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Defining moment as OKA leaders retreat to craft election roadmap

POLITICS
By Standard Team | August 17th 2021

One Kenya Alliance (OKA) leaders Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Mosyoka, Gideon Moi, Enoch wambua and Kanu Secretary General Nick Salat arrives at The Great Rift Lodge in Naivasha Nakuru County on  August 16, 2021.[Harun Wathari,Standard]

The One Kenya Alliance (OKA) will today unveil its roadmap to 2022 General Election as principals begin four days retreat at Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha.

The eight-member technical team chaired by Karanja Maina, is expected to present the alliance’s proposed manifesto, coalition colours and symbols. 

The team has been drafting legal instruments for the pact as well as reviewing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for the four principals in what will inform the coalition’s pick of the 2022 flag bearer.

The four principals Gideon Moi (Kanu), Moses Wetangula (Ford-Kenya), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi of ANC yesterday joined the alliance’s secretariat that has been meeting at the hotel for the past three days.

Addressing the Press yesterday, Gideon said they will make public their agenda. He called on their supporters to remain united.

“We have a lot of issues to discuss and we are confident of a breakthrough, after which we shall update our on the direction we shall take as a party and as a coalition,” he said.

Kalonzo said the meeting is expected to align their agenda towards nation-building.

“This is a critical engagement of OKA and to get versed with what our technical team has been preparing. We are guided by the great country we wish for our children,” he said.

Wetang’ula said the meeting will go a long way in building confidence between affiliate parties and their members, while working on modalities of working with other parties.

“This is not a closed shop. We are looking at our national profile. We have a long queue of suitors whom we are engaging with at different levels to strengthen OKA as we capture the imagination of Kenyans,” he said.

The Ford-Kenya boss, however, revealed that ODM leader Raila Odinga will not be part of the meeting. He said they had extended the invitation to parties and individual leaders to join them.

“Raila is not part of OKA at least for now. We have invited others and the list of people who have shown interest to join us is impressive. We are hunting for support and we are being hunted too,” said Wetang’ula.

Mudavadi said OKA is working to pick a flag bearer to face off with rivals at the ballot.

“We are positioning ourselves, parties and individual leaders. This is a competition that needs a holistic approach. We shall pick a candidate and Kenyans will decide at the ballot,” said Mudavadi.

Speaking separately, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior said the alliance will today make a landmark declaration but will not reveal its presidential flag bearer in the 2022 polls.

“We shall be releasing the OKA manifesto, colors, logo, and other technical matters and the matrix that will guide us on the way forward for political parties and presidential elections,” said Kilonzo Jr.

The senator said they expect to hear from the principals details of the recent Mombasa State House meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta. “We are eager to know what happened in Mombasa. There has been a lot of rumors that there was a quarrel and someone was not greeted… we want to hear from them,” said Kilonzo Jr.

The senator said after the meeting, the alliance will proceed to develop a power-sharing agreement among constituent parties and later on, announce a presidential candidate.

“We shall not be unveiling the presidential candidate because there is a lot to be done before we get there. The idea is to formally launch OKA and give it direction before making further decisions,” he said.

The coalition is expected to come up with a fallback plan that will guide them in the event the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) aborts.

The Court of Appeal is set to rule on Friday on the the High Court verdict that declared BBI illegal.

“We also have to plan how we shall work together under the current legal framework. We want to be on the same page on the assumption that BBI may not succeed,” Kilonzo said.

Kieni MP Kanini Kega, who is an ally of President Kenyatta, is also among the members who checked in at the hotel yesterday.

At the same time, OKA-affiliated legislators have lashed out at ODM over calls to oust electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati.

The MPs alleged foul play in the plan barely a year to the General Election.

Addressing the press at the sidelines of the Naivasha meeting, the MPs dared the Orange party to bring the motion to oust Chebukati in Parliament. Kimilili MP Chris Wamalwa termed the move by ODM as ridden with malice.

“We are aware of the plot by ODM to impeach IEBC chairman and we are not taking this kindly and were ready for them in Parliament,” said the Ford-Kenya MP.

Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua describe the Naivasha meeting as the inaugural parliamentary group meeting for the alliance aimed at creating a synergy between members of the individual parties.

“We want to see how best to handle issues in the coalition. We are bringing all our elected members together during which we shall see how individual manifesto for all the parties can be harmonised,” said Wambua.

Meanwhile, during talks at a Nairobi hotel last month, OKA principals agreed that their flagbearer will be picked after scientific polls.

Wamalwa told The Standard that they had contracted local and international firms to conduct surveys on the candidates.

He said the coalition will use scientific interventions to prevent any fallout among the principals.

“We are using some interventions like scientific surveys. Once we get those reports, we will sit and evaluate. It is something you cannot just wake up and announce. It will be procedural and methodological,” said Dr Wamalwa.

Reports by Kennedy Gachuhi, Antony Gitonga, Bradley Sikolia and Jacob Ngetich

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