A section of Opposition MPs from the vote-rich western region have asked National Super Alliance (Nasa) principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula to agree and let one of them contest the presidency.
According to the MPs, by one dropping out of the presidential race, it will increase the chances of a Luhya candidate clinching the much-sought Nasa alliance ticket.
MPs Paul Otuoma (Funyula – ODM), Mr Alfred Agoi (Sabatia – ANC) and Mr Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini – Ford Kenya) rallied for a single Luyha presidential candidate.
Mr Otuoma said: “The Luhya is the largest community in Kenya but it is not in government. We have two principals in Nasa. This is already 50 per cent. What do we do to make it (50 per cent) as one ticket for us to up our bargaining in Nasa?”
The three spoke during the burial of pioneer Education Minister Joseph Otiende at his home in Kagoye in Vihiga County.
Mr Wetang’ula (Ford-Kenya leader), Mr Mudavadi (ANC leader), who attended the ceremony, ODM leader Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) are fighting for the ticket.
Supporting Mr Otuoma’s proposal, Mr Agoi reached out to Mr Mudavadi and Mr Wetang’ula and asked them to agree on one of them to seek the Nasa ticket
“Wetang’ula and Mudavadi are here with us today. They should agree on one of them because this will raise our bargaining power in the ongoing Nasa consultations for the presidential ticket. What we all want is to send Jubilee packing,” said Mr Agoi.
The Nasa principals have appointed a steering committee constituting members from all affiliate parties to come up with modalities of selecting the presidential candidate.
Some are Mr Wamalwa and Siaya Senator James Orengo.
WATCH YOUR WORDS
Mr Mudavadi assured their supporters that Mr Wetang’ula and him will not disappoint them.
“It is hot in Nasa as everyone wants it (presidential ticket). But the heat should not drive us out. Unity is the word here and that is what the people want.
“Don’t tell me that if it is not Mudavadi, you will not vote. What kind of a democrat are you? If you don’t vote you will be endorsing Jubilee. Nasa will deliver a presidential candidate in time,” he said.
Mr Wetang’ula said any of the Nasa leaders is capable of leading the country.
“We are brothers. Mudavadi and I have no problem. Raila and Kalonzo are also our brothers. If Mudavadi gets, I will have gotten. If I get Mudavadi will have gotten. Saying anything else, you will be rocking the boat.”
The Bungoma senator claimed that Nasa has more numbers than the ruling Jubilee government.
“If you put the Nasa strongholds together, we have more numbers than Jubilee. That is why they are no longer talking about tyranny of numbers because they are aware of this.”
Mr Wamalwa called for a single Luyha presidential candidate.
“We are going to be behind you (Wetang’ula and Mudavadi) to ensure that a Luhya is given the presidency.”
However, the utterances did not go down well with nominated MP Oburu Oginga, also Mr Odinga’s brother.
Dr Oginga urged them not utter statements that may create a rift in the coalition.
“We have heard what my brother Wamalwa has said here – that it must be a Luhya. Let us take care of what we say. Our words can break a whole house. We were in Cord and we are now united in Nasa.
“Why make such utterances here. As you can see, Jubilee are boasting that they already have a leader and Nasa is still looking for one,” Dr Oginga said.
Mr Orengo however said the Nasa family is united and is working as one house.
He urged the media not to blow Mr Wamalwa’s comments out of proportion. He also noted that leaders from the Luhya community had not been linked to corruption.
Some of the leaders in attendance were Governor Moses Akaranga (Vihiga), Governor Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega), Vihiga Senator George Khaniri, Vihiga MP Yusuf Chanzu, former Vihiga MP Andrew Ligale, and former Westlands MP Fred Gumo.
They called for Nasa unity saying it was the only sure bet for victory over Jubilee.