Planning assistant minister Peter Kenneth yesterday signed a coalition deal with Raphael Tuju's of Party of Action snubbing the much anticipated deal with Musalia Mudavadi’s UDF, Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa's New Ford Kenya and several other small parties.
The Star established that though Kenneth, who heads the Kenya National Congress was interested in working with Musalia and Wamalwa, he was unhappy with the leaders of several other small parties whom he did not consider to be presenting the country with a fresh start.
These parties— New Vision Party headed by former Cabinet minister Nicholas Biwott, Kaddu headed by Lugari MP Cyrus Jirongo as well as Eugene Wamalwa's New Ford Kenya— went ahead and signed their own deal.
Kenneth and Tuju signed their agreement at Mayfair Centre in Nairobi and vowed to work together for the greater good of the country. Kenneth said the 'Tunawesmake-Poa' coalition gave Kenyans a chance to break with the old guard and presented a fresh outlook on how to better the lot of all Kenyans.
Tuju said he and Kenneth were not entering into a coalition just for the sake of it but because they both shared the same values and recognized the need to pool their resources.
Kenneth had been on the verge of signing a deal with Mudavadi but this fell through when they could not agree on whether or not to include Wamalwa. Kenneth wanted to co-opt Wamalwa into the deal but Mudavadi was opposed to this.
Kenneth was also unhappy that the Mudavadi camp had gone ahead to announce they would be signing a deal at Uhuru Park at 2 pm yesterday without first consulting KNC over the event.
Mudavadi’s office had sent out a media invitation announcing that UDF was going to sign a “historic pre-election agreement” with five other parties at Freedom Corner, Uhuru Park, Nairobi. Mudavadi’s office said those expected at the signing included, Kenneth and senior officials from Kanu, Poa, Vision Party and UDM.
Less than four hours later Musalia’s office sent in a press release cancelling the Freedom Corner event. Mudavadi's private secretary and director of public communication Kibisu Kabatesi explained the last minute cancellation was made to accommodate other parties who wanted to join the coalition.
“There are many areas of agreement and consensus with these parties. Other parties have asked to join this broad national people’s coalition hence the delay in hosting the ceremony at Freedom Corner today to accommodate the signing and meeting the filling of agreements deadline,” said Kabatesi.
At 4 .34 pm yesterday, Mudavadi issued yet another statement in which he re-affirmed his intention to run for the presidency and his willingness to reach a pre-election arrangement with other parties. "I want to assure my supporters that we are determined to go all the way in this race.There are many areas of agreement and consensus with these parties. A public announcement of the national people’s coalition will be made before the end of the week," he said.