NASA brigade takes vote hunt to Rift Valley

National Supper Alliance (NASA) principals Musalia Mudavadi (left) and Raila Odinga during a political rally at 64 Stadium in Eldoret. (Photo: Peter Ochieng/Standard)

The National Super Alliance (NASA), in a show of might, took their campaign to Deputy President William Ruto’s home turf of Eldoret town, where they asked residents to rally behind the opposition.

Addressing residents who jammed the historic 64 Stadium, NASA principals Raila Odinga (ODM) Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya) chided the DP. They vowed to stick together to emancipate Kenyans from bad governance of the Jubilee regime.

Earlier, the co-principals seemed not to have agreed where to meet before they headed for the rally in a convoy, after announcing a tour of the town last week.

The leaders arrived separately with Mr Wetang'ula being the first to call in at Eldoret’s Sirikwa Hotel where he had initially indicated that his counterparts would convene.

However, the Ford Kenya leader shifted to Poa Place hotel a few kilometres from the town centre where Kipkorir Menjo the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) pointman in the region had on Thursday said the principals would meet but changed the venue in the morning.

Kalonzo arrived at Poa Place a few minutes later expecting to be joined by Raila before heading to the stadium in a convoy. But Senator Hassan Omar received a call from a team that was with the ODM leader informing him that he (Raila) was on his way to the stadium prompting them to hastily leave for the rally.

The Wiper leader and Wetang’ula were received warmly by residents who had lined up along Uganda road as they headed to the stadium. Mudavadi arrived shortly after the rally had commenced to a thunderous applause.

The first rally since the unveiling of their Coalition Agreement on Wednesday saw the leaders, who were out to paint NASA as a national outfit, received thunderous applause from residents who started thronging the stadium early in the morning.

“We decided that our first meeting after signing the coalition agreement would be in Eldoret to show that there is no stronghold for any political party and we are grateful that you have turned up in large numbers. The ship to revive Kenya and bring power to the citizens has officially left the dock and we need to sail together,” said Raila.

Testing the ground

The team also used the rally to as a testing ground for several slogans that they hoped would resonate with the people. Different from the previous rally, the speeches by the principals seemed rushed and hurried as an expectant crown held on to every word hoping to hear something different from the normal rhetoric that has characterised both sides of the political divide.

Raila said the rally was not only to show that Kenya is one but a signal that the journey to salvage Kenya had started and asked Rift Valley residents to join them and help end Jubilee’s grip on power. This, he said, was the only way that the region’s woes in the agriculture sector would be addressed.

As each leader addressed a different agenda ranging from improving agriculture, the growing public debt, reforming the education sector to pledging cheaper consumer good prices, all speakers seemed to hit out at the DP.

Ruto had earlier claimed the NASA agreement was only based on power sharing. The leaders insisted that they are only seeking leadership to transform and represent all Kenyans.

“We are not afraid to say NASA as a political entity is seeking power. Difference is that while NASA is about power sharing among Kenyans, Jubilee is about monopolising power by two individuals. Power sharing is part of our policy to be inclusive and to make the people of Kenyans own their government and country,” said Mudavadi.

The leaders faulted government projects and entrenched corruption, which they vowed to address.

“There is so much graft in the public sector that the Jubilee government has presided over, that is the reason they are seeking to retain power but our agenda is spearheading change because our country is rotting from untamed corruption,” Raila stated, promising to reveal further details on the Eurobond scandal.

On the anxiety surrounding who will be NASA’s flag bearer the co-principals assured their supporters that will pick one of them who is suitable and reiterated that their house will remain intact irrespective of any storm.

Kalonzo was the first to address the crowd, followed by Wetang'ula, Mudavadi and lastly Raila crowning the speeches. The ODM leader emphasized that the victory of the opposition is in their unity, assuring that since all of them want to have all Kenyans represented in their leadership nobody will be quitting and that the 2017 elections will be a replay of the 2002 Narc euphoria.

Kalonzo called on the electorate to vote for leaders who will address issues affecting the nation in the coming General Election.

“The August vote should be our declaration to show our readiness to protect Kenya, I believe all of us working together will oust Jubilee and bring us good leadership. Of concern is that let us not be used at all to enhance the tribalism card, an all-inclusive NASA government is also good for jubilee itself,” said Kalonzo.

He said he has made many sacrifices before and is ready to make another one to ensure NASA sails through reiterating his determination to be the flag bearer.

Kalonzo vowed to ensure that this year’s election is not rigged and asked the Jubilee Government to start packing as their time is up.

Wetang’ula lashed out at the Jubilee government for focusing on misplaced priorities, saying the free laptops for Class One pupils was laughable as parents have no food and are insecure.

“The failures of jubilee are uncountable and everyone who has eyes knows what needs to be done, do not be the biblical strangers in Israel because the NASA train is leaving the dock and you need to be on board,” Wetangula said.

Other leaders who addressed the crowd were Senators James Orengo (Siaya) Boni Khalwale (Kakamega), Johnstone Muthama (Machakos), George Khaniri (Vihiga), MPs Silavance Osiele (Kasipul Kabondo), Jared Kopiyo (Awendo), Yusuf Chanzu (Vihiga), Irshad Sumra (Embakasi South), Women representatives Dorcas Kedogo (Vihiga), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and Rose Nyamunga Kisumu. The coalition promised to tour Thika, Meru and other Jubilee strongholds, to sell their agenda to Kenyans.