Daily Nation

Wednesday March 22 2017

By ISAAC ONGIRI

Confusion reigned in the National Super Alliance (Nasa) opposition coalition on Tuesday as an important meeting scheduled by its principals failed to take place without an explanation.

Various sources in Nasa said the meeting could not take place in the absence of co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper Democratic Movement) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford-Kenya).

Mr Musyoka had told his colleagues immediately after the Kitengela rally on Sunday that he would fly to Dubai to attend a convention the following day and was expected back in the country today in time for the opposition rally scheduled for Friday in Nairobi.

Surprisingly, Mr Musyoka flew to Dubai only last night for “a short business” and was expected back on Thursday.

ATTENDING LEGISLATIVE SUMMIT

Mr Wetang’ula, it was understood, informed his co-principals Raila Odinga (ODM) and Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress, ANC) that he would be attending the ongoing Legislative Summit on devolution in Mombasa.

 

On Tuesday, Mr Mudavadi, who was economical with details about the developments in Nasa, said the meeting would not take place due to engagements by key members of the coalition.

“Today (Tuesday), it is only the National Co-ordinating Committee that is meeting,” said Mr Mudavadi as he declined to respond to other questions. “We trust they will find the way forward as soon as possible.”

Mr Odinga, who had jetted back to the country from the US, was reportedly taking a rest at home. He was expected to preside over a youth convention by his party at Orange House but skipped the event, which had been billed by the ODM secretariat as “the biggest gathering of ODM youth aspirants” from all parts of the country.

HARDLINE POSITIONS

The same invite to the youth event had indicated that the former Prime Minister was to meet Mr Mudavadi, Mr Musyoka and Mr Wetang’ula later in the day.
None of the meetings took place.

The co-ordinating committee, chaired by Senators James Orengo (Siaya, ODM) and Johnson Muthama (Machakos, Wiper) and has Members of Parliament Dr Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren, Ford-K) and John Bunyasi (Nambale, UDF) had faced challenges accomplishing their mandate due to hardline positions by some of the members.

The committee has, however, since made progress and was expected to conclude its work and hand over their report to the principals.

“It wasn’t going to be easy to convene a meeting when many of the principals were engaged elsewhere,” said Mr Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango.

A Nasa rally that was planned in the city today also fell victim to the confusion and will now be held on Friday.

The co-ordinating committee has come up with various options for picking the joint presidential candidate for the coalition.

ELECTORAL COLLEGE
Sources say two main options would be used with majority of the members favouring consensus or a constituted electoral college.

The first option would see the four agreeing among themselves but, if they failed, the electoral college would be constituted to elect the candidate.

A technical committee whose members include Mr Dan Ameyo, Dr Adams Oloo, Mr Zein Abubakar and Mr Elisha Ongonya has presented the options to the co-ordinating committee.

The committee is also working on a secretariat that will steer its operations and run its affairs. Mr Norman Magaya has been temporarily retained as the Chief Executive Officer of the presidential secretariat.

“We are working on the technical team that will be unveiled to the public at the right time,” said Mr Orengo.

On Tuesday, it emerged that all was not well in the Nasa house with a section of leaders blaming their colleagues for leaking information from the proceedings of the co-ordinating committee in a bid to influence the choice of the presidential candidate.

The matter, it was understood, will be raised at the principals meeting to ensure that leaders who issue statements on the proceedings are stopped.

“Leaking of information is very dangerous because it is creating a particular perception in the minds of our supporters, a fact that is very dangerous,” said a source close to the principals. “Some people are leaking information on the working documents and they don’t realise what that is doing to the principals.”