Moment of truth as OKA principals call crisis meeting
One Kenya Alliance (OKA) leader have convened a crisis meeting this morning to discuss growing suspicion among themselves and their allies over alleged underhand dealings with their political opponents.
Top on the agenda of the meeting claims that some principals and their close allies are holding secret talks with Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.
Claims that some of the leaders in the OKA camp have been holding talks with their opponents are fuelling animosity and rifts in the political grouping whose leadership has been hoping to create a “Third Force” in the 2022 presidential race, sources intimated.
People Daily has established that Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka, Ford Kenya boss Moses Wetangula and his Kanu counterpart Gideon Moi, intend to use today’s meeting to address the emerging suspicions that have seen them and their surrogates trade accusations and counter-accusations.
At the end of the day, the leaders are expected to deliberate and come up with a strategy to keep the outfit united.
Kanu secretary general Nick Salat confirmed that OKA principals would meet to iron out burning issues that threaten the coalition.
“We must frankly discuss and iron out these issues arising out of suspicions. We need to move together as a team by ending the trend by some people treating others as lesser partners. All these issues will be tabled and openly discussed,” said Salat.
The agenda of the meeting includes accusations that Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malalah is a Ruto mole and his outbursts against Kalonzo.
Also on the table are suspicions between Mudavadi and Kalonzo’s allies over the latter’s links with ODM leader Raila Odinga.
The meeting will also discuss ways to raise campaign and operational funds and the rollout of a campaign programme after the Bungoma and Trans Nzoia rallies last weekend.
Confirming the meeting, ANC deputy party leader Ayub Savula, who has accused Senator Malala of having secret dealings with Ruto, said though they would discuss “several issues affecting the nascent outfit, we won’t waste time on Malalah.”
“Though his utterances and operations have become a disgrace and of much concern to OKA, we will not waste time discussing an MCA. There are more urgent matters to talk about. But Malalah should just walk out and go to where his heart belongs,” Savula told People Daily.
Malalah was a Member of the County Assembly in Kakamega before contesting and winning the senator’s seat.
The bad blood between OKA leaders escalated on Thursday last week when Kalonzo invited Raila to grace his National Delegates Conference at Kasarani, Nairobi, a development that Mudavadi was said to have had an issue with.
Through his allies led by Malalah, the ANC leader accused Kalonzo of inviting an “enemy.”
Yesterday, while Malalah could not confirm or deny if he had been invited to the meeting, he said such discussions were necessary and should bring together all elected leaders from the four parties so that they “table their grievances” which are triggering the rift and offer solutions to end the infighting which, he said, could kill OKA.
“We should have a parliamentary group meeting for the OKA team so that we can table the issues that we have as members and have a chance to ventilate. Personally, I have several issues that I want to put across, including why the principals are suspicious of each other about the alleged dalliance with our competitors,” Malalah said in a phone interview.
He added that should the meeting be held, “I will be there and we will present our grievances.”
During the weekend while addressing a gathering in Bungoma, Malalah questioned why Kalonzo had invited Raila to the Wiper NDC yet they were competitors.
Malalah’s remarks were backed by Ford Kenya secretary-general and Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa and Kabuchai MP Majimbo Kalasinga.
Kalonzo fired back at Malala whom he described as “a small boy who doesn’t understand what bringing together a country entails.”
The visibly irritated Wiper boss told Malalah not to give him any ultimatums “unless you have been sent by the wheelbarrow guys”.
Yesterday, Mavoko MP Patrick Makau maintained that Malalah had been sent by Ruto to destroy the OKA Alliance.
Makau told off Malalah over his attacks on the Wiper boss, whom he said boasts of local and international respect because of his skills and efforts in mediation.
“Who is Malalah to attack Kalonzo? He should know that this is a man who has brokered peace in South Sudan and Kenya in 2007. He has been a minister as well as a vice-president,” said Makau.
While insisting that he would never forsake Kalonzo, Makau appeared to endorse the cosy relationship between his party leader and Raila.
But even as Wiper leaders continued to attack Malalah, who has also accused Moi and his Kanu party of working secretly with Raila, the Kakamega senator says the four principals should take responsibility for the disorganisation in OKA, saying they had failed to take a stand on the presidential race by, among other things, delaying naming their chosen candidate.
“The principals cannot blame the foot soldiers; we have heard that some of them are planning to attend Raila’s meeting on December 9, and they dare do that it will be the end of OKA.
The leaders are actually to blame, we have persistently asked them to name a flag-bearer so that we can start marketing him, but they have remained indecisive.
This, and considering we are also political animals looking for ways to survive, has created a vacuum that is forcing people to negotiate with some of our competitors,” said the senator.
Details have emerged that Raila and his two-time running-mate Kalonzo have initiated fresh talks that could see them rekindle their political relationship ahead of next year’s General Election.
Recently, Senator Moi was accused by Mudavadi’s camp led by Savula of working secretly with Raila and threatening OKA’s strength.
Separately, ANC nominated MP Godfrey Osotsi accused Malalah of advancing Ruto’s agenda from within Mudavadi’s team, saying during the day he is with the former vice-president but when the night comes he shifts allegiance to Ruto.
“Musalia Mudavadi, you are a leader we respect. You are a leader who can become Kenya’s president. But take time to vet those around you. They claim to help you but they are not. These people are moles working for other people. They sit with you in boardrooms but they are working for other people,” Osotsi, who supports Raila for the presidency, said.