The National Super Alliance (Nasa) principals will go to a retreat on Monday to consider at least six scenarios that they think could give them victory in the August presidential election.
Sources close to the four principals — Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula — said a document prepared by a technical team will guide them in reaching a conclusion on the best suited combination to defeat President Kenyatta.
The document, seen by the Nation, looks at the strengths and weaknesses of the various combinations based on six parameters including which formation can substantially increase the turnout in opposition strongholds up to 95 per cent, which formation will not depress turnout, which one can raid up to at least 40 per cent of the vote from Jubilee areas and which one can win over 60 per cent of the 4,126,287 votes in swing counties.
The formations include an Odinga-Mudavadi-Musyoka formation with the ODM leader as the presidential candidate, Mudavadi as his running mate and the Wiper boss as a chief minister in charge of the day to day running of government, akin to the prime minister’s position in the grand coalition government.
In this formation, Mr Wetang’ula would become the deputy chief minister.
Another formation has a Mudavadi-Musyoka-Odinga line-up with Mr Wetang’ula deputising the ODM leader, while another setup has Mr Musyoka as the presidential candidate, Mr Mudavadi as the running mate and Mr Odinga as the chief minister, again deputised by Mr Wetang’ula.
The choice of the right formation, according to multiple sources, will be informed by recent reports on “likely-to-win” perceptions and the impact of recent defections as a factor in the strength of a political party and its leader.
Yesterday, Mr Wetang’ula sent out a passionate appeal to his co-principals not to disappoint Kenyans by going their separate ways, saying that the Monday retreat should come up with a presidential flag-bearer acceptable across the board.
“I’m urging my brothers Raila, Kalonzo and Mudavadi that in this retreat we are attending, we must come out clearly. Don’t let down Kenyans. We must come up with a win-win situation,” he said.
A DIVIDED HOUSE
The Nation learnt that Mr Musyoka flew out of the country on Wednesday night for Dubai while Mr Odinga was scheduled to fly to South Africa last evening.
“Kalonzo is in Dubai while Raila is going to South Africa today,” Mr Wetang’ula said.
Sources close to Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka said the two were flying out on private business.
Mr Wetang’ula sought to allay fears that the opposition coalition, which poses the greatest threat to President Kenyatta’s second term ambitions, was headed for collapse following disagreements over the choice of the presidential candidate.
“That Nasa is divided is a figment of some people’s imagination. We are together and we will remain so to the bitter end,” he said.
The Ford Kenya leader was responding to concerns expressed by Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi regarding a leaked report to the effect that Nasa had settled on its presidential candidate and his running mate.
On Wednesday, the two leaders demanded an apology from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), which had stated that the opposition alliance has settled on Mr Odinga as its flag-bearer.
The two leaders said no deal had been struck and that ODM’s statement was premature and inaccurate.
“We do not want speculations over a matter of national importance as this,” said Mr Musyoka.
“We want people to be patient, then in one month we will have a candidate.”
NO DEAL YET
Mr Mudavadi said progress on the search for Nasa’s main man was being challenged by “too much rumours and speculation”.
He said the public will learn from the four principals when an agreement is reached.
“No one else will make such an announcement but the principals when a deal is finally reached,” said Mr Mudavadi at a press conference at Wiper Democratic Movement headquarters in Nairobi.
Mr Musyoka added: “We insist that there is no deal until there is a deal. We demand an apology from ODM over the remarks attributed to their secretary-general.”
A statement by the ODM secretary-general, Dr Agnes Zani, on Tuesday, said Mr Odinga would be deputised by Mr Musyoka while Mr Mudavadi would be chief minister with Mr Wetang’ula being asked to choose between Speaker of the National Assembly or the Senate.
Dr Zani is a member of Nasa’s National Co-ordinating Committee.
On Thursday, Mr Wetang’ula clarified that Nasa was yet to agree on its presidential candidate.
“That is inconclusive, we have not reached there but we will soon agree on who will fly our flag,” he said.
KALONZO MAIN MAN
Speaking separately, the head of Mr Mudavadi’s presidential secretariat Godfrey Kanoti also maintained that no presidential candidate had been agreed upon.
“As far as we know, Nasa still does not have a presidential candidate, that decision will be made by the four principals during the retreat, which starts on Monday,” he said.
“What came out in the media was just one out of at least six different proposals,” he added.
But even as Mr Wetang’ula attempted to calm the waters, National Assembly Minority leader Francis Nyenze maintained his hardline stance, insisting that Mr Musyoka be named the presidential candidate.
He criticised Siaya senator James Orengo and his Machakos counterpart Johnson Muthama for failing to reprimand Ms Zani over her utterances regarding the Raila-Musyoka ticket.
—Reports by Peter Leftie, Brian Moseti and Karren Muriuki