Fresh tension in OKA following Mudavadi’s ultimatum

Cracks emerge among One Kenya Alliance principals

The stalemate over the choice of a One Kenya Alliance presidential flag-bearer is rapidly worsening following a Christmas ultimatum issued by Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi.

Pressure from President Uhuru Kenyatta for the formation of an opposition coalition that would involve OKA and the Orange Democratic Movement also threatens to tear the alliance apart.

The differences played out yesterday after OKA principals appeared divided over a Sunday programme.

Two press invites were circulated to the media yesterday, one stating that the principals, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Mr Gideon Moi (Kanu), Mr Moses Wetang’ula (Ford-Kenya) and Mr Mudavadi, would attend a service at Kiserian ACK Church and later address a rally in Kitengela.

Moments later, ANC party invited journalists to a separate service at Friends Church International (FCI) in Nairobi.

Both Wiper and Kanu, whose leaders attended the service in Kiserian, said they were only aware of the meeting in Kajiado County, suggesting they were not in the picture about Mr Mudavadi’s event.

“We are going to Kitengela,” Mr Moi told the Nation. Wiper vice-chairman Mutula Kilonzo Jnr added: “We are going to Kiserian. I’m not aware of the other one,” he said.

Even though Mr Mudavadi said he would not travel to Kitengela because he was still recovering from an illness, ANC deputy party leader Ayub Savula revealed that “there was no consultation” in planning for the event.

OKA flag-bearer

“We are attending a church service with Musalia. There was no consultation about the event in Kiserian but after the service I will represent him there,” he said.

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala (ANC) had, however, said Mr Mudavadi would join his OKA colleagues in Kiserian, but this did not happen.

“Mudavadi starts in FIC (Friends Church International), Kalonzo and the rest in Kiserian then they will join in Kitengela at 3pm,” he said

ANC leaders had on Saturday issued an ultimatum to the OKA principals to name a flag-bearer by Christmas or front Mr Mudavadi up to the ballot.

The statement did not go down well with the other OKA parties who accused Mr Mudavadi’s wing of “not playing ball”.

“We want consensus as the means to pick the OKA flag-bearer and I believe Musalia has what it takes to lead this nation,” Mr Savula said.

Mr Musyoka’s team has agreed to a competitive approach or through examination of the party strength to arrive at a joint candidate, a scenario Mr Mudavadi’s camp has vehemently opposed. They say their man is the best compromise candidate.

There has also been talk that Mr Moi, whose party is in a post-election coalition deal with President Kenyatta’s Jubilee, and Mr Musyoka – whose party has a cooperation agreement with the ruling party – were steadily drifting towards Mr Odinga’s camp. The ODM leader is widely viewed as Mr Kenyatta’s chosen one, a situation that has angered Mr Mudavadi.

Brazen attack on Uhuru

During Mr Odinga’s ‘Azimio la Umoja’ meeting in Makueni County on Friday, the ODM leader conveyed greetings from President Kenyatta and Mr Musyoka, suggesting a cordial relationship.

Jubilee and ODM are working on a 2022 coalition deal and President Kenyatta is keen to rope in OKA.

But in a brazen attack that appeared to be directed at the President, Mr Mudavadi said Kenyans should be allowed to freely elect their leaders.

“Let’s not try and intimidate anybody when it comes to electing their leaders. Whether it’s MCA, governor, MP, senator, woman leader or even President; let Kenyans have a free opportunity to make that decision,” Mr Mudavadi told the congregation at Friends Church.

“That is where the foundation of this country will be right. That’s how we will build our foundation on a rock and not a sinking sand.”

The ANC leader said Kenya is not a monarchy for some powerful individuals to direct the people on whom to back. “What we want is servant leadership at all levels. We are not looking for kings. Our constitution does not allow for kingdoms. Please spare us of some trivialities,” said Mr Mudavadi.

He attacked Mr Odinga’s social welfare plan of giving poor families at least Sh6,000 monthly. The former Prime Minister plans to spend at least Sh12 billion monthly in his social welfare state plan, if elected. But Mr Mudavadi dismissed the ODM leader’s plan as impractical.

“People are promising things that are impossible. How are you going to fund all these welfare programs that people are putting on the table? There is no government that has got its own money. Any government must get its money through taxation and borrowing.

Support for OKA

“If you are going to have a welfare program where you will give free cash, where will it come from? Petrol taxes are going higher because the government is looking for money to pay their debts. I have been at the Treasury, I know what I’m talking about,” he added.

Mr Savula said the economy had deteriorated and turned into a ‘Fuliza system’ characterised by huge debts. “If Kenyans want a Kibaki moment, with a stable economy, Musalia is the answer,” Mr Savula said.

In Kitengela, Mr Musyoka, Mr Wetangula and Mr Moi drummed up support for OKA, promising that their administration will ensure free secondary education.

They said they would revisit the looting of public coffers to advance the political agendas of certain individuals whom they did not name.

They said the wanton corruption has been used as a conduit by some leaders keen to capture power and asked Kenyans to reject them  as they are the reasons the country is experiencing an economic downturn.

” We shall not allow the culprits to go scot-free. The misery Kenyans are currently facing is because of the cost of corruption,” said Moi.

Mr Wetangula said Kenyans wanted policies that do not promote poverty but which encourage economic independence.” We cannot fashion poverty as fashionable. There Is nothing uplifting about lifting a monotonic. We cannot teach our children to be hustlers,” said Wetangula.

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