The the National Super Alliance (NASA) has been hit by uncertainty after its leader Raila Odinga entered a unity pact with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Raila’s Friday morning meeting with Uhuru caught his co-principals flat-footed in what could exacerbate disagreements within the fragile outfit.
And for the first time in about two years of unity, co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi came out to accuse Raila of being selfish.
In a press statement yesterday, Mudavadi captured the frustrations of some of the NASA leadership opposed to Raila’s Friday move.
“For the record, and on the basis of the statement released, I categorically state that the meeting was between two individuals. It does not bear the imprint of NASA Summit as it ought to be. It was not processed through the NASA structure,” Mudavadi said.
Invoked their names
He said the two repeatedly invoked their names and personally committed to each other and not to all Kenyans.
And speaking yesterday during the burial of former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti’s father-in-law in Mua, Machakos County, Kalonzo said he was at peace after Friday’s events because he felt vindicated.
“We have agreed to meet as NASA on Monday and know what exactly happened yesterday (Friday), but my heart is at peace, I feel vindicated. What I have been preaching will happen,” said Kalonzo
As the co-principals spoke out against the unity pact, their lieutenants gave different views of the latest events.
Some of the Wiper leaders yesterday claimed Raila was a“traitor” who has betrayed the NASA dream.
“He’s a traitor… he did it on January 30 and he has done it again. It’s time he was kicked out of NASA and the Monday meeting should pursue this. NASA is bigger than any one individual,” Kitui Senator Enock Wambua said.
He said the exit of Raila to join Uhuru presents an opportunity for Kalonzo, Mudavadi, Wetang’ula and Deputy President William Ruto to free the country from the yoke of Odinga-Kenyatta domination.
“For the two who have come together, their best days are behind them. For the four who have been sidelined, their best days are ahead. They should take advantage of the impending exit of the two gentlemen to chart the country on a fresh path,” Wambua added.
Mavoko MP Patrick Makau condemned Raila, accusing him of the highest degree of betrayal to Kalonzo, who has stood with him in two elections.
“Kenyans died because of this cause, Kenyans were maimed because of this cause... For Kalonzo, the field is now open; you can go meet other leaders,“ said Makau.
The Mavoko legislator said Raila’s move had opened room for the Kamba community to seek an alliance with other people to chat their destiny.
Former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti said Kalonzo was the pioneer of dialogue, adding that if only Kalonzo’s word was heeded, the many lives lost during the struggle would have been averted.
“I wish Raila and Uhuru heeded our party leader’s call way before the swearing-in., We would have averted the unnecessary deaths and chaos,” said Wavinya. But ANC nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi said the mood in the country was with Raila and Uhuru. “The country has been longing for such a development; now that we are here, we need to be patient and await what will come out of the agreement,” said Osotsi.
He said it was premature for any NASA leader to accuse Raila of betrayal before knowing what he had in offer for the coalition.
Osotsi said Raila and Uhuru and by extension DP Ruto, who has endorsed the talks, were influential politicians in the country and their coming together for the good of the people was good news.
“Let’s give the historic event time, the talks on Friday are a global practice and therefore it would be premature and inconsiderate for NASA leaders to pour cold water on the move,” said Osotsi. Political analyst Dismas Mokua said the Uhuru-Raila unity programme that was cemented by a handshake at Harambee House, Nairobi, placed a premium on the two operating as individuals and does not mention Jubilee nor NASA.
“The unity programme would have made more sense if it was a dialogue to captured the interest and aspirations of the nation. Raila’s co-principals would have had little resistance to it if it was a consistent with Kenya’s national and public interest,” said Mokua.
Mudavadi said there were a semblance of issues dear to NASA that relate to electoral justice and governance, but that is all. “NASA advocates for an all-inclusive national dialogue on the well-being of all Kenyans and not a deal between two people,” he said.
Mudavadi said the MoU was not anchored in any institutional framework and warned that it was not possible to gloss over issues of electoral injustice by simply accepting to move on, on the basis of a gentleman’s agreement. “One hopes this wasn’t a PR prank to hoodwink Kenyans in anticipation of the visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,” he said. NASA has lined up two Parliamentary Group retreats in the next few weeks to plan for 2022.