Kenya Kwanza coalition Kirinyaga

ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi (left) chats with Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and Garissa Township MP Aden Duale during a political rally to drum up support for the Kenya Kwanza coalition at Thiba grounds in Kirinyaga County on January 29, 2022.

| Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Jitters in UDA over Kenya Kwanza coalition name

What you need to know:

  • ANC Secretary General Simon Gikuru has told the Nation the party is keen on Mr Mudavadi being the KKA flagbearer.
  • The Kenya Kwanza Alliance name was reserved by Mr Mudavadi through his chief of staff, Mr Godfrey Kanoti, last year.

The political marriage between Deputy President William Ruto and Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi is on shaky ground due to suspicion and mistrust arising from the ownership of the Kenya Kwanza Alliance (KKA), their coalition for the August 9 General Election.

This has further been exacerbated by the push by ANC for a “Musalia Tosha” moment, akin to ODM leader Raila Odinga’s endorsement of former President Mwai Kibaki in 2002.

ANC Secretary General Simon Gikuru has told the Nation the party is keen on Mr Mudavadi being the KKA flagbearer, while the ANC leader himself has revealed the coalition was yet to name its flagbearer.

The KKA name was reserved by Mr Mudavadi through his chief of staff, Mr Godfrey Kanoti, last year, when the ANC leader, alongside his Ford-Kenya counterpart Moses Wetang’ula were still members of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA).

The reservation of the name arose from mistrust in OKA, whose name was reserved by Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s camp.

In KKA, murmurs by DP Ruto’s allies in the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) are already being heard, threatening to derail the coalition, with some of them insisting Dr Ruto must use UDA as his vehicle to State House, and not KKA, which is associated with Mr Mudavadi.

Even though Dr Ruto has allayed fears over details of their working relationship, some UDA-allied MPs are jittery and want him to be cautious in his dealings within KKA.

One legislator told the Nation that from past cases, such as when ODM leader Raila Odinga was betrayed in ODM-K, whose registered officials were associated with Mr Musyoka, Dr Ruto’s allies have to remain alert within KKA.

“Remember what Dan Maanzo did to Raila at the eleventh hour. He was the registered secretary general of ODM-K and when his boss differed with Raila, they took away the party at the eleventh hour, leaving Raila with nothing.

“Had the ODM leader not received an alternative – ODM from Lawyer Mugambi Imanyara, he could have faced a major obstacle of forming a party very few months to the election. We don’t want to witness this in our alliance that’s why we are sounding the alarm bells,” the MP said.

It is because of such suspicions that OKA principals Musyoka, Kanu Chairman Gideon Moi, Narc-Kenya’s Martha Karua and United Democratic Party Leader Cyrus Jirongo on Wednesday moved to sign a Deed of Assignment, which formally incorporates all the constituent political parties in the alliance, with equal opportunities.

Yesterday, Kimilili MP Didmus Barasa, an ally of the DP told the Nation that all the pioneers of UDA will not vie on the Kenya Kwanza Alliance ticket, even though Dr Ruto had partnered with Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula.

“We are not going to field candidates under the Kenya Kwanza alliance. It will only have a coalition agreement in which both parties will append their signatures. William Ruto will run for presidency on a UDA ticket not Kenya Kwanza Alliance ticket,” Mr Barasa said.

His sentiments were echoed by Turkana North MP Christopher Nakuleu.

“Our main agenda is to finish ODM boss Raila Odinga politically,” he said.

Mr Gikuru said the party was committed to the coalition with UDA and Ford-Kenya.

“What is priority for us now is to first sell the name of the coalition and our ideologies. So we are focusing on getting Kenyans to understand that we are coming in to resuscitate the economy and we want to form a government with an inclusive economy for all,” he said.

Former Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale allayed fears in the coalition, saying it was only less than two weeks old.

“Let’s not speculate to look for imaginary obstacles. Once our partnership agreement is agreed and sealed, it’s going to be unveiled formally. That might include, but not limited to Kenya Kwanza Alliance,” Dr Khalwale told Nation.

“If Kenya Kwanza Alliance is the one we are going with, the usual legal provisions will be in place to safeguard the interests of all partners. Reservation of a name is not an issue, even if we agreed today only one person would reserve a name,” the former legislator said.

Dr Ruto has stated that the details of the agreement with ANC and Ford-Kenya will be filed with the Registrar of Political Parties at the appropriate time.

“We are keenly watching the steps of Musalia and his allies because they are always very quick at registering coalition names. Remember in 2017, he is the one who registered National Super Alliance (Nasa) with the Registrar of Political Parties. The good thing is that our camp is more politically intelligent than Musalia’s camp,” said one of the lawmakers from Western region.

Yesterday, Garissa Township MP Aden Duale said Kenyans should give them time to conclude their coalition building, arguing that the mistrust being talked about is propaganda by their opponents.

“That is speculative propaganda from our competitors. Wait till we present/deposit our coalition agreement with the registrar of the political party and it becomes a public document,” he told the Nation.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, while playing down fears of mistrust, said Kenya Kwanza Alliance has leaders who are honest and straightforward who cannot shortchange one another.

“We have all run away from politics of deceit and conmanship. We are joined together by the common objective of economic revival and shall stick together until victory and formation of a government,” said Mr Gachagua.

Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata added: “We shall negotiate in good faith and come up with a solution. Our coalition interests are not about seats and power. It is about the people and their economic problems. We shall support whoever has the best interests for the common person.”

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