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Iron Lady Martha Karua leads Mt Kenya in deal with OKA

POLITICS
By Jacob Ngetich and Muriithi Mugo | November 24th 2021

Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua reads a joint statement after a meeting of One Kenya Alliance principals and Mt Kenya Forum leaders in Nairobi. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Signs of a third force in the run up to the 2022 elections are becoming clearer after the One Kenya Alliance announced a looming deal with Mt Kenya Forum leaders.

The forum whose leaders include Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, among other current and former Mt Kenya politicians, said they would be looking for more allies as they gear up for next year’s polls.

After hours of a closed-door meeting at a Nairobi hotel yesterday, One Kenya Alliance principals and the Mt Kenya Forum leaders came out to announce that they were working on a political deal that would see them cooperate.

The meeting was attended by OKA principals Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (Kanu), Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) and Cyrus Jirongo, former Kiambu governor William Kabogo and former Tetu MP Ndung’u Gethenji.

In a brief address, Karua said they were crafting a working arrangement.

“We have held talks to explore the possibility of working together, we belong to Kenya and no one can do it alone,” said Karua.

Wetang’ula said with the dynamism of politics at play, they had started a journey. “Watch this space,” he said.

The latest move comes just days after Karua’s team joined forces with Muturi for the Mt Kenya Forum that includes former Agriculture CS Mwangi Kiunjuri and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.

On Monday, Karua revealed that a consensus to guide Mt Kenya region would be arrived at during the Limuru III meeting scheduled for early next year.

She said all leaders from the region were looking for a unity of purpose irrespective of their party affiliations.

“I was chosen as the Mt Kenya unity forum spokesperson while National Assembly Speaker JB Muturi was chosen by elders as spokesperson and we are working together,” said Karua.

Speaking to delegates in Embu, Karua noted that Mt Kenya has been wandering without a leader and Limuru III would help bring all leaders to walk together.

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi with Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula during the meeting with Mount Kenya Forum. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

She also warned that some forces were out to divide Mt Kenya East against the West, for their personal gains. “If you see leaders camping in our region for votes, it means we are vital and therefore we must walk together. We will talk, engage and must have a consensus”.

Muturi, who has declared interest in the presidency, was picked as spokesperson of the Mt Kenya region and has taken over retired President Mwai Kibaki’s Democratic Party (DP) ahead of the 2022 polls.

The new political deal could delay plans by OKA to unveil its presidential candidate before Christmas.

Wetang’ula and Gideon have been cleared by their parties’ national delegates congress (NDC) forums to vie for president while Kalonzo is set to be cleared by his party this Thursday when Wiper holds its NDC.

ANC is also expected to, in early December, clear Mudavadi to be the party’s flag bearer.

The entry of Mt Kenya Forum could increase the number of presidential aspirants in the political arrangement given that Muturi is also gunning for the top seat.

Meanwhile, OKA principals Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Gideon and Wetang’ula yesterday condoled with Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju at his Karen residence following the death of his mother, Mama Mary Ogola Odiyo Tuju, aged 87.

She had been hospitalised for over two months, suffering from osteoporosis. Gideon told the family to be strong during this time of grief.

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