TURBULENCE

Fresh troubles rock One Kenya Alliance

Party bigwigs involved in the talks are drifting apart as 2022 succession heats up

In Summary

• Kanu’s move to stick with Jubilee is seen as a revolt against the pressure from one of the partners.

• And Mudavadi says it's got to be him for President, or he's not in.

ANC's Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper's Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu's Gideon Moi and Ford Kenya's Moses Wetang'ula.
UNITED WE STAND? ANC's Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper's Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu's Gideon Moi and Ford Kenya's Moses Wetang'ula.
Image: ONE ALLIANCE KENYA

The One Kenya Alliance has been hit by fresh political turbulence that threatens its take-off as Kanu insists it is not yet ready to seal a deal with the outfit.

It also emerged ANC boss Musalia Mudavadi’s tough stance on being Oka’s 2022 presidential flag-bearer is complicating efforts to cobble together an alliance.

On Thursday, Kanu secretary general Nick Salat declared the Independence party will not be signing a deal with Oka principals anytime soon, exposing the intrigues roiling the fledgling outfit. 

The Kanu official said the resolution that endorsed Kanu’s partnership with the Jubilee Party, as passed by the National Delegates Convention in 2017, is binding until next year. 

“Right now, we don’t want to be coerced or forced into making a decision that would require the resolution of an National Delegates Convention,” Salat told the Star.

“The resolution stated clearly that we are to be with Jubilee up to the end of its term, that is next year.  As far as Kanu is concerned, we don’t have any issue with our partner Jubilee to warrant us leaving it."

Kanu's move has slammed on the brakes for the formalisation of the Oka alliance.

It has also lifted the lid on the behind-the-scenes intrigues likely to cripple the push for a 2022 third force. 

As Salat spoke, Raila Odinga's ODM also announced its exit from Nasa.

The exit allows ODM to formalise its coalition deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta's Jubilee, which is also a political home for Kanu.

Legally, this would mean Raila and Kanu boss Gideon Moi would be on the same team. 

The Oka alliance brings together Gideon, Musalia Mudavadi (ANC)  Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Moses Wetang'ula (Ford Kenya).

Suspicions have arisen within the team that could ruin its formalisation.

A senior Wiper lawmaker told the Star they are perturbed by the hardline stance taken by ANC. 

“The problem we have in Oka is that our partner ANC is proving to be very difficult. Mudavadi is saying it is him [for President] and no one else,” the MP said. 

He went on, “If that continues, we will leave and run separately. We can team up with Raila. We don't have much problems with him. The only person we cannot work with is Ruto.” 

I want to tell our brothers, Musalia, Kalonzo and Wetang'ula to respect the pact we have with Jubilee.
Kanu secretary general Nick Salat 

On Thursday, the Star exclusively reported that Kalonzo is having fresh power talks with Raila.

If a deal is sealed, it could further isolate Musalia.

However, Lugari MP Ayub Savula sought to downplay the move by Kanu. He said they will give Kanu time to sort out its issue with Jubilee, as “We cannot sign an Oka coalition minus Kanu.” 

“We will give Kanu time but the conversation in Oka will continue...but it is not yet the time to put these to pen and paper,” he told the Star. 

He went on, “Kanu cannot quit Jubilee until the end of Uhuru’s term. We have quit Nasa so we can start engaging in talks over who will be our presidential candidate, how we will form government, and so on.” 

The law does not allow a political party to be in more than one coalition. So with Kanu sticking to its guns, the making of the Oka alliance now remains uncertain.

On Wednesday, Salat fired at the One Kenya alliance. 

“I want to tell our brothers, Musalia, Kalonzo and Wetang'ula to respect the pact we have with Jubilee. 

“We are not saying that we cannot have an agreement with them. It is only that we already have a pact with Jubilee,” Salat said. 

On Wednesday, Gideon counted Raila among the politicians they could work with in 2022.

This was just days after Kalonzo extended an olive branch to ODM to join Oka.

“I am basically extending a hand of friendship to everybody, including ODM, because ANC, Kanu, and Ford Kenya are already with us,” the former Vice President said on Monday.

“The idea of Nasa served its time, Cord served its time and now we are looking at the One Kenya Alliance and if anyone gives me a better formulation I am willing to listen.”

However, Musalia's team is talking tough against ODM and it is unclear whether they could work together.

ANC chair Kelvin Lunani said Kanu's pact with Jubilee does not stop the Independence party from working with Oka.

“They [Kanu] are supporting the President until 2022 but that does not stop us from working together. There is a difference between our stand with Jubilee and our position with ODM,” he stated. 

"Kanu has no problems with Jubilee and they will be together until an appropriate time. But for us, we will have to end our coalition,” he added. 

(Edited by V. Graham) 

ANC's Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper's Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu's Gideon Moi and Ford Kenya's Moses Wetang'ula.
ANC's Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper's Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu's Gideon Moi and Ford Kenya's Moses Wetang'ula.
Image: ONE ALLIANCE KENYA