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Nasa leaders reiterate that all is well in the coalition

By Geoffrey Mosoku | Published Fri, February 2nd 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 2nd 2018 at 00:10 GMT +3
Wiper party leader and NASA Principal Kalonzo Musyoka is overwhelmed by emotions as NASA leader Hon. Raila Odinga narrates the ordeals he (Kalonzo) had gone through including the bomb-scare at his residence and the ailing Spouse on 01/02/2018. [Photo by Pius Cheruiyot/Standard]

 

National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka was yesterday overcome with emotion during a press conference convened by the four Opposition chiefs to reassure supporters of their unity.

Kalonzo was captured on camera wiping tears, two days after he and his co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang'ula skipped the 'swearing-in' of Raila Odinga as 'people's president'.

The three have faced a backlash from all quarters and been labelled cowards for abandoning Raila in his hour of need.

The leaders’ problems are compounded by a Government crackdown targeting them and their coalition governors and MPs, who have lost their security personnel.

Kalonzo and Mudavadi became the latest victims of the clampdown after they received letters asking them to surrender guns and licences they hold, only a day after their official security was withdrawn.

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The two have been attacked on social media and even from within their respective parties, with calls to quit the political arena.

The Wiper leader’s tears were provoked when Raila accused the Government of targeting him. Kalonzo's home was attacked on Wednesday morning.

“Pole sana to my brother Kalonzo for the attack on your family. My brother has a sick wife. You can imagine the shock and trauma they have caused to his bedridden wife,” Raila said.

It was the first time the four were appearing in public together following fears of an imminent fallout, arriving at the Okoa Kenya secretariat in a convoy and leaving the same way after addressing the media.

Supporters stunned

NASA supporters were stunned on Tuesday when Raila turned up at Uhuru Park alone. Conspicuously absent were Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetang'ula as well as the majority of their MPs.

But yesterday, the NASA chiefs put on a brave face to assure their supporters of their unity, with Raila carrying the same message to Consolata Shrine in Westlands, where a requiem mass for Yvonne Wamalwa was held. He told mourners at the service that NASA was stronger than ever.

“As you can see, we are going to remain together as NASA. The so-called division is an invention of the media. The war is not intra-NASA; the enemy is known and that's where our guns should be trained,” Raila said at Okoa Kenya.

“Tuesday 30th (of January) is a very historic day. The multitude that was at Uhuru Park was a replica of the time (Mwai) Kibaki returned from London in 2002, and it was most peaceful gathering of Kenyans who wanted to make a political decision. We were aware of the attendant political risks and personal security, and our brother Raila offered to be sworn in first. And even if we attended, I could have not taken the oath. A new date will be given when I shall be sworn in," added Kalonzo.

“As we call our troops to order, I want to reiterate that we are a properly registered outfit. The best of NASA is yet to come."

Mudavadi said: “There is no sense in any vilification for not attending. NASA is a legally registered coalition and we have not planned to disband it. I want to tell the people who are spending a lot of time and resources vilifying us that they should spend it elsewhere.”

Moving target

Wetang'ula added: “They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. We are all behind our president who was sworn in at Uhuru Park. We're telling our supporters not to lose sight. Our moving target is Jubilee, who are in a panic. We shall not be cowed or divided. Victory is in sight. We have not appointed anyone a spokesman outside the four of us.”

During the press conference, Raila said he would issue a comprehensive statement on a way forward today, just as he promised after his Tuesday oath.

"I can swear by the Bible that the results we released last week were genuine. We won the elections while Jubilee lost. That is why I was able to hold the Bible, not because I am mad or a megalomaniac.”

He also castigated the Government for shutting down TV stations.

“How else do you explain what has happened to the media – that a minister can wake up and say the media disobeyed the order and now they are being punished. The Government has completely suspended the Constitution. Who has given (Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred) Matiang'i the powers to shut down the media? Either we are living this Constitution or we go our separate ways.”


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