2022 ALLIANCES

Mudavadi: Why I will not work with Jubilee

Amani leader says one cannot belong to more than one coalition at the same time

In Summary
  • He says the ongoing plans for alliances will complicate matters in parliamentary leadership in the face of the law and established practices.
  • His statement deals a blow to President Uhuru Kenyatta's bid to shore up support in Parliament.
ON THE ATTACK: Musalia Mudavadi
ON THE ATTACK: Musalia Mudavadi

Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi has ruled out a post-election coalition deal with Jubilee.

 
 
 
 

His stand deals a blow to President Uhuru Kenyatta's bid to shore up support in Parliament as he readies to wrench control of Jubilee from his deputy William Ruto.

Starting last week, Kenyatta has been on a frantic race to beef up his numbers in Parliament.

 
 
 

The ANC party has 17 MPs (three Senators and 14 members of the National Assembly).

The former Vice President (served between November and December 2002) said as a NASA coalition partner he could not sign a post-election coalition with JP without pulling out of NASA.

Although Raila Odinga’s ODM is gravitating towards JP, the party must first write to the Registrar of Political Parties seeking to pull out of the NASA pact signed in the run-up to the 2017 General Election.

“To date, no one has expressed the desire to quit NASA. But the truth is ODM has had its own plans. He (Raila) joined the handshake very fast and as we speak they are in the process of eyeing other coalitions,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Star.

 
 

“That is their right to act as per their plans. But I want to say there is no enmity, but in matters politics, we as ANC are re-organising and strategising as per the political developments that are taking place in Kenya,” he added.

 
 
 

He said if NASA parties - ANC, ODM, Ford Kenya, Wiper Democratic Party and Chama Cha Mashinani - do not agree on the way forward ahead of 2022, his party will enter into a coalition with other parties.

“In the NASA agreement, if there is a member party that wants to form another post-election coalition with another, then that party must quit NASA. What is happening in JP are their own internal reorganisation which we are not a party to,” he said.

 

With Raila headed into a deal with Jubilee, Mudavadi intends to fill the void and take on the mantle of Opposition chief.

Observers believe it is a strategy he hopes to exploit in 2022 as a marketing tool by telling the electorate he is not tainted by the scandals of the Uhuru and Ruto administration.

After the handshake between Uhuru and Raila on March 9, 2018, the former Prime Minister has become part and parcel of the Kenyatta wing of Jubilee. His previously vocal Kenyatta critics have gone silent.

Raila's departure from the Opposition broke a long history of strident Opposition figures.

Mudavadi, in this plan, hopes to join the ranks of Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, former MP Martin Shikuku, Kenneth Matiba and Siaya Senator James Orengo.

Alternative voices such as the church and the civil society have long gone mute.

As part of his rebranding campaign, Mudavadi has of late taken on Kenyatta's programmes and recently talked of the need to craft a sound post-coronavirus economic recovery plan to save jobs.

Famous for shying away from controversy, he now seems keen to shed his "safe pair of hands" image and is ready to roll up his sleeves to provide alternative ideas and solutions.

Yesterday he described as "very interesting" the talk of post-election alliances.

"The basic principle is that one cannot belong to more than one coalition at the same time and the law is very clear," he told the Star on the phone.

President Kenyatta has signed a post-election deal with Kanu and ODM is reported to be finalising details on terms of working with Jubilee.

Kalonzo has announced that his party is ready to join the Jubilee-Kanu deal.

Mudavadi, though excited by the turmoil in Jubilee, said he would not speculate about what Kenyatta wants to achieve.

ODM which was warming up to a government of national unity has backpedaled and ruled out signing a post-poll agreement with Jubilee.

ODM will instead allow its members to join the GNU individually to ensure that the outfit does not lose its identity as the country's main opposition party.

The party will accept Uhuru's reported offer of Cabinet slots and influential positions in government including heads of parastatals in the new look national unity government.

Lugari MP Ayub Savula said ANC MPs will meet to brainstorm on the way forward in the wake of cutthroat political competitions.

Savula admitted that it was tedious for a party or parties to break from the NASA agreement .

"Members of ANC will have a final say whether we will quit NASA and join other coalitions or we remain a strong opposition party,"he told the Star on phone.

ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna said his party has not discussed whether to terminate the NASA deal or not.

Sifuna said there was a clear procedure in which any party wishing to pull out can follow.

"The issue of NASA membership was not part of our agenda. We discussed the things that were captured  in our communication," he told the Star on phone.

Last week, Raila chaired the Central Management Committee which was attended by John Mbadi (chairman), Timothy Bosire (treasurer) and secretary general Edwin Sifuna.

Party director of elections Junet Mohamed and ODM executive director Oduor Ong'wen were present.

Edited by Henry Makori