Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mutula leads talks to unite Kalonzo, Raila

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and Prime Minister Raila Odinga consult during interdenominational funeral service for Sinai fire victims at Uhuru Park last year. The two are finalising talks of forming an alliance for the General Election. Photo/FILE

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka (left) and Prime Minister Raila Odinga consult during interdenominational funeral service for Sinai fire victims at Uhuru Park last year. The two are finalising talks of forming an alliance for the General Election. Photo/FILE 

By PETER LEFTIE pmutibo@ke.nationmedia.com AND JULIUS SIGEI jsigei@ke.nationmedia.com

Allies of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka met on Thursday to fine-tune a pre-election agreement ahead of the December 4 deadline for registering such deals.

The meeting took place at the Jogoo House office of Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo, who is heading the Wiper Democratic Movement’s team in the talks. Read (Alliances: Parties rush to catch Kalonzo’s eye)

It was attended by Livestock assistant minister Gideon Ndambuki (Wiper) and Cabinet ministers James Orengo (Lands), Dalmas Otieno (Public Service) and Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo from ODM.

Mr Kilonzo, who is also Wiper secretary-general, confirmed the meeting but refused to give more details.

He said the deal would be ready before the December 4 deadline for political parties to deposit any agreements with the registrar of Political Parties.

“We have just met. We are at an advanced stage and we will have a deal before next week. We are just waiting for our party leaders to ratify the deal,” he stated.

He hinted at the possibility of the United Democratic Forum (UDF) of Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi being brought on board.

“We are talking to other parties, but I will not tell you which ones because I will be revealing our strategies,” he said.

The Nation also learnt that the two parties were planning to hold a joint rally at the Tononoka Grounds in Mombasa at the weekend.

At the same time, Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa teamed up with three other parties to chart his own political course, a week after quitting the G7 alliance.

Mr Wamalwa held a two-hour meeting with Mr Nicholas Biwott of National Vision Party and Gen (rtd) John Koech of the United Democratic Movement at Norfolk Hotel in Nairobi and announced the composition of a technical committee to harmonise the alliance.

The fourth party, Kanu, was not represented even though it is said to be part of the deal as per an earlier agreement.

“In the G7 alliance, there are those who have agreed and there are those who have not. There is still time before the December 4 date, after which Kenyans will make a choice from what alliances there will be,” said Mr Wamalwa.

Kanu secretary-General Nick Salat told the Nation on phone that more parties would join the alliance.

“It is a much broader alliance than you saw in the attendance. We are not unveiling everything now as our opponents will take advantage, but we shall agree and give a binding announcement before the deadline.”

It was not immediately clear whether Mr Wamalwa will be the presidential bearer of the group, because only his party has a presidential aspirant, or they will team up with yet another coalition.

UDM director of elections Stanley Rotich said the meeting amended a pre-election clause to accommodate Mr Wamalwa’s New Ford Kenya, which was not part of an earlier coalition agreement.

“We agreed that each party brings forth three members each. We shall sign the deal before Tuesday,” said Mr Rotich.

Elsewhere, TNA leader Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr Mudavadi met at a Karen restaurant on Wednesday evening in what sources said was a plan B should the former be blocked from running for the presidency on integrity grounds.

Mr Kenyatta has already sealed a deal with United Republican Party leader William Ruto with whom they faces charges of crimes against humanity at The Hague over the 2007/8 post election violence.

It is understood Mr Kenyatta was categorical that he would support Mr Mudavadi if he was not cleared to run for the presidency.

Mr Musyoka left the G7 alliance after he was allegedly given a junior position believed to be Majority Leader.

Last week, Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi said they were working on a coalition but it was not immediately clear how the new development would affect the relationship.

The VP and PM parted ways in 2007 after failing to agree on who among them would be the ODM Kenya presidential candidate.

On Thursday, the alliance between Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto received a boost after a case which sought to bar them from running for the presidency on integrity grounds was withdrawn.

However, the Attorney General has sought legal interpretation at the Supreme Court on whether Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto’s right to seek elected office is more important than the integrity provisions of the Constitution.

The two leaders will on Sunday hold a joint rally at Nakuru’s Afraha Grounds to drum up support for their ticket.

advertisement