Wetang’ula roots for structured dialogue - Daily Nation

Handshake will not solve all Kenya’s problems – Wetang’ula

Friday August 3 2018

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula. He has said that he will only support structured dialogue between Jubilee and the opposition Nasa alliance. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GAITANO PESSA
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Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula is sticking to his ambivalence about the future of the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa), even as he indicated he will contest for the presidency alone “or with others.”

In a cagey speech in Busia Thursday, Mr Wetang’ula, who has been in a self-made political turmoil since the Nasa alliance downgraded his stature as Senate minority leader, told a gathering he will only support a structured dialogue.

He insisted that any unity talks should involve everyone and should be for the benefit of everyone, revisiting his displeasure with the March 9 handshake between ODM leader Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.

HANDSHAKE

“We lauded the handshake between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga because it has lowered political temperatures in the country but, again, the initiative alone does not solve the problems that brought us where we were,” said the senator.

According to him, the main issues of concern include electoral injustices, unaccountability, tribalism, runaway corruption that has brought the country to its knees and deprivation of the ordinary mwananchi.

“These issues cannot be solved by a handshake. For instance, we can only address electoral injustices through reform of the law and the Constitution. The analogy that we accept and move on even if you are oppressed will not help us at all unless someone faces prosecution for their mischief,” he said.

The Nasa alliance is composed of ODM, Ford Kenya, Wiper and Amani National Congress.

WRANGLES

And though it is technically in existence, wrangles have shaken the group since Mr Odinga’s initiative to calm the country by meeting the President.

On Tuesday, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka offered to mediate between Mr Odinga and Wetang’ula.

But ODM responded by saying that no dispute exists between them, even though the response also indicated Mr Wetang’ula had to accept the new arrangement or ship out.

“There is nothing like reconciling. You are reconciling who and who? I do not see any issue here, and since we have not registered any dispute between us and Ford Kenya, what then?” asked Mr John Mbadi, the ODM chairman.

“All we did was that we asked Mr Wetang’ula to behave. It is him who made the unfortunate remarks about us,” Mr Mbadi said.

Mr Wetang’ula, who has been in opposition only during the Uhuru Kenyatta presidency, having been a nominated MP in Daniel Moi’s administration and later as a minister in Mwai Kibaki’s time, has played victim since his ouster from the prestigious Senate post four months ago.

NO POLITICAL STAMINA

But critics argue that he made noise when he knew he had no political stamina from his own party.

On Thursday evening, he was proclaiming intend to contest the presidency first by attempting to bring the elusive Luhya unity, a project previous politicians including Amani’s Musalia Mudavadi has failed to achieve.

“My charge for 2022 presidency is unstoppable. I am ready to form the next government either as Weta or with others,” he told the crowd.

The senator was responding to Matayos MP Geoffrey Odanga who had warned him that walking out of Nasa would be politically catastrophic and instead pleaded with him to pull together with other leaders within the coalition.

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