Tuesday, April 16, 2024

New crisis hits Nasa as parties clash on line-up

ODM leader Raila Odinga and his deputy Ali Hassan Joho speak to journalists at Orange House, Nairobi, on April 11, 2017. JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
ODM leader Raila Odinga and his deputy Ali Hassan Joho speak to journalists at Orange House, Nairobi, on April 11, 2017. Mr Odinga accused the government of using the National Intelligence Service to create tension within Nasa. JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Cracks are evident in Nasa after two of the four affiliate parties clashed over a leaked coalition line-up that places Mr Raila Odinga at the helm with Mr Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate.

Mr Odinga’s ODM party confirmed that the leaked report was authentic and accused Mr Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress of lying when it claimed on Monday that no line-up had been drawn.

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According to the report, Mr Odinga will fly the Nasa flag deputised by Kalonzo, the Wiper Democratic Movement leader, with Mr Mudavadi as the chief minister, akin to prime minister who would manage government operations. Mr Moses Wetang’ula, the Ford-Kenya leader, is named as the Speaker of any of the two Houses — whichever he pleases.

Tuesday’s quarrel in the form of media statements followed a demonstration by Mr Mudavadi’s supporters on Kakamega streets protesting against the line-up.

While ODM said there was an agreement and that a report had been presented to the Nasa quartet, Amani hit back, accusing the Orange party of releasing information to the media to aid its propaganda.

“That report was leaked in the form that the media presented it,” the ODM secretary-general, Ms Agnes Zani, said in the statement that prompted the row. “A few aspects and figures were not those of the committee but the line-up presented had been agreed on in the committee.”

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Dr Zani added: “The sentiments by Amani are skewed. The assertion that there is no report is not accurate. The report and other processes are to be acted on by the principals.”

Amani secretary-general Godfrey Osotsi accused ODM of undermining the process of picking Nasa’s flagbearer for the August 8 General Election.

“We are outraged, and Zani ought to know that the admission by ODM that it is responsible for dirty propaganda leaks undermines the credibility and integrity of the Nasa process,” said Mr Osotsi. “This level of arrogance shouldn’t be entertained.”


He added: “The ODM statement is a confession that leaves no doubt as to where the leaks of documents meant to undermine Nasa unity have been coming from. It is confirmation that ODM is negotiating in bad faith. This is bad manners that shouldn’t be entertained.”

At a press conference at Orange House in the evening, however, an infuriated Mr Odinga hit out at the media, accusing them of nagging impatience.

“Give us a break!” an angry Mr Odinga said. “We have not agreed on the line-up. And, naturally, when we do, we will do. Do not keep asking us. The world is not dying because we have not agreed.”

He however evaded a questioner asking him to comment on the different press statements sent out by the two parties.

On the Kakamega demonstrations, where Amani supporters and Members of Parliament demanded that Mr Mudavadi be granted the ticket, Mr Odinga absolved the party from blame and instead accused the National Intelligence Service of being behind the protest.


“This is the work of our enemies: The NIS,” said Mr Odinga. “The way those banners were done, they could not have come from Kakamega. They are from the NIS. Even then, Nasa is united and we will not be distracted by a few people who (nonetheless) have their right to express their opinion.”

Mr Wetang’ula called for calm but insisted that the coalition had not arrived at a candidate.

Ford-Kenya deputy party leader Boni Khalwale said: “There is a need for discipline in the engagements we have as Nasa. Attempts to make unilateral statements will undermine the unity we have.”

Dr Khalwale added: “As Ford-Kenya, we will only confirm or deny statements agreed upon in a joint meeting.”

The party later sent a statement criticising Mr Mudavadi’s supporters, insisting that the search for the coalition’s candidate was still “work in progress”.


“Some members of ODM have gone ahead to qualify these reports in recent days as true and, perhaps, final. As Ford-Kenya, we would like to make it clear that the decision on who flies the coalition’s flag has not been made just yet,” the party said in a statement.

Earlier, Dr Zani, a nominated senator, insisted that a leaked report of the Nasa coordinating committee — in which she sits — on the Nasa line-up carried by various media houses was accurate.

“The report is from Nasa. Various methods were applied to attain objectivity through joint effort. Through triangulation, members did the task they had been assigned to do in the committee,” she said.

But Mr Osotsi said Dr Zani does not have the power to speak on behalf of the committee.

Additional reporting by Justus Ochieng


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