Secrets behind Raila shocker: He feared Jubilee spies, Uhuru buying ‘rejects’
- The brains behind Nasa withdrawal comprised Senators, MPs, a Professor and former Attorney General
- According to Musalia Mudavadi’s private secretary, Uhuru’s arrogance, contempt of the constitution and public institutions precipitated the move
The NASA decision to pull out of the presidential re-run met stiff resistance from some diehards who feared it was not the best option. The brains behind the idea finally had their way.
The secret meeting to craft the withdrawal were held in three places; the Okoa Kenya offices, Raila Odinga’s private Capital Hill office and at his Karen residence in Nairobi.
According to multiple sources who spoke to The Nairobian, Nasa Secretariat head Norman Magaya, Siaya Senator James Orengo, Busia Senator Amos Wako, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo, lawyer Paul Mwangi, economist David Ndii, governor Kivutha Kibwana, Homabay Town MP Peter Kaluma, Prof Mutakha Kangu and lawyers Edwin Sifuna and Anthony Oluoch were the architects of the plan that threw a spanner in the works of a re-run election pitting Raila and president Uhuru Kenyatta of Jubilee.
Also in the team was political scientist Dr Adams Oloo of the University of Nairobi, while a leading a think tank of dons also pitched and pushed for continued street demos to reinforce the Nasa message while demanding for ‘irreducible minimum.’
An insider privy to the behind the scene shenanigans told The Nairobian that creating a political crisis would allow Nasa time to regroup, assemble troops, besides buying time to get court determination on cases affecting individuals at the IEBC “who will either be facing court cases or be found culpable and eased out of IEBC,” said the source.
He added that at the core of deal was how to ensure unwanted compromised staff who bungled the poll “were identified and allowed to access servers for more information. “
As the plot of this game plan thickened, foreign diplomats tried to be party to the goings on, but Raila Odinga snubbed top diplomats led by American Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec who tried to get hold of Siaya Senator James Orengo to slot a meeting.
Godec had hosted the Nasa co-principals at his residence where displeasure over the conduct of diplomats who pressed for peaceful elections and not justice and credibility of polls was laid bare.
The Nasa strategists agreed that the game was bigger than the rules and as President Uhuru Kenyatta was busy changing the rules of the game, ‘Baba’ pulled a fast one, changing the game and leaving Uhuru with the rules.
The withdrawal followed failed demands to compel the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to make certain “irreducible minimum” changes before the re-run. Snippets of what transpired reveal how the Orengo-led team burnt the midnight oil drafting the withdrawal plan amid resistance from some party members and spying threats from the Jubilee side.
“When we looked at that and noticed that Uhuru was not campaigning, but involved in a make-believe exercise by buying rejected MPs and leaders, we knew he was preparing to rig the poll. Taking part in would be to give legitimacy to a fraudulent process,” disclosed Kibisu Kabatesi, the private secretary of Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi.
According to Kabatesi, Uhuru’s arrogance, contempt of the constitution and public institutions precipitated the move.
“After studying the comprehensive ruling of the Supreme Court, we isolated issues the court said undermined the presidential election. What we are calling the ‘irreducible minimum’ are issues the court directed IEBC to review. When we wrote to IEBC they ignored our letter until about a week ago when they responded so casually and indifferently,” said Kabatesi.
However, internal disagreements delayed Raila from making public NASA’s next course action after the Orengo team completed its work. This was because some jittery members raised questions over the pros and cons of the withdrawal.
The uncertainty forced Raila and his presidential running mate Kalonzo Musyoka, Mudavadi and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula back to the drawing board. The NASA presidential candidate had intended to convey to the public the withdrawal plan on October 9, two days after the strategy team finalized its work at the Okoa Kenya offices.
But according to an insider, some loyalists were wary of resultant consequences, leading to a stalemate that ended when Raila appeared before the media on October 10, reading a lengthy statement flanked by stone faced henchmen.
At one point, according to a source, the co-principals were locked in separate meetings with their legal teams combing afresh into the withdrawal solution before consensus was reached.
Raila is said to have hastily flown to Kisumu where he held a meeting with a host of lawyers. Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula consultations were convened in different places in Nairobi.
“It was not a very easy decision to make since close allies of the principals were not sure whether it was the right step to take. There were heated arguments among members leading to a stalemate that was unlocked after the separate meetings,” said the insider.
One of the thorny issues was whether Raila would be the presidential flag bearer should repeat elections be held once NASA is satisfied that the polls will be conducted on a level playing field.
“There were detailed deliberations over Raila’s candidature, but no concrete conclusion was made about the matter, it was left for another day” said the source.
NASA pulled out of the race, citing a myriad of reasons among them the impartiality of the IEBC and the commission’s refusal to fire some senior staff members.
The alliance which is against amendments to electoral laws has, through street demos, been pushing for the removal of IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba viewed as the obstacle to free and fair elections.
Repeat elections were to be held on October 26. Raila said he had concluded that there was no intention on the part of IEBC to undertake any changes to its operations and personnel to ensure that the illegalities and irregularities that led to the invalidation of the August 8 presidential election do to re-happen.
An aide of one of the NASA principals revealed the push for IEBC reforms, withdrawal and secession were the main options after dialogue failed. “The presidency is not a specific community’s entitlement. We are considering a parallel swearing-in if the constitution is breached. Secession is also an option that was laid on the table but has not been discussed seriously,” he said.