Nasa team at pains to assure supporters talks are on course

Tuesday March 14 2017

Ford-Kenya secretary general Boni Khalwale at the party's office in Nairobi on March 9, 2017. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


The team coordinating the affairs of the National Super Alliance was on Tuesday at pains to assure supporters that talks on how to pick its presidential candidate were on course.

Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, who is a member of the coordinating committee, said they would be making an announcement soon.

“We had terms of reference set for the committee which had specific timelines. The first one was to have the coalition grounded legally which we have achieved. The second one was on joint nominations which has failed and the third was on presidential candidate which is progressing well," he said.

Contrary to fears all had collapsed, Dr Khalwale said, the mission would soon be accomplished.

The coordinating committee, co-chaired by Senators James Orengo (Siaya), Johnstone Muthama (Machakos) and Members of Parliament (MPs) Sakwa Bunyasi (Nambale) and Eseli Simiyu (Tongaren), was set to meet on Tuesday evening talk on how to pick the coalition’s presidential candidate.

But fear is creeping in as affiliate parties have openly differed over coalition plans, including joint primaries.


Vigorous campaigns by Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka have also rattled many coalition supporters who had hoped the principals would be speaking as one. ODM leader Raila Odinga, Mr Musyoka, Mr Musalia Mudavadi and Mr Moses Wetang’ula are competing for the Nasa presidential ticket.

Dr Khalwale said the team was simplifying the methods to be relied on in nominating the candidate.

“We are building consensus very well. We believe at the right time we are going to get the work done. The electoral commission has a specific deadline on these issues,” the senator said.

The team had scheduled a retreat for this weekend but sources said the meeting was dependent on the level of progress made in consensus building.

Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandai denied that there were rifts in the coalition.

He said everything was fine. Parties are expected to conclude primaries by April 26 in readiness for the August 8 polls.