Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi maintains that mistrust amongst coalition partners is responsible for the collapse of the National Super Alliance (NASA).
He cites this as the reason behind the disintegration of the 2017 giant opposition coalition that brought together his ANC Party, Raila Odinga’s ODM, Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party, Ford Kenya of Moses Wetangula and Chama Cha Mashinani led by former Governor Isaac Ruto.
“I was the founder of NASA. What happened has happened, and majority of Kenyans may not understand what transpired. The reality of the matter is that our agreement, to a large degree, has been ignored by our colleagues and some of us have even been treated with contempt. And that as a leader, I have refused,” Mudavadi said.
According to Mudavadi, who was speaking at his private office over the situation in NASA, what rocked the opposition boat from the outset was an alleged desire by Raila’s ODM to assume full control of everything pertaining to the coalition.
And with less than 500 days remaining before the next general election, the former deputy prime minister (2008-2013) holds the view that it is near impossible for the coalition partners to come together and form a united front ahead of the next polls.
Mudavadi, who has already announced his candidature for the August 9, 2022 election, says sharing of political party funding and distribution of parliamentary committee membership slots are some of the sticky issues that brought the parties to loggerheads.
He says ANC, WIPER and FORD Kenya have constantly asked their colleagues in ODM to comply with the coalition agreement, but the orange party remains unaccommodating. He says Raila’s party even went ahead to dislodge members from the other parties from plum positions that had already been apportioned.
“Senator Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya) was dismissed as Minority Leader in the Senate, and the reasons were not explained. Only recently, Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malalah (ANC) was also ousted from the position of deputy minority leader a few months after after he took the office just because he was leading ANC party campaigns in Matungu Constituency. These are flimsy grounds and we totally disagree with them,” Mudavadi charged
The situation in NASA is perhaps confounded with the emergence of One Kenya Alliance, OKA, made up of Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Wetangula and Independence Party KANU led by Senator Gideon Moi.
It is still fresh on people’s minds that Kalonzo has made it clear that it would be very difficult for him to support Raila Odinga for a third time. The declaration applifying pronouncements already made by Mudavadi and Wetangula.
Mudavadi says failure by some leaders to keep their promises is responsible for suspicions and bad blood in political partnerships.
“When leaders demonstrate that they cannot be trusted in accordance with the agreement they themselves signed and swore to observe, then society is led astray by such acts. When you break a promise, it is difficult for your partners to trust you when you say you are ready to work with them again. This is a major problem in Kenyan politics.” Mudavadi remarked in an apparent reference to recent utterances by Raila to the effect that he was still willing work with former co-principals to revive NASA.
Were the four leaders to come together again, Mudavadi says they will seek to activate the clause in 2017 NASA agreement requiring the flag bearer in the previous election and his parent party to stand down and and support another member of the coalition.
“For a long time, we the people of Mulembe have sacrificed our ambitions so as to support Raila Odinga for President. I have personally supported him in 2013 and in 2017. For almost 30 years, our people have supported our friend Raila. This time round, we expect him to be a gentleman and reciprocate the support,” Ford Kenya’s Wetangula said
“There are people who want to make it look like Mudavadi cannot do much politically if he doesn’t follow a certain leader. They keep asking me whether I will support someone in the 2022 polls. Why don’t you ask him if he will back my bid?” Mudavadi posed