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OKA leaders deny Raila deal, say their pact still binding

POLITICS
By Patrick Beja | August 20th 2021

OKA leaders Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (Kanu) and Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya). [Dennis Kavisu, Standard]

One Kenya Alliance (OKA) leaders have denied reports that they have settled on ODM leader Raila Odinga as their 2022 presidential flagbearer.

Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress (ANC), Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya) and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka said President Uhuru Kenyatta did not pile pressure on them to back Raila’s bid at a meeting in Mombasa on Wednesday.

The three leaders said a position they took at the recent OKA retreat in Naivasha was still binding to all of them, including Kanu chairman Gideon Moi. “The position we took in Naivasha still stands,” Mudavadi said. 

At the Naivasha retreat, the principals and their supporters who included some Jubilee Party members, said one of them would be on the presidential ballot come the 2022 General Election. 

Mudavadi, who read out a statement, said President Kenyatta did not discuss the 2022 General Election at the State House meeting on Wednesday as widely reported. 

“We focused on the Covid 19 pandemic and stopping of public gatherings. Nothing was discussed on supporting anyone at the meeting,” Mudavadi said. 

The leaders said their joint statement had the blessings of Gideon, the Baringo Senator, who was not present.

They were reacting to reports in a section of the media yesterday that they gave a conditional nod to back the former prime minister.

It was reported that the President had asked the OKA principals to dissolve the outfit in preparation for a new coalition of national unity.

Yesterday, the three principals met embattled Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, raising interest on whether the county chief would team up with them. 

Kingi was recently stripped of his Kilifi ODM chairmanship after Raila accused him of betraying the party.

Kalonzo said they had started a political engagement with Kingi, whose next political move remains unknown. “Ukiona vyaelea, vimeundwa (What you see floats has been created),” Kalonzo hinted.

The Wiper leader contradicted Mudavadi and  Wetangula who had suggested that they had only bumped into Kingi at the hotel. 

The Kilifi governor, who has been championing the formation of a political party with a base in Coast, gave an indication that he would engage the OKA team.

“Bumped into principals of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) team in Mombasa and had a brief discussion. Agreed that there is need for further and structured engagement,” Kingi wrote yesterday. 

Meanwhile, there was a flurry of activities in Mombasa yesterday when Kingi, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Chief Administrative Secretary Gideon Mung’aro met President Kenyatta at State House.

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