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Opposition runs into hurdle over use of its acronym Nasa

The National Super Alliance could be sent back to the drawing board if the courts forbid it from using the acronym Nasa, claimed by an NGO in Northern Kenya.

In a suit at the High Court in Nairobi, Northern Advocacy for Sustainable Agriculture (Nasa) wants the court to order the alliance to drop the name.

Its chairman, Mr Martin Nkari, laments in a sworn affidavit that since Nasa (National Super Alliance) came into being, most donors have withdrawn support.

The argued through Omondi Ogutu and Associates that there is no sign the trend will stop unless the court stops the alliance.

Mr Nkari said their partners and donors had shied away from working with them around December 2016 and February 2017 on the grounds that it is affiliated to the political alliance.

The organisation also wants Registrar of Political Parties Lucy Ndung’u stopped from receiving or proceeding with the registration of Nasa as a political party in Kenya. The outfit has a provisional registration.

The NGO Co-ordination Board has also been enjoined in the case as the third defendant.

Nasa has four main parties affiliated to it namely: ODM led by Mr Raila Odinga, Wiper under Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, Mr Musalia Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress and Ford-Kenya whose leader is Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula.

Coming a week to the start of party primaries, the case can only serve to further heat up the political temperatures.

To observers, it could also help entrench the alliance in the country by cashing in on the feeling of victimhood.

Nasa officials on Friday indicated that they will defend the case saying it could plunge it into confusion.

Losing the case would send them back to square one in what will be a huge setback given the massive resources they have already committed to popularise the alliance’s name. Indeed the up coming elections have so far been billed a two-horse race between Jubilee and Nasa.
It could also destabilise a nascent alliance which has its fair share of infighting with the most challenging task being selecting a presidential candidate while ensuring no fallout among its partners.
Each of the parties is rooting for their leader to be named the candidate as timelines set by electoral commission fast run out.
The case, which will be heard next week, was filed on the same day Mr Musyoka came out to strongly deny reports that he was keen on leaving the alliance. It followed sustained reports that he had decided to go it alone in the August 8 elections.
“I don’t want to talk about it (bolting out). If someone were planning to leave Nasa, they would leave me here. It is sickening that this has refused to go away despite my clear position on the matter but it also tells you I am not a nobody in the country politics,” he told journalists.
It is Mr Musyoka’s ally and minority leader in the National Assembly Francis Nyenze that had kicked up a storm in the opposition when he said Wiper will chart its own political path unless his boss was made the flag-bearer.

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