‘NASA parties rivalry no threat to Raila bid’

National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principal Musalia Mudavadi has said rivalry among affiliate parties will not compromise Raila Odinga’s bid for the presidency.

Pundits feel the rivalry pitting Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Amani National Congress (ANC) and Ford Kenya in Western region could cost Raila victory against President Uhuru Kenyatta on August 8.

But Mr Mudavadi, speaking in a radio interview yesterday, termed it “healthy internal competition”.

The ANC leader said competition in the NASA strongholds of Kakamega, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, Kitui and Mombasa counties would also boost voter turnout that would enhance their chances of winning.

“Under the NASA umbrella, we have ODM, Wiper, Ford Kenya, ANC and Chama Cha Mashinani. The parties are only competing for the local seats but are all drumming up support for Raila Odinga. This enhances voter turnout in our strongholds to more than 90 per cent.”

He said Mombasa and Kitui were NASA strongholds and the competition for the governor’s seat pitting Hassan Joho of ODM against Wiper’s Hassan Omar, and Charity Ngilu of Narc versus Julius Malombe of Wiper in Kitui was healthy.

He also said the ‘sibling rivalry’ would not give President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto a head start, “as the voters have already made their choice to vote for Raila Odinga in the August polls”.

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“In Vihiga, Yusuf Chanzu of ANC is battling Wilbur Ottichilo of ODM for the governorship; same as in Kakamega where Boni Khalwale of Ford-K is facing (Kakamega Governor) Wycliffe Oparanya of ODM and Michael Osundwa of ANC. In Bungoma, we have Alfred Khang’ati of ODM, Wycliffe Wangamati of Ford Kenya and Stephen Mutoro of ANC. This competition does not mean Jubilee will get any votes from these areas,” he said.

Rivalry between Ford Kenya and ODM has seen Bungoma lobby groups formerly allied to NASA shift their allegiance to Jubilee Party.

Ford-K accused Oparanya and Khang’ati of undermining NASA co-principal and Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula.

The Bungoma Residents Forum led by Elias Sikulu has embarked on campaigns in support of Uhuru’s re-election. The group, which had campaigned for NASA for five months, accused Raila of using Oparanya to undermine Wetang’ula and Mudavadi.

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