Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Monday, 13 Mar 2017 12:35 EATcwainaina@kenyafreepress.com
National Super Alliance (NASA) principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula have opened a new flank in the coalition, but to what end? The two leaders' reaction to an opinion poll reporting that former prime minister Raila Odinga is the best suited to lead the coalition has rankled the coalition's members but appear consistent with the two leaders' recent statements that have raised tensions over the coalition's leadership.
The latest Infotrak opinion poll on the popularity of prospective NASA flag-bearer threatens the anticipated opposition unity against President Kenyatta on August 8 general election. The poll found that ODM leader Raila Odinga is the best preferred candidate at 68 percent while Mr Musyoka (Wiper Party) is the second rated at 13 percent followed by Musalia Mudavadi of ANC at 12 percent and Mr Wetangula of Ford-Kenya comes last at 3 percent.
The poll appears to divide the NASA co-principals with Mr Musyoka condemning it as part of an effort by Mr Odinga to manipulate the coalition's decision-making. Claiming that the pollsters were relying on limited number of respondents, he recommended that they sample a minimum of 100,000 Kenyans "if the polls are to reflect the opinion of the people".
Mr Musyoka claimed "some people are paid to give the opinion wanted by the financiers. Pollsters, and I am mentioning Ipsos and Infotrak, stop misleading Kenyans. Kenyans are tired of being led by your cooked figures." He also said that pollsters had lost credibility in Europe and the United States where they didn't correctly predict referendum and election results.
"We are going to deal with you mundu khu mundu (man to man) each time Kalonzo is given 13 per cent. I have been Vice President. I will not allow you to destroy Kenya. I will deal with you," he said. While Mr Mudavadi is also not happy with the outcome of the opinion as well, his criticism has only been muted, leaving Mr Wetangula, who with Mr Musyoka held a series of rallies week in Eastern region last week, as the other leader feeling belittled.
The poll was released while Mr Odinga was in South Africa visiting his daughter Rosemary who is recuperating at a hospital there. The ODM leader arrived in the United States last night from South Africa for private engagements. Messrs Musyoka and Wetangula have also taken a firm stand against joint nominations in NASA and want some elective positions reserved for their parties.