NASA wrangles intensify as ODM takes hardline stance
6 months ago, 14 Mar 00:14
ODM leaders yesterday stepped up threats to isolate partner parties in NASA should they refuse to back the agreement between their party leader and President Uhuru Kenyatta. A day after the four NASA co-principals met and resolved to refer the agreement to their respective party organs, the ODM Parliamentary Group gave full backing to the deal and told Wiper, ANC, and Ford Kenya to follow suit or part ways. Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, who is the deputy party leader, warned the other parties that if they did not back Raila Odinga, ODM would leave the coalition. “As far as ODM is concerned, Uhuru and Raila were the major presidential candidates last year. They met as individuals. This has nothing to do with NASA,” Mr Oparanya said shortly after meeting Raila and Jimi Wanjigi at Serena Hotel. He continued: “The three other NASA leaders have their own parties. They can decide whether or not to back the deal. If they bolt, it will have no impact on the current deal.” The future of NASA and its unity will be tested in the coming days when affiliate parties hold crucial meetings to deliberate on last week’s truce between Uhuru and Raila. ANC, Wiper, and Ford Kenya have expressed reservations on the outcome of the talks between Uhuru and Raila even as ODM backed the initiative. Following a meeting on Monday in Athi River, the four party leaders agreed to subject the proposal to their respective party organs for Raila to be given the nod to dialogue with Uhuru. Consequently, Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper and Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC have scheduled national executive council (NEC) meetings on Tuesday next week. Moses Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya, which was slated to hold its NEC tomorrow, has pushed it back to Tuesday. There are indications that Kalonzo, Mudavadi, and Wetang’ula are prepared to chart their own course without ODM if their parties do not endorse the deal. Yesterday, the three NASA leaders held a separate meeting in Karen as Raila met his ODM troops at Orange House to brief them on what transpired in Athi River on Monday and Friday’s event at Harambee House. ANC chairman Kevin Lunani said next Tuesday’s meeting had been planned earlier, adding that it would not incorporate the Raila issue. Kalonzo had scheduled to hold a meeting with Kamba community leaders in Machakos on Friday but has pushed it back and instead will be in Kitui to campaign for the party’s candidate, Edith Nyenze, for the March 26 Kitui West by-election. On Sunday, leaders from the three parties met at Ole Sereni Hotel in Nairobi, where they resolved to forge forward without ODM. The leaders discussed issuing a joint communique to ‘allow Raila and ODM’ to proceed with their negotiations with Jubilee which was to be issued on Monday, but the intention was scuttled when Raila attended the meeting at Stoni Athi. “We don’t want to pretend that by two people shaking hands, we have quelled tension in the country. As a party, we ...
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