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August 21, 2018

NASA was a coalition of the willing overtaken by the unwilling

NASA Coalition principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi and Raila Odinga during their rally at the Masinde Muliro Grounds in Huruma on March 24, 2017. /JACK OWUOR
NASA Coalition principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi and Raila Odinga during their rally at the Masinde Muliro Grounds in Huruma on March 24, 2017. /JACK OWUOR

NASA was a coalition of the willing. The world over, coalitions are loose networks formed to stockpile strength to win elections. NASA will go into history as one of Kenya’s strongest coalitions ever to disintegrate in only a year.

Conflict of interest overtook the general good in NASA, hence the reason for its plummeting hopes. It was crystal clear that the pressure mounted by the varied interests was too strong to make NASA survive as long as the now defunct Cord. If NASA were to finally die, fingers should be pointed at the Jubilee establishment, the US and the NASA principals themselves. Each one of them will have contributed to the casket that will finally entomb NASA.

The 2022 presidential race may share the blame for the ailing NASA unity. Each of the four principals is interested in reinventing themselves for the 2022 race. The big question, however, is, why would the trio think of 2022 without reforms? In Kenya, the presidency is not won but given by the system. It is not easy to beat the system, even with 70 per cent of the populace behind you. This explains why the NASA principals could have first sorted out the issues of electoral injustice. This is what would make the vote count. This could have been their singular focus, even if it meant that one was to remain alone.

Mudavadi conceptualized NASA, but Raila gave it the architectural design and sold it to Kenyans. Raila has the key to NASA’s survival. However, the mistrust between the NASA principals has grown too big, they may not work together, at least for now, save for the usual political camaraderie, which might not last.

A house that is falling is seen when its occupants start to speak at cross-purposes, ‘friendly fire’ breaks out and finally the perceived enemy appears to speak the same language with one, or all, of the occupants of the house. When this happens, it becomes a sure sign that things are falling apart.

The nomenclature NASA may die, but the push for electoral justice and what NASA stood for may still remain from other avenues. Maybe Raila’s truce with Uhuru is what will make it possible for NASA supporters to realize their Canaan dream. NASA supporters are still intact in their resolve to see the full realization of electoral justice.

The writer is a political scientist

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