Raila tells NASA chiefs why he met Uhuru secretly
8 months ago, 13 Mar 00:10
National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga on Monday battled to convince his coalition partners they could still trust him and that his deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta was in good faith. Raila put on a brave face as he met his co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula for the first time since Friday’s truce meeting with President Kenyatta. During the NASA meeting, Raila was hard-pressed to explain his decision to hold secret talks with Uhuru, reportedly for almost a month. The talks culminated in Friday’s deal at the President's Harambee House office and the handshake signalling a truce between him and the Jubilee Party leader whose presidency he had vowed not to recognise. The NASA meeting, at Stoni Athi Resort in Machakos County, lasted several hours as Raila fought claims that he was not to be trusted. The three told Raila that any deal reached between him and the President was personal and they would not be party to it. However the former prime minister is reported to have exhorted his partners to embrace his actions, saying what transpired on Friday was not a deal but a ‘statement of intent'. Raila also said he had requested the President to reinstate the security detail of all the NASA principals and MPs, and discharge those who had been arraigned following his controversial January 30 oath. He told them that the team of advisors mandated to steer the talks would come up with proposals on a working formula, which will be subjected to the various NASA and affiliate party organs before it is adopted. Raila is said to have apologised but defended himself by telling his colleagues even former South African President Nelson Mandela met apartheid leader Frederick de Klerk as a sign of unity, forgiveness and reconciliation. But the leaders reminded him that the Mandela-de Clerk meeting was midwifed by, among others, current President Cyril Ramaphosa and was not done in secrecy. Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula accused Raila of engaging with them in bad faith. This was after it emerged that although the three had been approached separately to strike a deal with the Jubilee administration, only Raila had kept it a secret. NASA insiders said Kalonzo had met a senior Jubilee official at his Yatta farm earlier this year while Mudavadi was reportedly approached by Uhuru’s kin separately. The two had agreed in principle on talks, but demanded that they must be structured. They then briefed the NASA summit of the overtures from the Government. “The principals were disappointed that Raila kept his talks top secret when they had briefed the summit of a request for talks by Jubilee agents. They told him to his face that they felt betrayed,” the source said. The NASA leader had given mixed signals about attending yesterday’s meeting. This was after Siaya Senator James Orengo called former Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama on Sunday evening asking him to tell the conveners that he might not be available as he needed time to ...
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