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Friday, May 26, 2017

NASA chiefs face dilemma as parallel aspirants fight for slots

NASA supporters cheer as they are addressed by leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang’ula, Musalia Mudavadi and Isaac Rutto during a rally at Gusii Stadium yesterday /DENNIS KAVISU
NASA supporters cheer as they are addressed by leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang’ula, Musalia Mudavadi and Isaac Rutto during a rally at Gusii Stadium yesterday /DENNIS KAVISU

NASA captains are facing a dilemma over parallel candidates fighting for same seats in opposition’s strongholds.

There are fears that sibling rivalry, coupled with friendly fire from competing candidates, may puncture their campaigns and cost NASA the presidency.

Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula on Sunday lifted the lid on the simmering tension among NASA affiliates. He asked ODM leader Raila Odinga not to interfere with politics of Western region ahead of the August 8 polls.

Wetang’ula was quoted by a local daily on Monday telling off Raila over attempts to “impose” a candidate on the people of Western.

“We will support Raila as a community. Let us vote for NASA even if Musalia and I did not get the flag. For other seats, let Raila not impose leaders like Wycliffe Oparanya on us. We will campaign for Boni Khalwale and other Ford Kenya leaders,” Wetang’ula said in Kakamega county.

Ford Kenya and ODM are spoiling for a titanic battle with Kakamega Governor Oparanya expected to face off with Senator Khalwale.

“We know how to plan for ourselves. We will not allow anybody to dictate to us. We have decided Raila will get our votes for the presidency but ODM will not get seats in the region,” Khalwale said.

Oparanya is the ODM deputy leader, while Khalwale is the Ford Kenya deputy party leader.

With NASA expected to hold joint presidential campaigns, principals will face a political headache from aspirants seeking their endorsements ahead of the polls.

In Kisii, governor James Ongwae of ODM is gearing up for a battle for his reelection against Wiper’s Lumumba Nyaberi posing a political puzzle for Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila.

ODM has said Kisii is the party’s stronghold while affiliates have maintained that it is a battleground for NASA parties. In Mombasa, ODM deputy party chief Hassan Joho is not sitting pretty as Wiper secretary general Hassan Omar rolls up his sleeves to challenge his reelection.

Yesterday, Ford Kenya Director of Communication Tim Machi dismissed talk of a dilemma in campaigns in areas NASA affiliate parties have fielded separate candidates.

He said the principals agreed on how to deal with the situation to ensure there is no antagonism.

“The principals are focused on politics and forming the government. They are ensuring they don’t dictate or interfere with middle-level politics during campaigns,” Machi said.


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