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka,” said Mr Moi’s press secretary Joseph Towett.
At the Serena Hotel where the interviews were being held, Mr Musyoka told journalists that the move to appear before the panel was meant to stop any attempts to use his absence as an excuse to lock him out from the position.