Kenya News

ODM’s Raila and Musalia reserve new coalition names

Opposition parties will have a new coalition within a month, according to people close to them.

Within that period, Jubilee will formalize its arrangement with ODM and declare its support for ODM leader Raila Odinga.

On the other side, the One Kenya Alliance is considering having ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi as its presidential candidate with Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka as his running mate.

Kanu which has a working arrangement with Jubilee is reportedly planning to declare their support for the ODM-Jubilee arrangement in a move that may destabilize the alliance.

“We have an arrangement with Jubilee but we will hope to form a bigger coalition with Oka as well so that we all back one candidate,” Kanu’s secretary general Nick Salat said.

It’s understood that the registrar of political parties has received a number of names for the proposed coalition with one coming from Mudavadi and the other from Jubilee and ODM.

One Kenya Alliance chiefs have been playing hardball on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s efforts to reunite them with Raila as they craft their way to the ballot.

The principals are believed to be wooing Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi to join their side after he parted ways with the ODM party leader recently.

Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Gideon Moi (Kanu) and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula have maintained their door is open to like-minded people and Kingi seems to be too good to lose.

Eager to bring on board prominent politicians, Kingi has been seen as one of their targets in the Coast region after he was kicked out by ODM.

Oka chiefs flew to the Coast on Tuesday evening after their two-day retreat in Naivasha for a meeting with Uhuru on Wednesday and used their free time there to meet politicians from the region.

Wetang’ula, Mudavadi and Kalonzo met Kingi before they addressed a press conference on Thursday to dismiss reports that the President is pushing them to back Raila in 2022 polls.

Kingi’s meeting with Oka principals came barely 10 days after the ODM leader kicked him out as the party chairperson in Kilifi county.

Kingi was in the same hotel with the principals, but they declined having a meeting with him.

“Governor Kingi is here for his personal business, we did not meet with him,” Mudavadi said.

However, Kalonzo’s statement suggested that they might have held talks with him.

“Ukiona Vyaelea, basi jua…….,” posed Kalonzo for the media.

Soon after the meeting, photos of the four emerged on social media proving that they might have held talks with Kingi.

Kingi has since welcomed the move by ODM to replace him as the county chairperson with Ganze MP Teddy Mwambire.

Raila sanctioned his removal and replacement after he openly and consistently supported the formation of coastal-based parties arguing it was the best way to effectively fight for the needs of the region.

The former Prime Minister accused Kingi of betraying him and the party; and said the Kilifi county boss had enjoyed enormous success in his political career because of his ties with him.

The Kilifi county boss has been at the forefront in pushing for a political outfit that would bring on board politicians from the Coastal region ahead of the 2022 General Election.

During the press briefing, Oka chiefs maintained that their visits to State House were not summons to urge them to support one candidate or the other and termed the gatherings as “cordial consultative meetings deliberating on national matters.”

The principals said the Wednesday meeting was one such conference where a new Covid-19 surge and containment measures were the subject of discussion.

“No one asked or even suggested that we support anyone for anything. We call upon news media and especially the print media to remain focused on reporting facts as they are and not what their wishes are,” they added in a statement that was read by Mudavadi.

Reports had said Uhuru is inching closer to a political deal with Oka chiefs to endorse his handshake partner for the presidency next year.

Uhuru’s Wednesday’s meeting with Oka principals and Raila was the second in less than 10 days at State House, Mombasa.

It was reported that during the meeting on August 10, Uhuru asked Oka principals to go and think about backing Raila, and promised there would be subsequent meetings to discuss the matter further.

During this meeting, the Oka chiefs are said to have insisted that it would be one of them and not Raila.

Mudavadi rallied behind Raila in 2007 before running on his own in 2013. He supported him again in 2017. On the other hand, Kalonzo supported Raila in 2013 and 2017 elections.

On Thursday, Oka principals termed the reports about their meeting with Uhuru as fake news being purveyed by a local daily.

“We condemn such press reporting with the contempt it deserves,” they said in a statement.

The principals claimed there has been a crusade to fabricate their own facts of the meetings in favour of “one invitee to the meetings and presidential aspirant.”

They said Kenyans deserve correct, factual, verifiable, attributable, and balanced reporting of events and “not fiction about manufactured events that didn’t take place.”

In June, Uhuru declared that he would support one of the former Nasa principals during the 2022 General Election. However, he said he would only do so if the former principals reunite and pick one candidate among themselves.

Reports have since been awash that Uhuru has been asking Oka to rally behind Raila for the seat.

But speaking during the retreat in Naivasha, Oka chiefs exuded confidence that one of them would be the next president.

“The next government is sitting in this room but only if we remain united and committed to achieving the goal,” Kalonzo said.

He said Oka will not join other formations but its doors are open for like-minded parties or coalitions to join.

“They want us to look like we are the ones joining them. We have been very clear from the start that our doors are open for others to join. Let nobody pretend they are inviting us to join them,” the Wiper leader added.

Moi assured the meeting that Oka principals are committed to producing a president.

“We are here to ensure that come 2022, one of us will be walking to the house on the hill,” he stated.


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