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Jubilee meets to tackle NASA as focus turns to Mudavadi

By Moses Nyamori | January 13th 2017 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Opposition leaders Nick Salat of KANU (from left) Musalia Mudavadi of Amani (from left) Kalonzo Musyoka of Wiper ,Gospel singer Hellena Ken,Raila Odinga of ODM and Moses Wetangula of Ford-Kenya during the NASA Convention at Bomas of Kenya,Nairobi. Photo/Elvis Ogina (Nairobi) January 11th,2016

The new-found Opposition unity is split between acquiring the new name – National Super Alliance (NASA) – or sticking to Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD).

The Standard has learnt that some Opposition chiefs are hesitant to unite under the banner of NASA since it is Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi’s brainchild and is registered under his secretary general’s name.

CORD co-principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula as well as Mr Mudavadi on Wednesday agreed to field a single candidate on a united Opposition platform to face Jubilee's Uhuru and his deputy, William Ruto.

Those opposed to NASA allegedly claim joining it would be giving Mudavadi undeserved credit, as well as, an upper hand in the management of the alliance after it emerged that ANC had already made request to register it as a coalition.

The Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung'u yesterday confirmed that her office had received a request to register the outfit as a coalition.

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Ms Ndung'u said the request was made "some months ago" by ANC Secretary General Godfrey Osotsi and that her office had approved it.

The disquiet in Opposition comes as Jubilee members converge today in Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi for a meeting to be addressed by President Uhuru Kenyatta (see story on page 10).

The President is expected to officially inaugurate a smart membership card, two days after Opposition announced it will field one presidential candidate.

Those expected to attend include Jubilee governors, MPs and MCAs as well as the party's interim officials and aspirants.

This will be the first time Uhuru is meeting the various party aspirants.

Addressing a press briefing in Nairobi yesterday, Mr Wetang'ula said Opposition leaders have never had a discussion over NASA as their new alliance moving to the August 8 General Election.

"We are called CORD. What else do we need to decide? What is in a name? Anybody who wants to join us is welcome. We welcome Mudavadi to join us," said Wetang'ula.

COALITION OF CHOICE

"We as Ford Kenya are members of CORD. CORD is the coalition we went to the last election with, it is the coalition that we belong to. It is the coalition that has instrument of formation with the Registrar of Political Parties. Anything else is not something that Ford Kenya has formally discussed and associated itself with," he added.

He said Opposition supporters should not be worried over the name they will use since "the substance is in their unity not clamour for names".

"At Bomas, we were talking about the unity of Opposition. The substance is that the Opposition is coming together. We believe that we are on the tract in forming a united Opposition and just watch the space. It is a reincarnation of the 2002 Narc movement and whoever decides to stand on the way of the hurricane should know the consequences," he added.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka declined to comment on the matter, stating that he was not ready to discuss the matter on phone.

Raila last month, however, indicated his willingness to embrace the alliance after holding joint rallies, where he and Mudavadi announced plans to unveil it this February.

ODM Director of Political Affairs Opiyo Wandayi yesterday said formation of a joint platform was "work in progress and that they are open to many options".

EARLY MEETING

On Wedneday, Raila, Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetang'ula held a prior meeting where they were expected to agree on the use of NASA.

But when they trooped to Bomas, some of the leaders steered away from committing themselves to the outfit maintaining that they were a simply a joint Opposition front and that their parties would would thereafter discuss the modalities of the union under their internal structures and decision-making organs.

It was only Mudavadi who made major attempts to rally the crowd around NASA, explaining why he has been pushing for it.

"I have been defending NASA not because I disregard existing coalitions, but because I want those in ODM, Kanu, Ford Kenya, Wiper, ANC and everybody else so that we don't lose even a single vote. Nobody is too small. Every vote counts," said Mudavadi.

The disquiet over the name also came to the fore when Siaya Senator James Orengo read the joint declaration signed by all the leaders, which did not make reference to NASA but talked about a "joint Opposition platform".

 


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