Raila promised Mudavadi presidential ticket for Nasa
The NASA flagbearer plot thickens.
Details have emerged of how ODM boss Raila Odinga late last year reportedly promised Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi the NASA presidential ticket.
Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka would be the running mate and Raila himself would be Prime Minister, if the opposition alliance wins in August, according to the informal, unsigned agreement.
It was because of that ticket agreement that Mudavadi, who inspired NASA, agreed to form the new coalition with ODM and other opposition parties, Mudavadi campaign official Godfrey Kanoti yesterday told the Star. He is head of Mudavadi’s presidential campaign secretariat.
“This was a gentleman’s agreement that was struck late last year and we expect that it will be honoured,” Kanoti said.
But ODM director of elections Junet Mohamed yesterday trashed the revelations as “bar talk”.
“I do not think there is anything like that. Raila cannot make such a decision alone and if there is anything of that nature, it must be bar talk,” Mohamed told the Star.
In December last year Raila and Mudavadi announced that they would join forces to remove President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Jubilee Party from power.
Speaking at Resort Hotel in Laikipia North on December 6 last year, Raila said, without elaborating, that they had agreed to work together to eject Jubilee.
For his part, Mudavadi said he had worked with Raila before and would work with him again, adding they were not enemies.
Yesterday Wiper chairman David Musila told the Star said his party was not aware of such an agreement. If it had been reached, then the two leaders are the only ones who can speak about it, he said.
“Our leader Kalonzo Musyoka is not aware of any such agreement and neither is Wiper as a party. All we are waiting for now is for our principals to meet and agree on the line-up. And we will back whoever they choose,” Musila said.
Ford Kenya’s Eseli Simiyu denied reports Raila and Mudavadi had a secret pact to make the ANC chief opposition standard bearer
“Where this matter has reached now, only the four principals will decide the line-up,” Simiyu said.
Yesterday Kanoti said the agreement between the ANC leader and ODM chief was reached in August and September last year after a series of informal meetings between Raila and Mudavadi
“I’m aware of this agreement by virtue of my position,” Kanoti said.
Kanoti said the two leaders agreed Kalonzo would be running mate and Raila would be Prime Minister if NASA wins.
NASA has been split and its affiliates at odds over naming the flagbearer. It has been a struggle to hold the alliance together after a series of statements, ultimatums and leaks by coalition members that have threatened its future.
The four principals — Raila, Mudavadi, Kalonzo and Ford Kenya boss Moses Wetang’ula — are to go on a retreat next week to agree on the ticket.
Several scenarios have been presented and the four are to decide the winning combination.
NASA’s National Coordinating Committee completed its work two weeks ago and handed its report and recommendations to the principals.
It was understood that most committee members voted for the Raila-Kalonzo ticket, with Mudavadi as Chief Minister and Wetang’ula as National Assembly Speaker.
This has been disputed, reaffirmed and still questioned.
On Wednesday Raila himself said there was no agreement.
Yesterday Kanoti insisted Mudavadi was the best bet, the strongest candidate to defeat Uhuru and Jubilee. This position was presented by ANC to the coordinating committee.
The ANC strategy document argued that Raila is unlikely to defeat Uhuru.
It argued the best ticket is Mudavadi for President, with Kalonzo as his running mate — and Raila strongly backing both of them.
The strategy says the NASA combination to remove Uhuru must be able to:
1 ) Increase voter turnout in NASA strongholds by 95 per cent;
2 ) Raid as much as 40 per cent of the votes from Jubilee bastions;
3 ) Win over 60 per cent of the vote in swing counties;
4 ) Create the least voter resentment and apathy in NASA-controlled regions.
“Our computation reveals the ticket likely to achieve [these goals] is Mudavadi’s — backed by Raila to reduce depression of turnout in NASA strongholds — and has Kalonzo for running mate to prevent loss of 2013 advantage,” the paper concluded.
ANC and ODM officials have had a bitter public exchange on the issue, with each group accusing the other of undermining the delicate talks.
On Tuesday ODM secretary General Agnes Zani appeared to confirm the leaked NCC documents indicated the committee had settled on a Raila-Kalonzo ticket.
But ANC reacted furiously, accusing Zani and her team of dishonesty. There were even demonstrations in Kakamega by ANC supporters who threatened to ditch the coalition unless Mudavadi was handed the ticket.
Raila has dismissed the demonstrations as the work of National intelligence Service that is working to break up NASA.
Kalonzo, who met Mudavadi on Wednesday, has also dismissed the demonstrations and accused people both within and outside NASA of fanning tensions and promoting instability.
Analysts have been saying if the opposition remains united and speaks with one voice, then it poses a serious threat to Uhuru and Jubilee.
For the first time, Uhuru’s diehard supporters have admitted the NASA wave should no longer be ignored, if it stays together.