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Mudavadi party to decide on next move in NASA as Coast MPs say they will fight for more space within coalition

By Eric Lungai and Patrick Beja | December 4th 2017
National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga greets Rwanda football team players at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega. His coalition NASA is having internal tiffs over parliamentary leadership allocations [Photo: Benjamin Sakwa| Standard]

Amani National Congress (ANC) party will make a decision regarding their position in the Opposition when they retreat to Naivasha later this week, deputy party leader Ayub Savula has said.

This follows discontent in the alliance after the National Super Alliance (NASA) parliamentary leaders were named and ANC legislators were largely omitted.

Mr Savula said Musalia Mudavadi, the founder of NASA, was given only dry skin with regard to the House positions.

“I am not fighting my own wars. I am fighting Mr Mudavadi’s wars. A king’s wars are fought by his loyal lieutenants, and as the deputy party leader, I will not sit down and watch as ANC is short-changed on the initial NASA agreement,” Savula said. 

Block names

“If possible, we will even go to court to block the names submitted by NASA from being accepted by the Speaker.”

Addressing journalists in Kakamega County on Saturday, the MP reiterated that things would not be well in the coalition if their demands were not met.

It was expected that Savula would be given the deputy minority leader position in the National Assembly among other positions, with NASA having failed to name its House leaders for over a month.

In the past week, different factions within ANC have expressed various opinions on the House leadership positions submitted by NASA. A section of leaders from Coast region have also expressed their disquiet.

But a joint statement issued by senators George Khaniri (Vihiga) and Cleophas Malala (Kakamega), Vihiga Woman Rep Beatrice Adagala and nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi said the concerns were premature and uncalled for.   

“NASA principals are still consulting with a view to addressing the matter amicably. ANC is an integral member of NASA and any insinuation and threats that ANC will pull out of the coalition are inaccurate, irresponsible and motivated by myopic, selfish motives,” the statement read.

They noted party leader Musalia Mudavadi was not consulted on the matter, nor was the supposed resolution of pulling out of NASA for any reason ever floated at any party meeting.

But Savula said ANC would not fight from the periphery because they risked not being able to advance any motion as a party when they were not part of the House leadership.

“Who will drive the ANC agenda when we are not in the leadership? Mudavadi knows this very well,” he said.

Savula said the position offered to ANC (commissioner to Parliamentary Service Commission), which the two factions have proposed should go to either Mr Khaniri or Sabatia MP Alfred Agoi, was inconsequential.

Real business

“The position has nothing to do with the leadership of the House, where real business takes place. Commissioner to PSC is like a trade unionist and it is a periphery position that will not help Mudavadi’s party advance its agenda,” he said.  

Meanwhile, Coast MPs will fight for more space from within ODM and NASA, they stated yesterday.

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya, Kinango MP Benjamin Tayari and Paul Katana of Kaloleni, said their recent discontent over parliamentary posts should not be misconstrued to mean they would quit NASA.

At the same time, Dr Baya revealed NASA leader Raila Odinga met with some of them on Saturday following their protests, and they expected a reversal of the controversial list tomorrow.

Those at the meeting were Baya, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir, Likoni's Mishi Mboko and Raila’s private secretary, Andrew Mondo.

“We expect a major announcement on Tuesday that will see the list of NASA positions in the National Assembly and Senate benefit Coast region. We are in ODM and NASA to stay but we will fight more for space for the Coast region. Nothing comes without fighting,” said Baya.

Mr Tayari also confirmed the meeting between Raila and representatives of Coast legislators who were promised changes to the list of parliamentary jobs this week.

“We had talks with Raila and the outcome was positive. Coast is likely going to get one of the key posts in Parliament after changes,” he said.

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