Mudavadi: I'm the best bet for NASA
By Rawlings Otieno, Maureeen Ongala
| March 13th 2017
Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi declared that he is best placed to fly the NASA flag even as Opposition leaders dismissed an opinion poll which suggested that Raila Odinga is the best bet for National Super Alliance (NASA).
John Mbadi (ODM), Eseli Simiyu (Ford Kenya), Yusuf Shanzu (ANC), Dan Maanzo (Wiper) and Dr Chris Wamalwa (Ford Kenya) alleged that all polls in Kenya are a fraudulent and meant to drive a certain narrative for political expediency.
Some of the MPs accused the Government of manipulating the poll to depict the ODM leader as being the most popular.
As the leaders castigated Infotrak and its latest poll, Mr Mudavadi said he should be let to face President Uhuru Kenyatta in the August General Election as NASA is his brainchild.
“I pushed for the formation of NASA because I knew when we go as an individual we will totally lose as we needed the support of each other. That is why I promise you that none of us will quit,” he said while addressing a rally in Suswa in Narok East.
He asked the committee crafting the methods to be used in picking the NASA presidential candidate to consider him for his role in forming the alliance.
On Saturday, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka accused his opponents of using pollsters to depict him as weak and less popular than his colleagues in NASA.
The poll by Infotrak, showed Odinga enjoying huge support among NASA supporters with 41.6 per cent of those sampled in the poll saying they would recommend his candidature for the ticket.
The poll rated Kalonzo third with 18.2 per cent while Mudavadi came second with 21.6.3 per cent.
Wetang’ula, who has abandoned the race for Senate seat in Bungoma, was trailing his three co-principals in the race for the presidential ticket at 2.2 per cent. Some 4.1 per cent of the respondents said they would not vote for any of the four candidates despite supporting NASA.
The scramble for the top Opposition seat heightens against a backdrop of sibling rivalry which has seen some members defecting from one party to another, causing ill-feeling and mistrust in some areas.
Dismissing the poll, the four MPs told NASA’s National Coordinating Committee to use existing parameters to identify a presidential candidate for the August polls.
Dr Simiyu, who is also the Ford Kenya Secretary General and a close ally of the party leader Moses Wetangula, said that pollsters and comments by political analysts in the media are putting unnecessary pressure on NASA’s coordinating team for no reason.
This is the organ mandated by NASA to formulate the method to be used in picking the opposition’s presidential candidate.
He said the committee will not be swayed by the outcome of the pollsters but instead advocates for independent analysis in reaching a consensus on who face Mr Kenyatta in the August polls.
“Pollsters are putting unnecessary pressure on the committee working to find the presidential candidate. As a committee we shall make independent decision on the method of picking the candidate. We will not be swayed by pollsters,” said Eseli.
Mr Mbadi (Suba) said that ODM has a firm position that pollsters will not change the committee’s stand on the best method to pick NASA’s candidate.
“Even if the pollster put our party leader ahead, it will not change our firm position that they are not credible. We don’t rely on pollsters to come up with the candidate. We don’t know who engineers these polls,” said Mbadi.
Yesterday, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi’s close lieutenant and Vihiga MP Yusuf Shanzu also dismissed the pollster.
“These are just opinions as the name suggests. We are yet to know the source of these pollsters but there is a team working on the modalities of picking the best presidential candidate. That cannot be compromised by any pollster,” said Shanzu.
His Makueni counterpart and Kalonzo’s ally Dan Maanzo alleged that pollsters are used to drive some narrative.
“Kenya’s polls are always cooked. We are aware that Jubilee really wants Raila to be on the ballot. The gap between Raila and Kalonzo is fairly big but once Kalonzo gets the ticket, things will change,” said Maanzo.
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