What you need to know:
- ODM National Chairman John Mbadi criticised Mr Musyoka, Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula, saying they failed the test when Mr Odinga needed their support during his January 30, 2018 swearing-in as the 'People’s President'.
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga and his Nasa co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) have renewed attacks against each other, further straining their relationship ahead of the 2022 General Election.
ODM National Chairman John Mbadi on Monday dismissed Mr Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress) and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) as “cowards” who failed the test when Mr Odinga needed their support during his January 30, 2018 swearing-in as the 'People’s President'.
The four formed the National Super Alliance (Nasa) in January 2017 as a force strong enough to challenge the Jubilee Party.
Mr Mbadi's remarks followed a terse statement by Mr Musyoka, who said Mr Odinga’s “national popularity has mainly been emanating from the goodwill and support of regional kingpins who have been coalescing around him, “believing he can be trusted”.
“Sadly for Hon. Odinga, every political coalition he has crafted has been collapsing immediately after each election cycle, with fingers pointed at [him] as the offender.”
“Unbeknown to Hon. Odinga and his cohorts, however, is the fact that time has run out for the ODM leader. Having expended his last bullet in 2017, the ageing politician faces a political Waterloo of monstrous proportions; whereupon firing of blanks will not help to boost his dwindling political fortunes,” read a statement by Mr Musyoka’s communication team.
Mr Mbadi said Mr Musyoka, Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula gave excuses after skipping Mr Odinga’s swearing-in.
“They cannot stand on their own feet and are trying to force Mr Odinga to endorse them. Mr Odinga will do no such [thing]”. As a party, we will strongly discourage Hon. Odinga from doing so,” he said.
“The three are free to continue clinging on to Nasa. That too is consistent with their nature. They are never able to read the signs of the times and move.
Mr Mbadi noted that after the ceremony at Uhuru Park in Nairobi, Mr Musyoka, Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula said they failed to attend because they had lost touch with Mr Odinga, who had promised to reach them via a Nigerian telephone line but did not do so.
“Later on, the three leaders claimed they missed the event because they had been put under some kind of house arrest, with their security details withdrawn and their homes marooned by police officers,” he said, noting the inconsistency in their explanations.
“The government denied ever deploying any security officers at the homes of the three. Instead, information emerged that they pleaded with the government to arrest them so that they could have an explanation for missing the swearing-in,” he claimed.
He further criticised Mr Musyoka for claiming he was a senior counsel at the time of Mr Odinga’s swearing-in and stating that he would not engage in an “illegality”.
“That was despite the fact that Kalonzo was not a senior counsel at the time,” he said.
“Musalia, on the other hand, abandoned the Nigeria telephone line narrative and the supposed blockade by national security officers. He now claims Hon. Odinga duped them into backing him in 2017.
“The pattern fits what Kenyans already know about the so-called Nasa principals: They are cowards,” he said.
Mr Musyoka, in his reaction to the ODM’s leader’s refusal to give an endorsement, said he is “frustrated” as they decided to chart their own political paths.
“Hon. Odinga's sway on the Kenyan masses is sadly coming to an end. It is extremely shocking that he did not see this coming. False assumptions on Kenyan voting patterns have made him assume that he is popular throughout Kenya,” read the statement by Mr Musyoka’s communication team.
“It is common knowledge that Hon. Odinga has been betraying political allies with abandon, right from his association with the National Development Party and Kanu in 2001, right through to the Pentagon in 2007/2008, to Cord, and now, Nasa. It is this mistrust and dishonesty that is depriving Hon. Odinga of his national outlook and support.”
Before the 2013 General Election, Mr Odinga according to the statement by Mr Musyoka’s team, beat his chest as a disappointed Deputy President William Ruto walked away from him, “only for the results to reveal that the DP had actually run away with the Kalenjin voting block:,
“As he betrayed his opposition counterparts Kibaki, Wamalwa and Ngilu in 2001, Hon. Odinga was salivating to be endorsed by Moi for the presidency,” he said.
“When this did not happen and Moi instead anointed Uhuru Kenyatta as Kanu's presidential candidate, Mr Odinga left Kanu in a huff and rejoined his opposition colleagues, hence revealing his true colours.”
Mr Musyoka’s team further said Mr Odinga’s ‘handshake’ with the President “was mainly initiated by him “to get himself into the trappings of State power, just like it happened in 2001”.
Both President Kenyatta and Mr Odinga insist their deal is for the sake of national healing, reconciliation and development, following the adverse effects of the 2007/8 post-election violence.
They also say the public is the priority, not the creation of powerful positions for themselves and their allies.