Star (Kenya)

Apr. 28, 2017, 12:15 am

NASA Coalition principals Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Isaac Rutto, Moses Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka hold hands in Solidarity during their Rally at Uhuru Park on April 27, 2017.  They announced Raila Odinga as Presidential Candidate with Kalonzo Musyoka as his deputy. Photo/Jack Owuor
NASA Coalition principals Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Isaac Rutto, Moses Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka hold hands in Solidarity during their Rally at Uhuru Park on April 27, 2017. They announced Raila Odinga as Presidential Candidate with Kalonzo Musyoka as his deputy. Photo/Jack Owuor

The National Super Alliance has replicated the historic 2002 Narc unity that toppled the Kanu regime by announcing ODM leader Raila Odinga as the joint opposition presidential candidate.

After months of tense negotiations and fears of a bitter split, the NASA Pentagon unveiled the Alliance’s offi cial power structure, setting the stage for a do-or-die battle with President Uhuru Kenyatta. In an event attended by tens of thousands of supporters and initially punctuated by anxiety over the lineup –– Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka was named Raila’s running mate –partially replicating the 2013 lineup.

Under this arrangement, Amani National Congress boss Musalia Mudavadi will be Premier Cabinet Secretary in charge of Government Coordination, in the event of victory.

Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula would be Deputy Premier CS responsible for Rconomic Sector Coordination, making Western Kenya among the biggest benefi ciaries in the NASA government.

In what is meant to woo the vote-rich Rift Valley, fiery Chama cha Mashinani leader Isaac Rutto would be Deputy Premier CS, Governance and Social Services Sector Coordination. After being declared “Tosha” by Kalonzo and Mudavadi, Raila began setting the tempo of the NASA campaign.

The 73-year-old opposition leader said ending the big money graft, entrenched by Jubilee would be among his key priorities.

“The government that we are forming will be a transitional and transformative government that will cleanup all the Jubilee mess and sweep them downstream,” Raila told a massive and jubilant crowd.

“History repeats itself: In October 2002, we were here at Uhuru Park . . . Today these brothers of mine, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, Wycliffe Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Masika Wetang’ula, Isaac Kiprono Rutto, have all said ‘Raila Tosha’.”

He expressed gratitude to his co-principals for giving him the mandate to fly the NASA flag, terming it “a big honour”.

Expert comment: NASA is all about putting Kenya Kwanza

Raila said his priority would be to create jobs for the youth and women, reduce the high cost of living and provide aff ordable education and healthcare.

“We will fight poverty, disease and ignorance . . . We want the prices of foodstuff s to come down. The price of unga and rents to come down,” he promised, adding that doctors, teachers and all civil servants would get decent pay.

As he unveiled the lineup, Musalia said all NASA partners are equal and “one plays the role of the first among equals”.

“All decisions shall be made in consultation and concurrence of partner parties, beginning with formation of government.

Composition of the national Executive shall reflect the regional and ethnic diversity of the people of Kenya as required by Article 130 of the Constitution,” Musalia announced.

There have been fears the mistrust and suspicion that characterized the NASA negotiations would cause an acrimonious split.

Yesterday, Kalonzo said he was determined to fly the NASA flag, having sacrifi ced his bids in 2002 and 2013, but concluded that Kenya was bigger than himself.

He announced that the NASA power-sharing deal had been deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties and would not be dishonoured like the 2002 Narc MoU.

“Th is is not another MoU. It’s an agreement with the people of Kenya that never again will there be political gerrymandering. Th ere will never be political deceit,”Kalonzo said.

Kalonzo’s allies have previously accused Raila of disregarding an alleged 2013 deal to support him in this year’s race for State House.

“In 2002, I said I was ready to bite the bullet, I bit the bullet. Or did I not? I said Kenya is bigger than me, Kalonzo Musyoka . . . but I have said that I am prepared to be a sweeper in the NASA government so long as the ordinary Kenyan is respected,” Kalonzo told the mammoth crowd.