One Kenya Alliance regroups, mulls 'third force' for polls
One Kenya Alliance is exploring a third political force to field a presidential candidate against Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga should he declare his candidature.
OKA principals Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) and Gideon Moi (Kanu) Tuesday re-affirmed their “irreversible commitment” to the alliance.
They also declared the National Super Alliance (Nasa) a dead outfit only suitable for political history classes. The coalition was formed in the run-up to the 2017 polls by ANC, Wiper, Ford-Kenya, ODM and Isaac Ruto’s Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM).
The declaration suggests that if Mr Odinga wants to reunite with his former alliance colleagues, then he will have to join OKA, which seems remote given his party has opened pre-election coalition talks with President Kenyatta’s Jubilee.
“On matters of the Nasa, we Ford Kenya, Wiper and the ANC wish to re-affirm our irreversible commitment to the One Kenya Alliance, in partnership with Kanu and any other like-minded Kenyans.
“As far as we are concerned, Nasa is part of our political history. All that remains is the final process of closure, which includes a pursuit of financial accountability and settlement,” the principals said in a statement read by Wiper vice-chairman Mutula Kilonzo Jnr at Hermosa Gardens in Karen, Nairobi.
Mr Moi, whose party is currently in a post-election coalition with President Kenyatta’s Jubilee, also alluded to a possible withdrawal from the deal to ratify one with OKA. He, however, said it was still premature. Nonetheless, Mr Moi admitted there were ongoing “discussions for the future”.
“That question right now is premature as the process is ongoing right now,” he said when asked whether Kanu would withdraw from the coalition deal with Jubilee.
Mr Kilonzo reaffirmed that for Kanu to join OKA, the party must pull out of the coalition agreement with Jubilee.
“You can’t actually be in two alliances at the same time under the law. That must be understood. So, Kanu will leave Jubilee and it will be announced officially,” the Makueni Senator said.
“If we form OKA, the principals of the three parties must leave Nasa and Kanu must leave Jubilee. Every coalition, including Jubilee coalition’s life, ends with the next election,” Mr Kilonzo said.
The leaders, who were briefed by a technical committee on their political roadmap, said they were satisfied with the progress.
“We wish to restate that the OKA is a coalition of shared ideas, people and parties that carry genuine goodwill for our beloved country. Indeed, we are gratified by the great interest and large number of Kenyans calling upon us to quickly launch the Alliance as the true vehicle that carries their aspirations,” stated the joint statement.
“As a political leadership we are satisfied with the progress made by the technical team so far and wish to assure the country that we are on the right course.”
Mr Kilonzo said political parties are run through organs, and from Friday, those in OKA will start engaging their members with a view to formalising the alliance.
“We don’t want to speak on behalf of various members who are not here since we only have representation of a few of our colleagues,” he said.
Parties will have their respective meetings to draw up resolutions and then convene for a joint assembly.
He was also quick to point out that they had not yet reached the level of naming their flag-bearer.
“The findings of our technical committee is that this team here is capable of forming and will form the next government. So the rest are formalities as to how we will do it,” Mr Kilonzo said.
The leaders also called on the government to intensify the war against corruption.
“To this end, we note that corruption still remains the biggest challenge stifling this revival. We therefore call upon the government to intensify the war against corruption.”
They also piled pressure on President Kenyatta to lift the countrywide restrictions imposed as a result of Covid-19 pandemic to concentrate on the economic recovery process.
They said Kenyans were enduring the harsh economic times occasioned by the pandemic, hence the need to open up the country.
The government should scale up the vaccination programme so as to lift the restrictions by end of July, they said.
Other members present were Chris Wamalwa (Ford-Kenya), Abdikarim Osman (Kanu), Sakwa Bunyasi (ANC), Cleophas Malala (ANC), Johnston Sakaja (Jubilee) and Enoch Wambua (Wiper).