The One Kenya Alliance (OKA) is open to working with other political formations in a structured, open engagement but will be careful about who joins them.
Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, however, categorically ruled out working with Kenya Kwanza, consisting of DP Ruto’s UDA, Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC, and Moses Wetangula’s Ford-Kenya party.
“The assertion to join other parties has been there. We are open to like-minded political formations but the mode of engagement shall be open, inclusive, transparent, and consultative,” Kalonzo said, dismissing reports that he would be joining Raila Odinga’s Azimio la Umoja.
Should OKA decide on working together with other parties, Kalonzo said the decision would be made by all the four principals, that is, Kanu’s Gideon Moi, NARC-K’s Martha Karua, and United Democratic Party’s Cyrus Jirongo.
“There is no urgency. We have until April to form political formations,” he added.
Karua reiterated Kalonzo's sentiments saying the OKA coalition was no prison and anyone willing to join can do so.
“A coalition is not a jail…the doors remain open but everyone is open to exercise their freedom,” the Narc-K leader noted.
The four leaders signed a deed of assignment at the Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka Centre in Nairobi on Wednesday, committing to work together under OKA.
“This is an affirmation of our commitment to standing firm together and focus on securing the lives of Kenyans,” Baringo Senator Gideon Moi said.
In legal terms, a deed of assignment is a legal document that transfers or assigns the legal rights and obligations to another party.
OKA will officially register with the Registrar of Political parties on February 28 and publicly unveil the coalition.
The pact now paves way for Wiper, KANU, Narc Kenya, and UDP to work together under the alliance and claim the One Kenya Alliance name whose legal rights initially belonged to Wiper party which had reserved the coalition name at the Registrar of Political parties.
At the weekend, Wiper Secretary-General Shakila Abdalla however maintained that Kalonzo’s name would be on the ballot come August 9, while rubbishing claims that he would work with either Raila or Ruto despite pressure from political forces.
Ms Abdalla warned leaders against ignoring the Wiper leader saying he has the potential to sail through the presidential elections as bitter rivals Raila and Ruto engage in political rhetoric.
“The other leaders are looking for us but we must go to the ballot. We have refused to be carried in wheelbarrows or embrace Azimio La Umoja Movement. Kalonzo will be on the ballot on August 9,” Abdalla said.
The Wiper leader last week reiterated that his bid to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta was still on course. Addressing a crowd at Kitui Stadium, Kalonzo said One Kenya Alliance (OKA) is still intact, despite ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi opting to work with DP William Ruto of UDA.
Kalonzo, who was in the company of Gideon Moi, Cyrus Jirongo, and businessman Jimi Wanjigi, is trying to craft a third force ahead of the August 9 polls.
In the last two elections, Raila and Kalonzo ran on a joint ticket.
[Additional reporting by Josphat Thiong'o]