The possibility of a joint Opposition to run against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto next year is close to becoming a reality, with increased talks among the Opposition leaders.
The Standard on Sunday has learnt that Opposition leaders have increased their private meetings that seek to foster a super alliance that brings together CORD, Amani National Congress (ANC), Kanu, Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM), Narc, United Democratic Party and Muungano Party alongside other smaller parties.
The National Super Alliance (NASA) has a constellation of leaders, including ODM leader Raila Odinga, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi in a bid to deny President Kenyatta another term.
Others are Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto, former Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu and former Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo.
According to Kanu secretary general Nick Salat, the increased activities by the think tanks are part of the attempts by the alliance to concretise and finalise the agreements for a possible final formation in late December or January next year.
“The committee has a broad mandate to look at a variety of issues and is not limited to anything, including creation of positions of leadership so that every part of the country will feel included in the government unlike the current situation where winner takes it all. Time is of essence,” Salat said.
Raila hinted at the possible alliance at the height of the demonstrations to kick out Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) members.
CORD co-principal Kalonzo noted that there was a possibility of such an alliance to ensure that Jubilee goes home.
“Though there are such talks, we would not come out and share with our political enemies, for fear they will try and scuttle it, but it should be clear that we are determined to form the next government next year. We need to save Kenya from the hands of Jubilee Party,” Kalonzo said.
Yesterday, Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, who is also the ODM Director of Political Affairs said discussions are ongoing to create a big alliance that will bring on board everyone disgruntled by the Jubilee Administration.
“Talks are ongoing, but doors are still open for those who continue to be irked by the Jubilee Administration and many Kenyans from all walks of life have declared interest in working with us. We will ensure the alliance is broad and strong,” Wandayi said.
Suna East MP Junet Mohamed said although they are determined to strengthen CORD, NASA is a welcomed idea to further strengthen the Oppostition.
“We welcome the super alliance to strengthen the agenda that CORD has continued to hold,” Junet said.
Mudavadi said the alliance was an attempt by Opposition leaders to agree and chart a better way for Kenya.
“Jubilee Party has failed Kenyans, they are on a looting spree, they borrow and then steal what they have just borrowed. It cannot get worse than that, we are saying NASA itawanasa (NASA will trap them) and ensure they do not run the government beyond 2017,” Mudavadi said.
He said the alliance is not about individuals, but a group of leaders with the interest of Kenyans at heart.
Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula said that indeed they have been holding separate private meetings to explore ways of waging an assault on the Jubilee government.
“Our interest for Kenya and the need to save this country from another term by the Jubilee Party has emboldened us to come together. Indeed we are talking and looking at how we will remove the poor leadership currently in power,” Wetang’ula said.
He said that although they agreed to strengthen their parties within CORD and allow competitive politics, they are united and are even welcoming more people with a common vision for a better country.
“We have had talks that CORD is disjointed, that is far from the truth. We are practising competitive politics within the coalition and this has helped us to widen our support base. We are now broadening the alliance to ensure we form the next government,” Wetang’ula said.
To emphasise their commitment to NASA that is reminiscent of the 2002 Narc Alliance that removed Kanu from power, the leaders formed a think tank committee a few months ago to deliberate on the alliance.
The number of the committee members, which was originally six, was last month increased to 12 to fast-track the formation of the alliance.
The leaders have been reluctant to share the names of the experts and are comfortable to have them “remain faceless at the moment”.
The group’s secret meetings in Nairobi, Naivasha and other towns have also been increased from once every two weeks to twice a week, as they burn the midnight oil to put things in order for the super alliance.
Salat said the team is mandated with putting together a document that will guide the alliance through its operation, including advice on how they will navigate the issue of positions to accommodate a broad alliance.
The alliance would pose a major political threat to President Kenyatta and Ruto who trudged through a 50 per cent-plus-one threshold by slightly over 4,000 votes in the 2013 General Elections.
In the 2013 elections, President Kenyatta garnered 6,173,433 votes against Raila’s 5,340,546. Mudavadi came third with 483,981 votes.
Salat said the talks have been going on for close to six months, and significant ground towards the formation of the alliance has been covered.
“The talks started a while ago, it is several months now, close to six. The experts have, however, been meeting more frequently as they try to finalise the finer details of the alliance that will shake the nation and ensure outright victory,” Salat said.
He said the talks had started even before the clamour for electoral reforms began.
“These talks are not run by politicians, that is why they have not been high-profile. We have experts who are working on the finer details and they are allowed to look at several options towards the formation of a big alliance,” Salat said.