Plans for the naming of a joint presidential candidate by the Opposition kicked off in earnest yesterday after four of its key leaders launched a coordinating committee to spearhead the activities of the National Super Alliance (Nasa).
The three Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) co-principals — Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga, Wiper Democratic movement’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) — and their Amani National Congress (ANC) counterpart Musalia Mudavadi also announced they had initiated a registration process to operationalise the alliance.
The formal formation of Nasa, whose registration formalities have started with the reservation of the name at the Registrar of Political Parties office, now means Cord is technically dead.
Nasa began to take shape after the leaders announced having formed a technical committee to lead the search for a joint presidential candidate for the broad-based opposition alliance.
The four leaders are also negotiating with other leaders to join the group, which targets Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto and former Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu.
The announcement followed a meeting between the four on Monday, when they authorised the technical team and nominated members of their parties to join the coordinating committee.
And to begin mobilisation in support of the newest political coalition in the country, Mr Odinga announced that the alliance will hold an inaugural rally in Bomet County on Saturday.
“The movement’s operation will start with a rally in Bomet on Saturday, February 4, to be hosted by Governor Ruto,” Mr Odinga announced.
The former Prime Minister led his colleagues in outlining the agenda of the new alliance, saying it will be broad and bold in its approach as it seeks to unseat Jubilee Party from power in the August 8 General Election.
Mr Odinga said: “It is conceived as a mass movement of political parties, institutions and organised groups.
“It carries on board groups including trade unions, the business community and employers, civil society, self-help groups, women and youth organisations, chamas (welfare clubs), transport associations, religious organisations, student organisations and individuals.”
He added that Nasa was a special-purpose movement to uproot the Jubilee regime from power for its misrule and abdication of responsibility and collusion in runaway corruption and a dwindling state of Kenya’s economy.
“It is a vehicle for an alternative accountable, responsible and responsive leadership that will restore hope in self-government among Kenyans,” he said.
The joint statement was read out by the four leaders alternately with Mr Wetang’ula starting off the session while Mr Musyoka read the last part of the statement after Mr Odinga, who followed Mr Mudavadi, in a calculated move aimed at ensuring no complete picture of the Nasa protocol was projected.
Mr Musyoka said: “We are focused on promoting the rule of law, good governance, human rights, constitutionalism and inclusivity.
“We are keen on transparency, accountability, participation of the people, devolution of power and resources, and equal opportunity and equity for all.”
The former Vice-President recalled that Kenya was pronounced the most optimistic country after citizens defied the odds to kick Kanu out of power in 2002.
‘DOOM AND GLOOM EVERYDAY’
“On every account today, Kenyans see more doom and gloom every day than success and prosperity,” said Mr Musyoka. “Strikes, public theft, exclusion, insecurity, rising cost of living, unemployment, an endless war in Somalia and bad governance are now the order of the day in our lives.”
He added that Nasa will bring back hope and happiness.
Mr Mudavadi said Nasa will operate two main organs reporting directly to the four principals.
“These organs will be answerable to the co-principals of the alliance,” said Mr Mudavadi. “They will start work immediately and make proposals which will be ratified by the leadership of the coalition.”
The former Vice-President indicated that, apart from guiding the coalition into picking a joint presidential candidate, the committee will also work on joint nominations, where the parties are in agreement to conduct joint primaries.
‘SECURE PEACE AND SECURUTY’
“The committee will also formulate a coalition agreement that will secure a smooth transition after the General Election; maintain stability and unity in the coalition after the elections; effective implementation of the coalition manifesto and other development plans; defend, protect and uphold the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights and the rule of law; and secure peace and security,” said Mr Mudavadi.
Although Ms Ngilu is said to be interested in joining the team she has been dragging her feet, something described as strategic by Nasa insiders.
Former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti was at the Serena but left after her demand to be treated as a principal was allegedly rejected.
Several Jubilee MPs are expected to join Nasa, with Narok West MP Patrick ole Ntutu, who is eyeing the Narok governorship, said to be planning to move to ODM.