NASA presidential candidate Raila Odinga adressing supporters in Machakos on 5th June, 2017 .
An assurance that Raila Odinga would be a one-term President and would support Kalonzo Musyoka in 2022 was NASA’s selling point in Ukambani on Monday.
The promise was stressed to whip the region behind the Opposition coalition.
In its first rally in Machakos since Raila was named the presidential candidate and Kalonzo his running mate, the Wiper Party leader appealed to voters in the region perceived to be his stronghold to back the ODM leader’s bid, arguing that his success in the August polls would be a springboard to Kalonzo’s rise to power in 2022.
The assurance was pivotal given the hardline stand by Kalonzo’s allies prior to the NASA deal.
Kalonzo allies had demanded Raila should step down for the Wiper leader to reciprocate the former VP’s gesture of accepting to be his running mate in 2013.
There were also fears that Kalonzo supporters would waver should he not be named the Opposition flag bearer.
The feuding in Wiper exploded leading to the defection of party chairman, David Musila, and later Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama’s bitter fallout with Kalonzo.
The undertones led to the narrative Ukambani was restless and fertile ground for Jubilee, which had already persuaded some Wiper MPs to defect to the ruling coalition.
It is against the backdrop of these concerns that Kalonzo yesterday sought to assure his supporters that NASA was in their best interest.
Kalonzo told his home supporters that they had agreed as NASA leaders that Raila would be a one-term President and would back his bid in 2022, noting that they had agreed to support Raila on condition he would be a one-term President.
“We agreed that we all shelve our ambitions of becoming President to back Raila. We signed a deal, which is now a public document, that he will only be a one-term President,” Kalonzo said referring to fellow NASA leaders Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula and Isaac Ruto.
Under the power-sharing structure, Mudavadi is the designated Premier Cabinet Secretary in charge of Government Coordination, Wetang’ula earmarked for Deputy Premier responsible for the economic sector while Ruto is deputy premier responsible for governance and social services sector.
“I want you to vote more Wiper candidates and bring more seats. When that time comes, I will ask my brothers to consider whoever has brought more seats and I know I will,” said Kalonzo.
The NASA leaders promised that secondary school education would be free from September should they form Government.
The leaders also linked the death of Mumias Sugar Company secretary Leonard Lubya to the Jubilee administration, which they accused of coercing parastatal staff to release money for campaigns.
Raila made fresh claims that the National Youth Service (NYS) could have lost more than Sh20 billion and not Sh791 million as reported had he not unearthed the scam.
At the public rally at the Machakos Golf Club grounds, the Opposition leaders tore into Jubilee’s agenda with counter accusation that the original idea of free secondary was NASA’s.
Kalonzo was categorical that he first mooted the idea during the 2007 general polls and Jubilee cannot claim the idea.
“When I was campaigning in 2007, I was the first to assure Kenyans that under my government, there will be free secondary education. I am now Raila’s running mate. We will ensure there is a supplementary budget and no student will pay school fees from September,” said Kalonzo.
Kalonzo asked Kenyans to give NASA a chance to lead the country and deliver them from misery. “Now we are in a serious business of saving the entire people of Kenya from misrule. My problem is the few people who are misleading Kamba community into Jubilee and I want to tell them to read the signs of the times that Kenya is in a revolutionary mood,” said Kalonzo.
Mudavadi warned the Jubilee administration against intimidating State corporations officials into signing deals for their campaigns.
The Amani leader reiterated that he had received information that some officials were being forced to release funds for campaigns. “We want a thorough investigation into the murder of Mumias Sugar Company secretary. Jubilee administration should stop intimidating company officials,” he said.
Raila said should NASA form the next government, they will prioritize the establishment of Konza Techno City and other resort cities in Lamu, Isiolo and Turkana as envisioned in the Kenya Vision 2030 flagship projects.
Raila tore into Jubilee’s unfulfilled pledges saying they cannot be trusted with leadership.
“If they failed to deliver laptops to Standard One pupils, can you trust them that they can implement free secondary education?” he posed.
Raila said Jubilee is to blame for the collapse of local sugar companies by allowing irregular and illegal imports of the commodity from the neighboring Uganda and Somalia.
Wetang’ula claimed that there are two dubious businessmen who are importing sugar through Kismayu and South Sudan to the chagrin of local sugar millers.
“We know two dubious businessmen who are importing sugar into the country. The importation of the sugar has led to the collapse of the economy of Western region under Jubilee. We will not allow that,” said the Ford Kenya leader.
The leaders campaigned for governor aspirant Wavinya Ndeti urging locals to vote her as the next boss of Machakos.
The NASA leaders hit out at Governor Alfred Mutua for failing to deliver the Machakos City, which President Uhuru Kenyatta launched.
“Mutua has been busy buying advertising space in newspaper to hoodwink the people of Machakos,” said Raila.