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President Uhuru in yet another bid to reunite NASA partners

POLITICS
By Standard Team | August 11th 2021
President Uhuru Kenyatta (center) after a consultative meeting with Raila Odinga (ODM), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya), and Gideon Moi (KANU) at State House, Mombasa on August 10, 2021. [PSCU, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday took the quest to re-unite former National Super Alliance (Nasa) principals a notch higher, hosting a luncheon at State House in Mombasa.

The talks with ODM leader Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka(Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Gideon Moi (KANU), Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya) lasted for hours, with parties digging in on calls for unity.

Also present in the meeting convened to have the Opposition politicians forge a united front was Kakamega Governor and ODM deputy party leader Wycliffe Oparanya.

The latest unity bid meeting came against the backdrop of last week's public spectacle where former Nasa members went their separate ways. 

It also came in the wake of increased tension between Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto.

Two days ago, Uhuru met Raila for talks at a local resort in Shanzu and little information came out of their meeting.

“Among the subjects discussed by the leaders were Covid-19's impact on the country and how to revamp the economy; the importance of maintaining peace, unity and national cohesion,” said the statement signed by Kanze Dena, the State House spokesperson. 

None of the ex-Nasa principals appeared keen to discuss the deliberations, with some referring the media to the State House statement.

Sources however say the meeting was political and the president impressed upon the team to forge a united political front.

He was concerned that fallout would paralyse their prospects.

Mudavadi, Wetangúla and Kalonzo have severed links with Raila over claims he reneged on their agreements in the run up to the 2017 General Election.

The three have since teamed up with Gideon and come up with One Kenya Alliance.

In the meeting, however, Mudavadi and Kalonzo are said to have stood their ground, recounting their past sacrifices and how it all turned out.

Raila did not seem averse to a reunion with his erstwhile allies.

Sources indicated that numbers were displayed and read out to the team that impressed on the need to unite.

They were also told time is running out, and of competitors who are outrunning themselves for want of a formidable competition.

Still, there was no breakthrough in getting hearts to soften and to agree to a united front.

"It is just one year to the election, for any serious coalition to come up, this is the time to begin talking to different political players, the meeting is welcome as it seeks help build a strong foundation for those that will take the next government," Kalonzo ally and Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua said of the meeting.

The president is said to have introduced to them an idea of a brand new coalition which would be free of Nasa baggage but would also open for other players. 

The leaders are said to have asked for more time to consult their party organs.

They also agreed on a follow up meeting in coming weeks. 

"The president told them in clear terms to stop pulling in different directions and work together," said the source.

We also established from our sources close to two of the principals that OKA also pushed for zoning where each party will be allowed to field candidates in their strongholds. 

Uhuru has in the past indicated his keenness on having a super alliance to face Ruto in the 2022 polls. 

The meeting that started before noon ended a few minutes past three o'clock before Raila left for Nairobi.

Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir said the leaders met to discuss matters that are beneficial to the common man. 

"It is satisfying to see them put the country first," said Nassir.

"If local leaders can meet with foreigners. It is right and proper for our leaders to meet and talk amongst themselves."

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