Why One Kenya Alliance is on its deathbed

Kanu secretary general Salat says OKA's future hinged on the BBI as Mudavadi is accused of being the enemy within.

In Summary
  • The latest moves by OKA partners have raised speculation the alliance mired in mistrust.
  • It was crafted in March and was seen as a possible third force ahead of next year's general election.
One Kenya Alliance principals Moses Wetang'ula, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Gideon Moi, as well as former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti, drum up support for Agnes Kavindu in the Machakos senatorial by-election on January 26, 2021.
One Kenya Alliance principals Moses Wetang'ula, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Gideon Moi, as well as former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti, drum up support for Agnes Kavindu in the Machakos senatorial by-election on January 26, 2021.

The One Kenya Alliance could be on the brink of collapse amid reports that the team has been rocked by mistrust and a tussle over the choice of flag bearer.

The Star has established that there is growing unease that some OKA principals are getting cosy with opponents, ruining plans of building a formidable third force.

However, the scuttling of the BBI referendumthat sought to expand the Executiveappears to have sounded the death knell for the alliance.

The three-month-old outfit brings together Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (Kanu) and Moses Wetang'ula of Ford Kenya.

On Monday, Kanu secretary general Nick Salat told the Star that OKA's future is hinged on the BBI, without which it will disintegrate. At the moment talks are on hold, he said.

“The BBI was the answer for the high ambitions of the four principals and if it dies then everybody will go their own ways with new formations likely to come up,” Salat said by phone. 

Salat, a close confidant of Gideon, said that while they are cognisant of the fact that the next general election is fast approaching, it is the fate of the BBI that would make or break OKA.

“The developments at the court are what would hold the key for the One Kenya Alliance. There is not much that we are doing until after the ruling. Everything is on hold,” the former Bomet MP said.

The BBI-driven Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020, sought to create the position of prime minister, two deputies and replace Cabinet secretaries with ministers, some of whom were to be picked from the National Assembly.

Gideon has twice visited ODM leader Raila Odinga, first in April alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta’s brother Muhoho Kenyatta and again on June 1 at his Riat home in Kisumu. 

In a signal of looming trouble, former Cabinet Minister Musa Sirma, an ally of Gideon, claimed that Musalia was having a secret dalliance with Deputy President William Ruto.

“As things stand, it appears Musalia is on a different mission. His hop, step and jump manoeuvres to hold brief for other forces, including and not limited to Ruto, will kill the alliance,” the former Eldama Ravine MP said.

The former Cabinet minister in the Grand Coalition Government warned that Musalia could be the enemy within.

“When you have a person pulling in a different direction, it is better he should not have been there,” he said.

Sirma cited Musalia's decision to attend the wedding of Ruto's daughter June last month to back claims the two were having talks.

Ruto had reportedly invited all the political brass, including President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila, but most of them gave the event a wide berth.

However, Mudavadi's spokesman Kibisu Kabatesi dismissed as "idle talk" the claims that the ANC party leader could be working on a 2022 plan with Ruto.

“We need to mature politically. Musalia takes family issues very seriously and no matter how divergent the views he holds are, he will respect your family,” Kabatesi said.

He continued: “If the evidence of collaboration is attending June's wedding, then all of us are guilty of breathing. Let them hold weddings, invite Musalia and then see if he will not show up.”

At the weekend, Raila and Kalonzo gave signals that they could revive the National Super Alliance, but Musalia rubbished the suggestions.

“There is a serious trust deficit in Nasa. In fact, Nasa is irredeemable. If you want to take us back, you must accept there is a trust deficit. How do you expect us to trust you when you say you want to be in a coalition with us?” Musalia said on Sunday.

Reports that Uhuru could have finally decided to endorse Raila as his heir have further jolted the OKA principals' game plan.

On Monday, political scientist Mutahi Ngunyi, seen to be close to the establishment, hinted at a Raila presidency.

“My team of young and clever heads will continue to confront national stupidity with facts. Then we will make Raila President. And we are never wrong,” Ngunyi said on Twitter.

There were initial suggestions that OKA was mooted by people close to the President, with the aim of having Mudavadi succeed Uhuru.