Wiper reignites Azimio feud on coalition deal

Nasa leaders

Raila Odinga (left) and Kalonzo Musyoka.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Mr Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper party has protested the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition party agreement submitted on April 9, alleging it was altered without the consent of all parties with regard to three issues, including selection of a running mate.

The latest feud has everything to do with a recent deal Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga struck to appease rebelling leaders of small parties, who threatened they had “other alternative options” , interpreted as joining Deputy President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza Alliance, if they continued being taken for granted in the coalition.

Last evening, Wiper party was among parties under the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) that signalled objection to the registration of the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya coalition political party and the subsequent coalition agreement, citing the three contentious issues.

In a letter that will reportedly be filed with the Registrar of Political Parties, authored under the OKA banner, the group protests the agreement lodged on April 1 “was withdrawn and certain clauses amended or altered without the consent of all the parties and signatories.”

A copy of the letter dated April 11 seen by the Nation is, however, only signed by Secretaries-General Bernard Wafukho (United Democratic Party) and Shakila Abdalla (Wiper). Mr Nick Salat (Kanu) and Linus Opiyo (MDG) haven’t signed it. The group objects to the registration of the coalition political party agreement, citing the three issues that “have not been agreed upon.”

OKA says the number of caucuses had been agreed as three on April 1 but four had been presented on April 9. The initial “three legged” pillars of the coalition were ODM, Jubilee and OKA but an extra one was added in the subsequent deal to quell a rebellion by leaders of small parties under the Mwanzo Mpya caucus.

Another issue is the expansion of the members of the coalition council from the initial seven to 11. This, too, was to accommodate the rebelling group led by Governors Alfred Mutua and Kivutha Kibwana that had protested against being side-lined in decision making within the coalition.

The third is the selection of the presidential candidate’s running mate. The first two provisions were included to appease leaders of small parties led by Mr Mutua and Prof Kibwana.

Mr Odinga met the disgruntled group coalescing under the Mwanzo Mpya caucus to hammer out a deal. Yesterday, it emerged this deal has reignited the feud with Mr Musyoka.

Asked by the Nation whether she had received the letter, the Registrar of Political Parties Ann Njeri Nderitu replied: “I left office early maybe it has arrived. But let me check for you tomorrow.”

Mr Salat said he was aware of the document, but insisted he had not signed it “because I still needed to consult my party.” He said the issues raised were part of the agenda of a meeting today of secretaries-general of the different parties under the Azimio banner.

The meeting this morning will be chaired by Mr Raphael Tuju, whom Mr Odinga last week named as the executive director of the coalition secretariat. The invite indicates the agenda for the meeting at Serena Hotel will be “signing of one of the mandatory coalition documents yet to be signed ie the Coalition Code of Conduct, which the SGs will sign on behalf of their respective parties.”