The country’s political scene was yesterday awash with talk of yet another alliance following a meeting of top political leaders.
A six-hour meeting held at a Nairobi hotel yesterday attended by former Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) Mukhisa Kituyi and a host of first and second term governors set tongues wagging on whether this could be the building of another outfit ahead of the 2022 General Election.
Among those said to have attended the meeting were governors Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni), Alfred Mutua (Machakos), Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Amason Kingi (Kilifi), Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu), Mohamed Kuti (Isiolo) and Siaya Senator James Orengo.
Dr Kituyi, who resigned from the prestigious UN post last month after serving for eight years, has made it clear that he is in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose term ends next year.
Others in the meeting that have since declared interest in the presidency are Prof Kibwana, Dr Mutua and Mr Kingi.
The meeting comes just two days after Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga hosted some of the members, including Kituyi, Kingi and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, where they held a meeting for three hours at the opposition leader’s Karen residence.
A source at the meeting told The Standard discussions centred around their political identity, their roadmap to 2022, and how they plan to take the political battle forward.
“They discussed their working arrangements, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to be worked on by a group of experts and lawyers who will be picked, and their roadmap. There will be many more meetings in the coming weeks and months before they solidify their political marriage,” said the source.
In February, Kituyi, a former Kimilili MP who also served as a Cabinet minister in former President Mwai Kibaki’s administration, launched his 2022 presidential bid days after he flew into the country.
Kituyi held talks with Raila, Kibwana and Orengo at Serena Hotel in Nairobi on February 18.
Early last month, Kituyi held his homecoming party in Bungoma County where he promised to work with other leaders in his 2022 presidential quest.
With political realignments taking shape ahead of next year, it is not clear who among the four presidential suitors in the arrangement will be the alliance’s torch bearer.
According to highly placed sources aware of yesterday’s meeting, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and Interior and Coordination Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i are said to have excused themselves from the session because they are public officers who did not want to be seen to take sides.
The political arrangement comes hot on the heels of another alliance dubbed the One Kenya Alliance that brings together Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Baringo Senator Gideon Moi (Kanu) and his Bungoma counterpart Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya).
The One Kenya Alliance also is yet to announce who among them will be the flag bearer that will face Deputy President William Ruto, who has already declared his intention to succeed President Kenyatta. Last Saturday, the One Kenya Alliance principals met at Wetang’ula’s Karen residence where they agreed to expand their outfit.
Last week, ODM hinted that Raila would make a fifth stab at the presidency before immediately making a U-turn 24 hours later, with the party’s Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna claiming that the opposition leader was not among those who had shown interest in the party’s ticket by the March 31 deadline.
This left deputy party leaders and governors Oparanya (Kakamega) and Hassan Joho (Mombasa) as the two aspirants who had shown interest in the party’s ticket for presidency.
Nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi said the politicians can begin talking to each other but the time for serious formations will be seen after a vote on the Building Bridges Initiative will have taken place.
“What we are experiencing are political parties and leaders trying to flex their muscles and the emergence of an element of panic. Raila and Ruto will be the main faces of the true politic alliance and outfits that will be formed post-BBI,” said Osotsi.
He said every politician coming to the table was angling for space because whichever alignments that will form the next government, they will have checkmates.