At the meeting of the National General Council, the second most powerful organ, the two principals fought back accusations that the opposition was condoning graft in the counties they control.
They dismissed the Jubilee coalition’s narrative, saying that the ruling party had no right to ask them to fight corruption.
Ford-Kenya on Saturday endorsed its leader Moses Wetang’ula to be the party’s and Cord coalition flag bearer, with his Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka vowing to back him if he clinches the team’s ticket.
“Do not ask Cord to fight corruption in their counties. What agencies do we have to do that? The police, the anti-corruption commission, the courts are with you. How dare you say that Cord is not fighting corruption?” asked Mr Wetang’ula at Bomas of Kenya.
However, he said that Cord will condemn graft in every county.
“We want our governors to appear before the relevant agencies. Let them not even wait to be summoned. And we will not protect them. If there are questions, they should answer them,” Mr Musyoka said.
Their comments come at a week when Jubilee leaders have accused ODM leader Raila Odinga of hypocrisy after he defended Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi following loss of a reported Sh1 billion.
Mr Wetang’ula said that he will not let them down if he is given the coalition’s ticket.
He dismissed talk that the coalition was taking too long in naming its candidate, saying that “timing in strategy is everything.” “We still have a long time to the elections. Right now, each party is popularising itself and we, as the principals are talking on our own,” Mr Wetang’ula told journalists after the meeting.
“If we agree and one of us is chosen, then we will all back that one person. If we do not, then we will go for nominations that will be free and fair.”
He asked his supporters to reach out to ODM and Wiper members and ask them to back his bid.
“If I am to the Cord presidential candidate,” he told the delegates, “then we must endear ourselves to ODM and Wiper so that if I am chosen, they will all be okay.”
“I saw my brother Wetang’ula say he wants Raila and me to leave the ticket to him,” said Mr Musyoka.
“I want to say that I will have no problem if he is chosen to be the presidential candidate.”
Mr Odinga was absent and was represented by ODM Secretary-General Agnes Zani, who said Cord will remain united.
Meanwhile in Thika, Nairobi county Ford-Kenya chairperson Lupesai Komesh was kidnapped and driven off to an unknown destination by unknown persons who stormed into the hotel they were scheduled to meet and address journalists.
The press briefing was meant to announce the removal Mr Wetang’ula from the party leadership.