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OKA principals deny having coalition talks

One Kenya Alliance Principals (L-R) - Moses Wetangula, Kenneth Marende, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka, Gideon Moi and Cyrus Jirongo [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals have disowned claims of parallel arrangements with other political formations.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang'ula maintained that they have not held any talks with Deputy President William Ruto to form a coalition.

To solidify OKA, Kanu chairman Gideon Moi said they will officially ditch the coalition with the ruling Jubilee Party.

“Kanu is in Jubilee coalition of this government. For the next government that we are working for, Kanu will be in OKA,” he said.

The principals announced that they will go on retreat from February 18 to choose their flag bearer where they will be expected to go through the recommendations presented by the joint technical committee team, currently working on a comprehensive report.

There has been speculation that some OKA principals had received formal invitation from Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party while others were said to have been negotiating with ODM leader Raila Odinga to join Azimio la Umoja Movement ahead of the August 9 elections.

Mudavadi and Wetang'ula said they are yet to receive any formal or informal invitation from any leaders on matters 2022 polls.

“I have not spoken to anyone in regard to my political activity. I am a member of OKA, a coalition of the willing," the Ford Kenya leader said.

"One Kenya Alliance knows what it is doing, knows what is good for it and knows what is in law. We will not be cajoled into sprinting when we are in a marathon," he added.

Mudavadi said although he is yet to meet any persons, he has the “right to meet anyone because there is right of association.”

There have been reports of a possible political deal between the ANC leader and Ruto.

Mudavadi said should he meet any person in regard to the polls he will not shy away from making it public.

“As far as I am concerned I am free to meet with anybody and if I do meet that person I will not shy away from telling Kenyans that I have met so and so,” he said.

The two leaders were addressing claims that they are set to have talks with Ruto’s UDA over possible coalition agreement.

The ANC boss also dismissed remarks by Ruto that he gave him the green light to attend a football tournament at Mumias Sports Complex sponsored by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala.

Ruto, while addressing the crowd, said he had the blessings of Mudavadi to attend the tournament where he was the chief guest.

Ile ruhusa nilipata nifike hapa ni ya mdosi wako Musalia Mudavadi (It’s your boss Musalia Mudavadi who allowed me to come),” Ruto said.

However, Mudavadi refuted Ruto’s claims stating that he had no power to give permission to citizens to tour any party of the country.

“I want to make it clear that Kenyans are free to visit any part of this country. And no one needs to seek any permission to do so,” he said.

Ruto’s attendance of the tournament caused jitters in OKA with some affiliate parties questioning his appearance.

ANC deputy party leader Ayub Savula has so far declared he is ready to quit should the outfit enter into a coalition with UDA.

Mr Savula who declared OKA “formally dead”, blamed the situation on intrusion by UDA.

Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat also questioned the presence of Ruto at the event.

But Malala dismissed leaders faulting him for hosting the DP arguing that he and Mudavadi have the right to associate with anyone.

The senator maintained that being OKA principal does not limit his party leader from having other friends since he has the right to look for other political options.

“Musalia Mudavadi is now free to look for political options that will ensure he will be in the next government,” he said.

At the same time Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka dismissed reports of talks with Raila on joining the Azimio la Umoja movement.

Kalonzo said the last time he had a chat with Raila was on December 25, last year, and they talked about the festivities.

“You cannot flirt with somebody with whom you have no communication with,” he said.

The principals insisted that OKA is united and strong despite rumours of cracks within its principals barely seven months to the August polls.