Just four days after declaring his ‘renewed friendship’ with President Uhuru Kenyatta, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka appears to have landed a new diplomatic role.
On Monday, Kalonzo accompanied Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma to Juba to deliver Uhuru’s congratulatory message to President Salva Kiir for implementing the South Sudan peace agreement.
Kiir entered into a deal with rebel leader Riek Machar, ending years of bloody conflict.
During his father’s burial last Friday, Kalonzo said he will not mind being Uhuru’s “mtu wa mkono” – errand boy.
He even ‘threatened’ those who will meddle with his relationship with the President of unspecified action.
“From today, let no one separate me and my brother Uhuru. I have accepted to run his errands. Those who will attempt to interfere will see my other side,” Kalonzo said.
Although there has not been official communication on the former Vice President’s new role, he is largely expected to monitor the peace process as the head of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC).
His imminent elevation to a diplomatic role comes barely a month after ODM party leader and fellow Nasa principal Raila Odinga was appointed African Union’s High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa.
Raila is the first holder of the new office established to promote integration, cross-border trade and regional projects, including railways, roads and the energy sector.
Kalonzo has a chequered career as a diplomat having already played a role in mediation initiatives in Somalia and South Sudan.
His most poignant achievement was when, together with retired General Lazarus Sumbeiywo, they helped end the long-running conflict that saw Khartoum accept to allow South Sudan to break away.
The latest mediation talks which Kenya played little role in saw the exiled rebel leader and former vice president Riek Machar return to Juba from South Africa from where he had been under house arrest for two years.
The Wiper leader’s new role, however, has not gone down well with leaders from his backyard who have hinted at withdrawing their support for his presidential bid.
Former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama and Kalonzo’s key ally was particularly concerned about the “mtu wa mkono” role that Kalonzo has landed likening him to a poor athlete who fails to complete a race.
“As Kambas, we are pushing Kalonzo to become the next President and he is now running the opposite direction with the relay baton. Let him explain to us what he meant by ‘mtu wa mkono’,” Muthama said.
He spoke during a fundraiser at St John’s Catholic Church Lita, Kathiani sub-county on Sunday.
Similar sentiments came from Makueni governor and Wiper party chairman Kivutha Kibwana who questioned Kalonzo’s seriousness in running for the county’s top job.
“When a leader of the people becomes an errand boy, what becomes of the followers who have elevated him to the negotiation table?” Kibwana posted in a WhatsApp group.
During the burial of Kalonzo’s father in Kitui, Uhuru said every leader has something to contribute and that “all we need is to give each other space and respect one another”.
The post that Kalonzo has taken up was formerly held by former Botswana President Festus Mogae who left office in August.
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