Is Raila planning to leave Nasa ahead of 2022 election?

ODM’s move to revamp itself and lieutenants launching vicious attacks on the three Nasa principals has been described as a strategy to exit the coalition.

Members of Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC, Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper and Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya have expressed concern that ODM is mudslinging their leaders to break from Nasa as a leeway to fielding a presidential candidate in 2022.

According to the coalition agreement, Raila and his ODM party are not supposed to field a candidate that year.

“Raila is trying to reinvent himself for 2022 and the only way is to exit Nasa. This is not a party that is in Nasa at all,” Mudavadi’s aide Kibisu Kabatesi told the Star by phone on Monday.

NO COMMITMENT?

Officials of the three parties cite the Uhuru Park swearing-in of Raila, that his co-principals skipped, as part of ODM’s strategy to plan an exit.

The ghosts of Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula’s absence during the ceremony that was part of Nasa’s push for electoral justice continue to haunt them. ODM members have criticised the three, terming them cowards and questioning their commitment to NASA.

ODM members still mount pressure on Kalonzo to take oath to deputise Raila as the People’s Deputy President in affirming his solidarity with Nasa’s course of electoral justice.

Amid the speculation and pressure, Kabatesi said: “There should be no misconception that Kalonzo, Wetang’ula and Mudavadi are planning to gang up against Raila. The reality is that Raila and ODM are planning to exit Nasa.

“The planning of the Uhuru Park swearing-in was deliberate because they knew other co-principals would not be there. You saw what they said during the ODM National Governing Council the other day and the sharing of parliamentary positions.”

In a statement to media houses on Sunday, Kalonzo party said: “Some remnants of the coalition partner ODM have accused Wiper of working with Jubilee or having intentions to shift alliance to the ruling coalition, which the Kalonzo-led Movement has flatly denied, accusing ODM of bullying and the big-man syndrome.”

However, ODM chairman and National Assembly Minority leader John Mbadi said there are no differences that warrant a split.

“There is no differences in Nasa … I’m not aware of any. I would not comment on such matters. Let’s get back to work by looking at the state of our economy, especially how Jubilee’s over-borrowing is creating public debt,” he said.

Raila also says there aren’t any serious differences in the National Super Alliance.

Nasa is not disintegrating, he said on February 23, and termed squabbles with his co-principals as reflective of sibling rivalry.

CRITICAL MEETINGS AHEAD

Insiders told the Star that ODM’s alleged pending exit has pushed other principals in the coalition together.

As a result, the principals are back to the drawing board to solidify grassroots support.

“ODM and ANC have met to rebuild. Even in wiper, we are putting our house in order. Come 2022, whichever the coalition we will be in, we will be strong,” Mwingi Central MP Gideon Mulyungi said.

Wiper is planning a delegates meeting on March 16 in Nairobi’s Komarock area to audit its position in the opposition coalition.

The 10,000 delegates from across the country will include the clergy, party officials and opinion shapers in Ukambani and Nairobi.

The Ford Kenya and ANC leaders have been holding meetings on working together ahead of the 2022 polls.

“Wetang’ula and Mudavadi have been working together and are looking into ways of solidifying Western region. If you try to endorse either of the two, then you divide them,” Wetang’ula’s aide Mandu told the Star.

“They are not working on who is going to be the Luhya political leader but on how to move forward as Western. Whatever Cotu Secretary General Francis Atwoli was doing in re-endorsing Mudavadi was in bad taste.”

The four parties have slowed down the coalition’s critical activities such as the People’s Assembly meetings across the country. The coalition was supposed to hold an inaugural People’s Assembly convention in Nairobi on Tuesday but it was postponed to an unspecified later date.

As events unfold, ODM Secretary of Political Affairs and Uganja MP Opiyo Wandayi has cautioned his Nasa counterparts against engaging in public exchanges as the coalition will suffer.

“We don’t want public exchanges over minor issues. The coalition has elaborate and structured mechanisms to address such issues. Let us [use the summit] to resolve such minor issues,” Wandayi said.

the-star.co.ke

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