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Sunday, June 25, 2017

NASA ticket feuds threaten unity in Bungoma, Wetang’ula blamed

NASA CO-Principal Moses Wetangula at Okoa Kenya offices during signing of the coalition agreement that they will use to face the Jubilee Party in the August 8 elections on February 22, 2017./JACK OWUOR
NASA CO-Principal Moses Wetangula at Okoa Kenya offices during signing of the coalition agreement that they will use to face the Jubilee Party in the August 8 elections on February 22, 2017./JACK OWUOR

Wrangles and refusal to compromise among Bungoma NASA hopefuls seeking tickets are undermining alliance unity.

Political analysts say if each NASA party fields a candidate, they will split the opposition vote and might well hand victory to Jubilee Party candidates.

In the past few days, the backyard of Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula has turned into a test for cohesion among the affiliate parties.

Aspirants from Ford-Kenya, ANC and ODM have been tearing into one another and dismissing any possibility of cooperation.

ODM county secretary MCA Majimbo Okumu yesterday said the party will face off with Ford Kenya. He accused Senator Wetang’ula of trying to impose joint nominations that would favour his party.

“We have observed lots of underground machinations by Wetang’ula. We’re not going to take it lying down,” Okumu said.

He said Wetang’ula should not deceive himself that he is in control of Bungoma politics. Okuma said during the 2013 Senate by-election, he was losing until ODM decided to campaign for him.

ANC secretary Martin Waliula accused Wetang’ula of trying to arm-twist other NASA affiliates, although he was initially opposed to the alliance.

“Wetang’ula seems to be working as a Jubilee sympathiser in this region. We’re watching him keenly,” he said.

Waliula said ANC will hold joint strategy sessions with ODM to ensure they check Ford-Kenya.

“Let’s not be pushed to the wall by our Ford Kenya colleagues because if this happens, we might end up teaming up with a strange bedfellow,” he said.

Ford Kenya chairperson and Kanduyi MP Wafula Wamunyinyi, however, urged the parties to stop directing “their negative energy” at their partners.

“Those are not the type of issues we should be working on now. Instead, we should think of forming government as a team,” he said.

Wamunyinyi urged the disgruntled NASA members to ensure the problems are fixed internally, not through public spats.

NASA has yet to pick its presidential candidate. However, it has signed a pact and deposited it with the registrar of political parties.

The agreement is largely a framework of operations and highlights seven pillars of its agenda.

There is no deal on fielding joint candidates, power sharing or how to choose a presidential candidate.


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