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Nasa leaders to meet as search for flagbearer intensifies

Monday March 20 2017

Opposition leaders (from left) Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang'ula, Musalia Mudavadi and Raila Odinga at Nairobi Serena Hotel on January 31,2017. PHOTO | EVANS OUMA

Opposition leaders (from left) Kalonzo Musyoka, Moses Wetang'ula, Musalia Mudavadi and Raila Odinga at Nairobi Serena Hotel on January 31,2017. PHOTO | EVANS OUMA 

By BERNARD NAMUNANE
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By AGGREY MUTAMBO
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National Super Alliance (Nasa) leaders are expected to meet on Tuesday to give fresh impetus to the coalition’s coordinating committee tasked with working out a method of identifying its presidential candidate.

The meeting, which will be attended by ODM leader Raila Odinga, who arrived last evening from the US, has been billed as a make or break session for the Nasa principals, with each of them fighting for a chance to face Jubilee’s Uhuru Kenyatta in the August elections.

On Monday, Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, however, downplayed the significance of the meeting, insisting that there was no crisis in the opposition coalition.

“What people are speculating about are normal issues within a coalition that is seeking a presidential candidate,” he said on phone.

Mr Mudavadi (ANC) and his co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford-Kenya) have denied claims that the coalition was facing a crisis arising from the failure by the national coordinating committee to agree on the method of nominating the Nasa presidential candidate.

WATER-TIGHT ELECTIONS

Fingers have been pointed at National Assembly minority leader Francis Nyenze, who has been accused of blocking any attempt to agree on a method that will make it difficult for Mr Musyoka to be the flagbearer.

On Monday, Wiper secretary-general Hassan Omar said: “You cannot stop people from talking but the truth is that we are in Nasa for the long haul. Kalonzo Musyoka is not going anywhere because chances are high that he will be the candidate we are looking for in Nasa.”

Other sources said the 12-member coordinating committee co-chaired by senators James Orengo (Siaya) and Johnson Muthama (Machakos) and Nambale MP Sakwa Bunyasi will meet on Tuesday.

At the same time, Mr Mudavadi, Mr Musyoka and Mr Wetang’ula met with visiting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to seek support for water-tight elections.

A source close to the meeting told the Nation the meeting was an occasion for the leaders to explain their fears ahead of the elections. Mr Johnson gave no assurances of support to the Opposition, said the source, adding that he told the leaders that there should be no chaos in the elections.