From L-R Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, chairman David Musilla and Secretary General Hassan Omar chat before they addressed a news conference after a NEC meeting at their Headquarters Wednesday evening.
Wiper party has given the National Super Alliance (NASA) a seven-day ultimatum to name Kalonzo Musyoka as the coalition’s presidential candidate, failure to which the party will chart its own political path.
National Assembly Minority Leader Francis Nyenze – a key ally of Mr Musyoka – told a press conference that party ‘is tired’ of endless meetings to iron out the contentious issue, and will no longer participate in the 12-member National Coordinating Committee (NCC) meetings.
“If it is not Kalonzo, then that will be the end of NASA, it could change to something like Nyanza Super Alliance, because we will pull out,” Nyenze said Wednesday at a press conference at Parliament Buildings.
“I am not speaking as Nyenze … I’m speaking on behalf for his Excellency Kalonzo Musyoka, the Wiper party and the Kamba people. This is the last chance we cannot go round in circles trying to waste time,” he said.
But while addressing a press conference in Nairobi, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi warned the coalition’s partners against making demands on who should be the flag bearer.
Mr Mudavadi said such demands could disorganize and deny the coalition a win against Jubilee Party in the August 8 General Election.
The former deputy premier described the process of picking the coalition’s presidential candidate as delicate, and asked the 12-member team to be objective in picking NASA flag bearer.
“I want to urge all our people to stop this narrative that it must be so and so. It does not make sense for you tell us to remain united while on the other side you insist on a particular candidate,” said Mudavadi.
Nyenze, who is one of the 12 members of Nasa’s National Coordinating Committee threatened he would not attend any other meeting if there would be no meeting this week. The Kitui West MP also said he would not attend meetings at “somebody office”, saying the meetings should be held at a central place.
He said the committee was skewed to push for interests of one of the candidates.
“Every time, now because of that demand, whenever we set to meet, as NCC the meeting is postponed every time. We were supposed to have a meeting yesterday but it was postponed and the reason is that they fear the question of the MOU.
“Even if we meet a hundred times we will not agree until the MOU is honoured… Let’s be sincere, let us honour our pledges and this one is the last straw that will break the camel’s back,” Nyenze said.
But hours after Nyenze made the remarks, Wiper’s National Executive Committee (NEC) attempted to cool down the increasing temperatures under NASA, stating that they will remain in the coalition.
The party, however, insisted that it is only Kalonzo who can defeat Jubilee, saying that settling on another candidate would be a huge doom to NASA.
After close to three hours of the party’s NEC meeting that was attended by Kalonzo, the outfit said renewed its commitment to fight it out within the Opposition.
“We reiterate that we are in NASA to stay but there is nothing wrong if we pitch for our party leader that he is the best suited candidate to take on Jubilee,” said Secretary General Hassan Omar.
The latest demands by Kalonzo allies come in the wake of unrest within the Opposition Coalition, with Wiper demanding that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with Opposition leader Raila Odinga prior to the last election be honoured.
The MOU has assumed particular significance in the run up to the August poll as the coalition burns midnight oil to identify a formidable candidate to face off with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
On Tuesday, Raila, Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula held a meeting at the ODM leader’s Capitol Hills Office in Capitol over the coalition, a meeting that was not attended by Kalonzo as he was in Emali Town, Makueni, having a meeting with Ukambani leaders.
Kalonzo has in more than one occasion refuted reports that he could be preparing grounds to bolt from the coalition.
Wednesday, Mudavadi said he was not part of the pact, stating that political agreement was only binding to Wiper and ODM and not parties under NASA.
“I cannot comment on the 2013 agreement between ODM and Wiper because I was not party to it. I can only comment on agreement bringing NASA partners together,” said Mudavadi.
During the Emali meeting, former Lands Minister Charity Ngilu, Wiper chairman David Musila (Kitui Senator), Chama Cha Uzalendo leader Wavinya Ndeti and other Ukambani leaders said it was time Raila supported Kalonzo for presidency.
The leaders said they would rally behind Kalonzo to ensure all the 2.5 million Kamba registered voters vote as a bloc.
While reiterating that Kalonzo was the best suited candidate to fly the NASA presidential flag, the leaders advised the Wiper leader not to respond to allegations of him planning to bolt from the opposition coalition.
Reports by Moses Nyamori, WILFRED AYAGA, Rawlings Otieno and Erastus Mulwa