Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Thursday, 30 Mar 2017 14:37 EATdmutua@kenyafreepress.com
Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka last night met the four leaders of small parties from Ukambani region supporting his presidential bid where the leaders distanced themselves from the statement earlier released by a ranking member of Mr Musyoka's party who yesterday seemed to suggest that Mr Musyoka would abandon the NASA coalition if he was not named as its presidential flag-bearer.
The Leader of Minority in Parliament, Francis Nyenze, who is a top ally of Mr Musyoka's, gave the National super Alliance (NASA) seven days to name Mr Musyoka as the joint opposition's flag-bearer, raising tensions in the coalition and triggering concerns in the Ukambani region that Mr Musyoka was on the verge of quiting the coalition.
Last night's meeting at a Nairobi hotel which Mr Musyoka chaired was attended by former cabinet ministers Charity Kaluki Ngilu (leader of NARC) and John Mutua Katuku (who heads PTP), Machakos gubernatorial aspirant Wavinya Ndeti (CCU) and Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana who has joined Wiper after his Muungano Party signed a MoU with the party.
“I can confirm the five met at a Nairobi hotel last night to discuss the agenda of unity among leaders in the Lower Eastern region following Tuesday's 'Emali Declaration'”, Mr Katuku told the Kenya Free Press, which exclusively carried the detailed Emali Declaration yesterday. The former minister said the meeting expressed dismay over Mr Nyenze’s statement and disassociated themselves from it.
“Our position is that we support Kalonzo Musyoka as the NASA presidential candidate not on condition that he is named the candidate and therefore the ultimatum Mr Nyenze gave was erroneous. He however has his democratic right to make an individual statement," the former minister for water told this website.
In a related development, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Jrn dismissed Mr Nyenze’s statement and challenged the Wiper Party to remove him from the 12-member negotiating team for NASA flag-bearer. “Hon Francis Nyenze was on a frolic of his own when he issued the ultimatum yesterday. The tone used is wrong and demeaning," the senator said.
Mr Kilonzo Jnr said that Mr Nyenze's position as member of the technical committee discussing modalities for identifying the NASA presidential flag-bearer was now "untenable and he should be removed without any delay." He also said: "The Principals must take charge and save us the embarrassment of having to answer to statements attributed to members of the Committee. Negotiations on the flag bearer must be done quietly and with decorum”.
Mr Nyenze was also criticised by the Wiper Party chairman David Musila, who is also the senator for Kitui, who tweeted. "If Wiper was to make a decision of our party leader @skmusyoka leaving NASA, then I and @SenMutula would make it. Ignore everybody else. TUKO NASA."
Mr Katuku said the meeting of five supported statement released by Wiper Secretary General and Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar who distanced the party from Nyenze’s statement. “From the onset, let me reiterate Wiper's unwavering commitment to NASA. Wiper is further conscious of its obligation to this nation and its posterity to bring to an end Jubilee's misrule," Mr Omar's statement said.
“Wiper believes that this can only happen through a broad opposition front to face Jubilee during the August 8th, 2017 general elections. Conscious of this fact, Wiper will support any decision as to who becomes the flag bearer," it added. Mr Omar said the party leadership had advised Mr Nyenze on the possible anxiety his reported statements are likely to cause or have caused.
The secretary general's statement also promised that Mr Nyenze would therefore hold a press conference today at 10:00am to clarify any issue and reaffirm Wiper's commitment to NASA. However by the time we went to the press, Mr Nyenze had not issued the press statement, signifying the delicateness of the matter.