National Super Alliance (NASA) principals have scheduled a meeting before the weekend to dispel fears of a looming split.
Co-principal and Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka confirmed to The Standard that a meeting was being fixed “sometime between now and weekend” to talk about the coalition’s welfare and put matters in perspective.
Kalonzo, who spoke from a Financial Times-organised investment forum in Dubai, categorically denied there was any meeting scheduled for Tuesday between him and co-principals Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula.
“It is only now that we are scheduling a meeting, certainly before the weekend. I can tell you, I haven’t seen my brother Raila Odinga since he came back from the US. He came back and on the same day I flew to Dubai for this important meeting. We spoke by phone when I arrived here,” he said.
Kalonzo said the publication of a “purported flop” of a meeting that was not scheduled and which the coalition leadership has denounced as false was “mischievous, ludicrous and malicious”.
“It’s ridiculous for anyone to say that a meeting that was neither planned nor scheduled flopped. If you ask me, this is all part of the propaganda being waged from all manner of directions to scuttle NASA. It is these plans that will flop, not our meetings,” he said.
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He described as “most unfortunate” the impression created that he ran away to Dubai to escape the NASA meeting. In the media reports, Kalonzo was said to have delayed his Dubai engagement ostensibly to avoid the NASA meeting.
He said there was no way he could have pushed back an international convention or left earlier as “my detractors would have wished in order to accommodate contrived political events”.
Meanwhile, a member of a key team of the Opposition alliance said they were set to name NASA’s presidential flag bearer by Friday next week.
The National Co-ordinating Committee (NCC) has confirmed that it is waiting for a final report from the technical committee on all important matters related to the coalition.
Johnstone Muthama, one of the NCC co-chairs, told The Standard that the committee had concluded its work and what remained was the naming of the flag bearer.
“We have accomplished our duty and by the end of this month, we will have a date with Kenyans to tell them who will lead them towards the August 8 polls victory,” said Mr Muthama, who is also the Machakos senator.
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Consequently, the NCC has suspended all its meetings to give the technical committee time to conclude all its assignments.
“The technical team made up of lawyer Dan Ameyo, economist David Ndii, Koitamet ole Kina and East African Legislative Assembly member Zein Abubakar is meeting daily through to Sunday to finish its work,” a source explained.
The NASA team is expected to hand over to the NCC on Monday its final report on who the presidential flag bearer should be.
“We will then hand the report over to the principals, who are supposed to agree by consensus who flies the coalition’s flag, or constitute a select electoral committee to name one of them,” the source said.
Wiper chairman David Musila blamed stiff internal competition for the confusion created about NASA.
“Everybody is passionately rooting for their bull. There is nothing off-the-record about this,” he said.
And the party’s Secretary General Hassan Omar said they had kept the country anxious.
“You cannot ignore it. And that is why we are insisting that we must have an identified candidate before we cross into the new month. Our support base deserves this,” said Mr Omar.
Ford Kenya’s Chris Wamalwa (Kiminini MP) said the talks had not collapsed and that the NCC had engaged the four principals to get their input every step of the way.
— Reporting by Nzau Musau, Protus Onyango, Rawlings Oduor and Erastus Mulwa