Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Wednesday, 12 Apr 2017 11:42 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Two NASA Principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi appeared to push a joint demand that ODM leader Raila Odinga and his allies stop briefing the media on the coalition's internal discussions. The two leaders held a press conference at Wiper House in Nairobi (Mr Musyoka's party headquarters) and riled at leakage of coalition documents regarding the NASA flag-bearer which they said was causing unnecessary tensions.
Mr Musyoka called on Mr Odinga's ODM party to withdraw its statement on the validity of the NASA flag-bearer report showing Mr Odinga as the NASA presidential candidate with Mr Musyoka as his running mate. The report was validated by ODM acting Secretary General Senator Agnes Zani yesterday in statements to the media.
"(Ms) Zani has to withdraw the remarks publicly. Nothing is [final] until it is agreed upon. We do not have a flag bearer as of now", said Mr Musyoka, adding, "The issue of NASA flag-bearer will be agreed upon soon. It will not take another month as reports are being prepared before we take the final decision”.
However, Mr Musyoka did not dispute the authenticity of the documents which the NASA Technical Committee had developed as a guideline on how to select the coalition's leader, admitting that they were "working documents" still yet to be agreed on by all principals.
Mr Musyoka also did not blame anybody in the unfolding verbal exchanges over the coalition flag bearer. "We cannot afford to go that way...there was a tremendous leakage from the technical committee and if they can’t guard their secrets then they are not loyal", he said, expressing support for the National Coordinating Committee which is a higher organ above the technical committee and in which politicians serve.
Mr Mudavadi made a surprise visit to the Wiper Democratic Movement-Kenya headquarters as Mr Musyoka was meeting Nairobi party aspirants (see seperate article).
But as the two leaders were speaking to journalists, Ford-Kenya deputy party leader and Kakamega senator Bonny Khalwale post on his twitter “Mudavadi must contain ANC disgruntled elements. We had our lessons in 2013 after our vigorous campaigns. He won't ditch NASA 4 a sole run” (@KBonimtetezi).
NASA Coordinating Committee members James Orengo, Johnstone Muthama and Eseli Simiyu also addressed the media in Mr Orengo's office, downplaying the demands by Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi and basically saying that NASA had agreed on who the candidate was and would soon make a public announcement about the same.
ANC secretary general Geoffrey Otsotsi yesterday said ODM's declaration was "bad manners" and undermined the coalition's unity. Mr Osotsi said ANC was not aware of a formal report authored by the committee for sharing with the four principals on matters of the flag-bearer.
"We are outraged - and Zani ought to know - that admission by ODM party that it is responsible for dirty propaganda leaks undermines the credibility and integrity of the NASA process," he said.
Part of the leaked proposal is to create the position of a chief minister, equivalent to the powerful position of Prime Minister, who will be a first among equals in the NASA cabinet.
The position, to be occupied by Mr Mudavadi, will have sweeping powers to whip the cabinet and will have an expanded mandate to supervise and coordinate government business.
The creation of this position would however neutralise the current powerful position of the National Assembly majority leader held by Garissa Township MP Aden Duale.
The principals, however, have created the leeway to adopt the report the way it is, or introduce amendments that will inform the pre-election coalition agreement.
Hourse before the two leaders' press briefing, condemned the ANC secretary general Osotsi. "The SG of ANC must realize that this is an important process and one in which all activities from each of the parties needs to be withheld to give the principals the atmosphere to do so," she said, before emphatically concluding, "Evidently this is not what ANC is doing".
"(Mr) Otostsi can not have more information than the NCC itself. Any logical thought makes that very clear."