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NASA principals fail to pull out of the coalition

POLITICS
By Moses Nyamori | July 23rd 2021
NASA Principals Musalia Mudavadi (left), Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula right at the Wiper Offices. [Dennis Kavisu, Standard]

Confusion has rocked push by the National Super Alliance (NASA) principals to dissolve the moribund coalition.

It has emerged that Ford Kenya – one of the three parties seeking to pull out of the coalition – is facing fresh hurdles in its quest to pull out due to a leadership dispute before the High Court.

The implication is that party organs cannot ratify resolution to ditch NASA until the court determines the legal party officials. Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula and Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi are in a tussle over control of Ford Kenya.

On the other hand, Kalonzo Musyoka's Wiper party is said to have developed cold feet over its resolution to withdraw from the coalition.

The party stands to lose key parliamentary leadership positions should it formally pull out. Senate Minority Leader and Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader Robert Mbui would be some of the casualties of such a decision.

According to the NASA agreement, the coalition stands dissolved if three affiliate parties leave. This means until all the three – Wiper, Ford Kenya and Amani National Congress (ANC) – proceed with their resolution to pull out, the coalition would continue to exist.

There was also confusion yesterday about a planned meeting between ODM leader Raila Odinga and Kalonzo that failed to take place.

ODM insisted the meeting did not take place while Mr Wetang'ula claimed the two leaders met. National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed told The Standard the two leaders had not met by last evening. Sources within Wiper also denied such a meeting.

But Wetang'ula said he was to meet Kalonzo last evening to get a briefing about the meeting with Raila over the contested political parties funding. “I am going to meet him (Kalonzo) for briefing. He has not briefed me so I cannot comment about the details, but I know they met,” said Wetang'ula.

“The meeting has been about accountability. Trust must run like blood in our veins in all our dealings. If there is a deficit in trust then how can you build confidence,” he posed.

Sources said Kalonzo was determined to resolve the political parties funding dispute before the three partner parties can officially withdraw from the coalition. The thinking by the three parties is that if they pull out then there would be no grounds for them to claim the money. A Wiper lawmaker said they had already prepared “talking notes” for Kalonzo in readiness for his discussions with Raila.

“The planned meeting is just for the two leaders; no other politician is accompanying them. What we did as Wiper was to prepare notes for the discussions. It is not yet confirmed if they are meeting today,” said the lawmaker.

Only ANC party organ has ratified the decision to withdraw from the coalition. The party’s MPs held a parliamentary group meeting yesterday.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala said the National Council has also met and ratified the decision.

“The National Council has since met and given the party leader the go-ahead to pull out of NASA. The council has also given him authority to engage other political leaders moving forward,” said Malala.

The three parties on Tuesday announced that they had resolved to withdraw from the coalition to pave way for joining the emerging One Kenya Alliance.

The trio, however, insisted that they have to pursue the money to its conclusive end. “As far as we are concerned NASA is part of our political history. All that remain is the final process of closure, which includes a pursuit of financial accountability and settlement,” added the statement read by Mutula Jnr.

Yesterday, Wetang'ula and Tongaren MP Eseli Simiyu clashed, with each claiming leadership of the outfit. Wetang'ula described Eseli and Wamunyinyi as rebels with no cause, adding that the party will proceed with all its political activities.

“We had planned to have a PG tomorrow (today) but we have rescheduled it to Tuesday. It should be clear that we do not have a leadership dispute, we have rebels. The pecking order in our party is clear, those are rebels without cause."

They can continue having their business in hotel boardrooms while we continue with party activities,” said Wetang'ula.

He cited the party’s recent participation in by-elections as proof that he was in charge of the outfit.

But Eseli said making any resolution would amount to contempt of court. He said the current National Executive Council was in office illegally since their tenure expired in 2015.

“He cannot convene any party organ to make such a resolution until the matter is resolved by the High Court,” said Eseli.

He said his wing was also planning to convene the National Delegates Conference to make resolutions about the leadership dispute.

“We have realised that the court is not a solution to Ford Kenya issues. We will find a political solution to the problems facing the party,” he said.

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