ODM, Wiper lock horns: Power wrangles hit Nairobi Nasa team
A power sharing row that has threatened to tear apart Nairobi’s National Super Alliance (Nasa) team seems to be far from over after efforts by Governor Evans Kidero to avert possible fallout failed at the weekend.
Governor Kidero and his Deputy Jonathan Mueke held a meeting with some 400 Nairobi Wiper Democratic Movement leaders at Uhuru Park, where he promised to ensure that all Nasa affiliate parties (others are ODM, ANC, Ford-Kenya and CCM) will be fully involved in campaign activities.
Dr Kidero promised to bring together all leaders from Nasa affiliate parties, as he called for unity and warned against attempts by any member to undermine the rest, noting that the coalition risks losing seats to Jubilee Party if rifts among Nasa parties are allowed to dominate their campaign agenda.
“We lost seats in 2013 because we could not agree as Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord), but this time we have worked together with a great sense of respect for the last four years and we cannot risk making a mistake at this hour of need,” Dr Kidero said.
The Governor was put to task by the Wiper leaders who claimed that ODM did not respect affiliate parties citing that during his political rallies, everything is turned into an ODM affair, to the dismay of aspirants from other parties.
According to the rival team that held a parallel meeting at a city hotel, Dr Kidero had changed the agenda of the meeting, to agree on how to share positions.
Led by the Nairobi Wiper candidates’ caucus chairman, Mutiso Mutinda, the group said that Dr Kidero has been funding ODM aspirants leaving them out.
They lamented that Dr Kidero never recognises them in rallies and only calls upon ODM candidates to address supporters.
Wiper also complained that during a recent rally in Dagoretti constituency last Monday, Nasa presidential candidate Raila Odinga called for a six-piece vote and backed his ODM party candidates alienating those from affiliate parties.
During the rally, Mr Odinga did not recognise the Wiper Woman Rep candidate who forced herself to the podium to address the crowd.
Deputy Governor Jonathan Mueke said that they could be forced to seek help from the principals indicating that already, a proposal had been sent to them on the way forward to ensure that Nasa wins majority of the seats in the capital.
“Wiper is the second largest party in Nasa and we should stop lying to ourselves and wasting time because we know who is stronger in what place, so all we have to do is come together and agree,” he said.
During the meeting, Nairobi Wiper party chairman Roy Kivusyu promised to ensure that the Kamba community votes as a bloc for Dr Kidero.
The Opposition’s biggest headache at the moment is the Woman Rep seat. ODM has Esther Passaris while Wiper’s candidate is Rahab Ndambuki.
“We had talks even before the nominations on how we are going to map out Nairobi and share the seats among affiliate parties, but they did not work forcing parties to hold nominations.
“It is difficult now to step down for one candidate. We are risking as Nasa,” Mr Kivusyu said.
If ODM does not let go of its ego and agree on sharing, he said, they risk a revolt.
There had been a proposal on how to share seats, especially for the Governor, Senator and Woman Rep.
However, ODM fielded candidates for all the slots.
Wiper had also proposed to have four out of the 17 parliamentary seats, 40 seats for MCAs, citing that it was the second largest party after ODM in the coalition.
ODM has also fielded candidates for senate, woman representative, 15 parliamentary seats and more than 60 MCA candidates.
Businesswoman Esther Passaris was cleared by the Orange party to fly its flag for Woman Rep post after trouncing four other aspirants in the primaries while handing the certificate for senatorial seat to lawyer Edwin Sifuna.
Wiper gave Ms Ndambuki a direct ticket and Gorassia Ramesh got one for the senate seat.
And speaking to the Nation, ODM Nairobi chairman George Aladwa warned their counterparts within Nasa to brace for a fierce battle in the August polls, insisting ODM is the majority in the city.
“If we were in Ukambani where Wiper is strong, would anyone step down for ODM?” he posed