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February 17, 2019

‘DP’ Kalonzo can still rebrand

NASA Coalition principal Kalonzo Musyoka./JACK OWUOR
NASA Coalition principal Kalonzo Musyoka./JACK OWUOR

A baptism by fire is the ritual Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula need to catch up with, given the radicalised supporters of the National Super Alliance. The trio seem to have lost the plot, and they have to do something radical to reclaim their clout.

That something radical could be, for example, Wetang’ula, an advocate of the High Court, commissioning an oath of office for the People’s Deputy President-designate Kalonzo. This could be the ‘later date’ the former Vice President talks about.

When the Wiper leader missed the inauguration of Raila Odinga as the People’s President on January 30, he said it was a NASA strategy against a possible backlash. But arrest and an overnight stay in a police cell could have been the turning point in Kalonzo’s presidential ambition, in an age that craves leaders of valour.

To disabuse people of the notion he is a coward, Kalonzo said he would take the oath when the coast is clear. Wetang’ula, who is qualified to be a judge of the High Court, can swear in Kalonzo, as the people’s DP at a public forum. This would be a make-good moment for the trio to catch up with their supporters. ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi could then be the MC before a charged NASA audience of tens of thousands, probably more. Possibly more because ‘Nasarites’ would be attracted to the drama and of the rebranding of NASA co-principals.

The event would possibly end the snide remarks from radical NASA politicians and supporters, who continue to call Kalonzo, Mudavadi, and Wetang’ula cowards. Science may have no cure for habitual indecision, as critics say, but the principals can show caution is not always cowardice.

The make-good function, probably in Uhuru Park, does not have to be what some Western diplomats, and the Jubilee regime, take it to be. The symbolism would advance the struggle for electoral justice. The challenge for redemption is an option for the trio if they still believe in electoral justice.

Three weeks after the controversial event, the cautious trio are yet to understand their supporters had long crossed the road of doubt and fear. Yet it is these emotions that undermine the presidential ambitions of the cautious trio.

Wafula Buke, a former student leader, and a contemporary of the rabble-rousing Miguna Miguna, captures the Mudavadi-Kalonzo-Wetang’ula dilemma in a social media post. He likens Mudavadi, a former VP, to a student who enrols in Form One, studies up to Form Four, but retreats when the exam timetable is released.

Buke refers to Wetang’ula as a ‘’triple dealer who acts in self-interest and reaps big from every crisis’’. He was in touch with the NASA inauguration party, but failed to show up when the occasion demanded leaders of resolve.

But Buke, an advocate of democratic change, reserves a harsher judgement for Kalonzo. He says of the former Mwingi North MP: “Kalonzo Musyoka is a well-meaning coward. Never a criminal. Forgivable in my view. He had done so well, gone so long, but that was as far as the stretch could go. Firmly expired.”

Of Raila, Buke says: “No generation can raise two Raila Odingas at once. The people are proud to share history with you the Icon of Liberation.” Before Raila’s swearing-in, the NASA succession matrix seemed cut out: Kalonzo would probably inherit NASA, if Raila were not running for President in 2022. Mudavadi would then be the undisputed beneficiary of the Raila national political turf, after showing great aptitude in Forms One to Three.

NASA supporters are not certain any more. The question remains: Will the trio pick up the gauntlet to rebrand for the 2022 presidential contest?

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