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Mudavadi: Why I am not in a hurry to support Uhuru

By Geoffrey Mosoku | Published Tue, August 7th 2018 at 00:00, Updated August 6th 2018 at 23:07 GMT +3
National Super Alliance principal puts on brave face as coalition crumbles. [File, Standard]

Amani National Congress (ANC) party leader Musalia Mudavadi has warned against the dalliance between the Opposition and Government.

According to Mr Mudavadi, the warming up of relations between Opposition leaders and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government was not healthy for democracy.

Mudavadi argued that although political parties and even individual MPs were free to support a government's cause, such a move should not be used to undermine the watchdog role of the Opposition.

“The ANC is committed to the cause of the Opposition. A good democratic society must have those that are in government and must also have a vibrant opposition. Our position is that we must not abscond our role,” Mudavadi told a local television station on Sunday night.

“If the Government is doing something good like we have seen in the impetus in the war on corruption, then we must encourage them to do that, but we should not do it at the expense of killing the Opposition.”

Asked if he believed the National Super Alliance (NASA) was still alive, Mudavadi said legally the coalition was still in existence but admitted there were challenges in the aftermath of the March 9 handshake between Raila Odinga and Uhuru.

“The dreams of NASA, which I hold so dear, are so pertinent to the well-being of this country and it will be a serious act of betrayal if we walked out of that dream and left our supporters in the wilderness,” he said.

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Brave face

Following the handshake and Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s announcement that his party would support Uhuru’s Big Four development agenda, Mudavadi put on a brave face, saying NASA still stood strong.

“For anybody to exit NASA, you would have to write to the Registrar of Political Parties and notify the sister parties. So far no one has done that. For NASA to come to an end, then three of the founding parties must exit. Again, that has not happened,” he said.

Asked if he supported the handshake between Raila and Uhuru, the former deputy prime minister said as far as he was concerned, there was no harm in the two leaders finding common ground on some issues but warned it would be disastrous for NASA to abandon its opposition role.

“For purposes of bringing tranquility, I think it’s important that people cool tempers and shake hands. To that extent the handshake has achieved something. It is for the bigger picture that we must all be vigilant,” he said.

The ANC chief cited another handshake outside Harambee House in 2008 involving Raila and then President Mwai Kibaki in the aftermath of the disputed 2007 presidential polls.

“We were very clear that it was necessary the country engages in dialogue, but the context and format in which it is held is important. How broad is it in terms of public participation?” Mudavadi said.

“The issue of electoral justice must be seriously and genuinely dealt with. What we saw in 2007-2008 was as a result of a bungled election and what we are seeing here is a handshake that was propelled by an equally controversial election. As we speak, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is in shambles and we are not seeing serious efforts to resolve this," he said.

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