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VAS

We have not been summoned by Uhuru, OKA says

POLITICS
By Patrick Vidija | November 1st 2021

One Kenya Alliance principals during a campaign rally in Kakamega today. [Dennis Kavisu, Standard]

The One Kenya Alliance (OKA), has refuted claims that the principals have been summoned to State House by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

In a statement to the newsroom on Monday, the alliance also dismissed claims that the four principals Musalia Mudavadi - ANC, Kalonzo Musyoka - Wiper, Moses Wetangula - Ford Kenya and Gideon Moi – KANU were being coerced to support ODM leader Raila Odinga.

“Our attention has been drawn to reports in a section of the media that suggest that the OKA Principals have been repeatedly summoned by His Excellency the President to Statehouse Nairobi, to be given political instructions; and that H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta is attempting to derail the OKA campaigns,” read part of the statement.

While terming the claims false, malicious, misleading and mischievous, calculated to achieve nothing more than to ridicule their principals and cause despondency to their friends, well-wishers and supporters, the alliance said it remains focused and committed to offering the country a just, inclusive and progressive leadership.

The alliance said any meetings with Uhuru have been voluntary and not coerced as reported.

“We wish to further state that at no time has the President “summoned” the principals for any political meetings. The participation by the Principals and indeed any other party has been voluntary, and the meetings have been held in the most congenial and positive circumstances, with the interest and good of the country as the primary consideration,” the statement said.

The alliance further said any meetings that have happened between them and Uhuru or any other person have been held in a peaceful, cordial and respectful environment.

“At no time has the President attempted to influence or derail the OKA campaigns directly, through proxies or otherwise. The OKA secretariat is fully in charge of the OKA campaign strategies and is not working under any undue or external influence,” the statement read.       

The response follows reports that the OKA principals have been invited for talks at Statehouse with Uhuru pushing them to support Raila.

Speaking in Thika on Sunday, Musalia accused unnamed people of coercing them to support others whom he did not name.

“I said that while in Kakamega [on Fiday] and I repeat here and I will repeat it everywhere. Leadership comes from the people and the people must decide, not a few leaders seated somewhere and imagining that they shall decide who shall be Kenya’s leaders,” said Musalia.

According to an article in The Star, the Oka top brass was invited to State House on Friday just hours after they launched their campaigns, forcing them to suspend their itinerary, at least for a day.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi, his Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka as well as Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang'ula met Uhuru at State House on Saturday, just hours before the President jetted out to Glasgow.

The article indicated that Uhuru implored the trio to work with Raila to be assured of victory against Ruto.

However, Kanu boss Gideon Moi, a close ally of Kenyatta who is seen to be gravitating towards ODM chief Raila Odinga, skipped the meeting and was away campaigning for his presidential bid in Ngong.

Kibisu Kabatesi, an aide to Mudavadi, said the calls from State House were beginning to raise eyebrows.

“Why is it that when Oka is having its events, calls come from State House? It is becoming obvious that calls have been coming from State House only when Oka has planned events,” Kabatesi told the Star.

“These summonses could only benefit two people, either DP Ruto or ODM leader Raila.”

The principals said they would not fall into the traps of boardroom meetings.

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