Mudavadi, Wetang'ula and I should meet Uhuru: Kalonzo

Thursday March 15 2018

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka

Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka (centre) address the journalists at ABC headquarters in Machakos on March 14, 2018. He said three Nasa leaders, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang'ula and himself will seek to meet President Uhuru Kenyatta for an all-inclusive dialogue. PHOTO | STEPHEN MUTHINI | NATION. 

By STEPHEN MUTHINI
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By IBRAHIM ORUKO
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By JOHN NGIRACHU
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Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka is now proposing a meeting of him and his two other co-principals in the National Super Alliance with President Uhuru Kenyatta, which he says would give the country a chance to have an “all-inclusive dialogue”.

His suggestion comes five days after his coalition leader and head of the Orange Democratic Movement Raila Odinga met with President Kenyatta without the knowledge or approval of the Nasa Summit, consisting of Mr Odinga, Mr Musyoka, Mr Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress) and Mr Moses Wetang’ula (Ford-Kenya).

Mr Musyoka, speaking Wednesday after meeting with church leaders at the African Brotherhood Church headquarters in Machakos, said no peace-loving leader would oppose constructive dialogue, and so he would like to see himself and his colleagues allowed on the Raila-Uhuru table.

CUBA VISIT
Should that happen, it would mean all leaders of the Opposition will be working with the ruling Jubilee Party, starving the nation of alternative political voices.

Most importantly, it would enrich the cohesion gospel preached by President Kenyatta since the divisive elections of last year.

“We believe in constructive dialogue,” Mr Musyoka said. “The three of us — Wetang’ula, Mudavadi and I — may have to meet President Kenyatta so that we (could also) hear from him.”

The President is currently in Cuba on official duty and Mr Musyoka said the date of their meeting will have to be determined by State House, if Mr Kenyatta wants to meet the Nasa team in the first place.

2022 ELECTIONS
He said a motion in Parliament to endorse the dialogue held between President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga should have waited until next week after other parties in the Nasa coalition meet and deliberate on the unfolding events, but still advised MPs from his party to pass the motion — with a rider that there has to be an all-inclusive dialogue, meaning, to use his earlier explanation, the whole of Nasa leadership must be brought on board.

As he spoke in Machakos, Kenya’s biggest political parties were uniting behind the Uhuru-Kenyatta deal in Nairobi and also warning their partners against using the opportunity to score political points.

Mr Odinga’s ODM warned its partners in Nasa not to blackmail it, while the Jubilee Party said the pact does not change its intentions to have Deputy President William Ruto take over as President in 2022.

ODM
The parties declared their positions through their leaders in the National Assembly and the Senate, where MPs lined up to declare their backing for the agreement announced by President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga last Friday.

The ODM chairman John Mbadi, the Minority Leader in the National Assembly, declared that his party would not tolerate any blackmail from its partners in Nasa.

“We are not ready to take blackmail,” he declared at the end of his speech as he moved the motion to debate the agreement between the top two political leaders.

“We are committed to the cause and no amount of blackmail will take us off the track.”

The Minority Leader’s references to President Kenyatta and pledge to support President Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda, coupled with Majority Leader Aden Duale’s praise for Mr Odinga, marked the drastic change in the political class that has been brought about by the agreement between the two leaders.

NASA SUMMIT
The same mood pervaded the Senate, where Minority Leader and Ford-Kenya boss Moses Wetang’ula beat a hasty retreat and vowed to support the initiative.

Two days after the Nasa summit decided to subject the question to the approval of its affiliates, Mr Wetangula on Wednesday described the meeting as “an important event whose effect will be to turn around the political trajectory of the country”.

“I stand here to speak for Nasa,” Mr Wetang’ula told an attentive House when he stood to contribute to the motion brought to the floor by ODM.

“Mr Odinga, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Musalia Mudavadi and Yours Truly are like conjoined twins; we shall work together to ensure there are no frustrations and the latest efforts towards a united Kenya are not derailed.”

WILLIAM RUTO
Still, Mr Duale used the opportunity to attack the smaller opposition parties and declare that Jubilee Party would not change its plan to have Mr Ruto become President in 2022.

“We have no space for any group that wants to vie for 2022. We have a succession roadmap. Our candidate is already known.

"He is a utility player. He is very expensive. We will make sure he is not injured and we will make sure he scores goals both home and away,” Mr Duale said.

He said the ruling party would be ready to form a coalition with any of the opposition parties, but they would have to settle for anything below their candidate being President.

He told ODM not be to be “intimidated by people with very little shareholding”, referring to the rest of the Nasa coalition.

“In the pastoralist communities, decisions are made by the person with the largest number of cows,” he continued, referring to the strength of ODM in the National Assembly and the Senate.

“If you have 10 cows or 10 camels, you wait for the decision of the big shareholders.”

DIALOGUE
Political rhetoric aside, it is also increasingly evident President Kenyatta’s and Mr Odinga’s lieutenants do not yet have an idea of what form the dialogue would take.

Mr Mbadi said the two have agreed to have certain structures in place to support the growth of the country, and that the party will await direction from Mr Odinga.

Mr Duale was also similarly vague, saying: “At the moment, the deal is still young. We are yet to see more. It is just one page.”

In the Senate, Deputy Speaker Kithure Kindiki said the meeting between the two leaders could be the constitutional moment Kenyans have been yearning for.

Deputy Minority Leader James Orengo urged the public to join hands and work together, saying “Kenyans are determined to live in peace as one indivisible country.”

“History will be the judge on whether the handshake between Mr Odinga and President Kenyatta will bring ultimate peace. Be ready to pay the ultimate prize for the good of the nation,” he said.