Mistrust, betrayal among leaders pushed NASA party to its death

POLITICS |
NASA principals Moses Wetangula (Left), Raila Odinga (centre) flag bearer and Kalonzo Musyoka (right) deputy, address a press conference on 22 September 2017 .[Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

It has been a month since the National Super Alliance (Nasa) – formed to rival President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party in 2017 – was dissolved, an inevitable fate for the moribund formation.

In a notice, Registrar of Political Parties yesterday confirmed what the country has known since August – that NASA was no more.

“…the Nasa coalition comprising Amani National Congress (ANC), Chama Cha Mashinani, Ford-Kenya party, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), and Wiper Democratic Movement-Kenya was dissolved on August 26,” read the notice in part.

Mistrust, alleged betrayal and competing ambitions are among the blows that sent Nasa – standing on wobbly feet since former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s mock swearing-in ceremony in January 2018 – to the canvas.

But to move forward it was necessary that the Nasa co-principals let go of their union.

For starters, Raila, Nasa’s presidential candidate in 2017, needed to rid himself of the baggage of his promise to support one of the co-principals in next year’s polls.

A surviving Nasa would have tied him to his promise, even though the ODM leader had dismissed claims of shelving his presidential ambitions to back either Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) or Moses Wetang’ula (Ford-Kenya).

Raila has previously stated that the deal only held if he were to win the 2017 presidential election. The former premier is not the only one who benefited from the dissolution of the coalition.

Barred from belonging to any other coalitions by law, the remaining co-principals had to leave the old outfit. That was solved upon Nasa dissolution last month, after Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula announced their departure.

For months now, the three leaders and Kanu chair Gideon Moi have been brooding the One Kenya Alliance (OKA), touted as the third force in next year’s contest.

The only hurdle in their plans to form OKA is that Kanu is still in a coalition with Jubilee.

Like Raila, the other co-principals harbour presidential ambitions. OKA currently places Kalonzo and Mudavadi, who have declared that they will contest the presidency along with Gideon, at a better negotiating place.

“The statement by Raila Odinga that he’ll not endorse any of his Nasa colleagues because they failed to show up at his illegal swearing-in is unfortunate and reeks of indefensible deceit,” Mudavadi said in February in a statement by his Spokesman Kibisu Kabatesi.

And the betrayal does not end there. Until July, Raila’s party had been reluctant to share political parties’ funds with his coalition partners, a stand that contributed to the fall of Nasa. Amid all this mistrust, Nasa stood no chance of success.

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