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Three principals vow to dissolve NASA, sue ODM

NATIONAL
By Moses Nyamori | July 6th 2021

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula.[Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Three NASA principals have vowed a vicious court battle with Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) over political parties funds as they move to formally dissolve the coalition.

Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula have resolved to pull out of NASA, a decision that will effectively collapse the coalition that sponsored Raila for the top seat in 2017 presidential race.

The three leaders are already working on papers to have the coalition disbanded over what they termed as irreconcilable political mistrust.

Mudavadi yesterday said that a technical team was already working on the matter, suggesting that they could soon file withdrawal papers with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP).

He said that there were certain procedural issues that they have to addressed before dissolving the moribund coalition.

“It is a process and something will soon happen. There are procedural issues we have to look at before the final decision is made. Obviously people are working behind the scene on the matter,” said Mudavadi.

According to the NASA agreement, it stands dissolved if three affiliate parties leave. This means should Wiper, Ford-Kenya and ANC file for withdrawal, the coalition would stand dissolved.

It has emerged that for the three parties to pull out, they have to convene a National Delegates Convention (NDC) to ratify the decision. The signing out from the deal has also to be done or witnessed by substantive party secretary general, who is the party’s accounting officer.

Currently, Ford Kenya has a dispute over the position of the secretary general with both Kiminini MP Dr Chris Wamalwa and Tongaren Eseli Simiyu battling the position and ANC do not have secretary general, posing a challenge for them to pull out of NASA.

The three NASA principals have also declared plans to take ODM to court over their long running battle for political parties’ funding.

Mr Wetang’ula told The Standard that they will demand that ODM accounts for every shilling disbursed to them by the exchequer.

The Ford Kenya leader disclosed that efforts to reach a deal with ODM on the sharing of the funds hit a dead end, leaving them with no option but to seek legal redress.

“What is left of NASA is winding up and accountability issues. Public resources have been channeled to one of partners who has completely refused to account,” said Wetang’ula.

“This may lead to legal challenges and as affiliates we shall seek remedies legally starting with arbitration, tribunal and maybe eventually the High Court,” he added.

Wetang’ula disclosed that they had mandated Kalonzo to reach out to ODM for the last six months in search of peace but the Orange party has allegedly remained unresponsive.

“Several letters have been written and no feedback. Our engagements have hit a dead end and therefore the only thing left is winding up NASA,” he added.

In a letter dated May 21, Kalonzo wrote a protest letter to Raila over his lack of commitment to address the money standoff.

“The numbers of each coalition party in Parliament is a matter of public record. Funds disbursed so far have only been received by one coalition partner; the Orange Democratic Movement at the expense of other coalition partners,” said the Wiper leader in a protest letter to Raila in our possession.

“On April 21, I met with your deputy party leader Oparanya and we agreed that he hosts a meeting of technical officials on April 28, at which meeting held at his office you were represented by Oduor Ong’wen (Executive Director) and Joshua Kawino (ODM Finance Director),” added the letter.

In the meeting, according to the letter, it was agreed that a further meeting be held on May 7 to finalize on how the parties should benefit from the funds. But the subsequent meeting failed to take place after Governor Wycliffe Oparanya failed to turn up.

“In this backdrop, let us have your response to the issues raised in this letter within seven days of its receipt failure to which it will be understood that you have abandoned all efforts towards an amicable negotiated settlement of this dispute the upshot of which being that parties resort to the contractual dispute resolution mechanism as agreed,” added Kalonzo in the letter to Raila.

But ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna laughed off the threats and dared the three principals to proceed to court. Mr Sifuna said the three parties were free to sever ties with ODM, saying that they have nothing to lose as an outfit.

“We have never known what amount of money they are demanding from us; the legal and factual basis of that demand. So at least when the matter is in court we will be able to know for the first time what their claim against us is. So we welcome that cause of action,” he said.

The agreement by the opposition coalition indicates that partner parties were to benefit equally from the political parties funding attributed to the presidential candidate.

The partners were also to share the funds for seats jointly contested for in the 2017 General Elections. The details are contained in a document filed with the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties (ORPP) on April 27, 2017.

“All votes accruing to the presidency shall be shared among the coalition parties,” states coalition agreement on sharing of funds.

“Funds due to the party from which the coalition presidential candidate has been attributed to the presidential vote shall be shared equally among the coalition parties,” it adds.

The document further indicates that “votes arising to the coalition candidates where joint nominations were carried out shall be shared equally among the coalition parties that participated in the joint nominations for particular seats.”

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