OKA’s new pact lays ground for binding talks with Raila
One Kenya Alliance leaders yesterday sent tongues wagging when they signed an internal agreement pledging to work with like-minded parties ahead of the August 9 General-Election.
In what some interpreted as laying the ground for a possible coalition with Raila Odinga’s Azimio La Umoja movement, the agreement binds the four OKA parties to engage other political formations to “structured and open dialogue.”
The OKA leaders, however, ruled out partnering with the Kenya Kwanza Alliance, which brings together Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA), Amani National Congress (ANC) boss Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula.
Four OKA principals Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Gideon Moi (Kanu), Martha Karua (Narc Kenya) and Cyrus Jirongo, said the Kenya Kwanza outfit was a union of people tainted with corruption and at no point will they have anything to do with them.
“We are open to talks with like-minded political parties. Talks which are open, transparent and fully consultative. But this will have to be structured negotiations through the relevant party organs,” said Kalonzo.
In a statement read on their behalf by Gideon, the team said they are open to honest engagements with other political formations that share their ideology.
“As an alliance governed by values and principles of equality, equity, sustainable development, empowered citizens and zero tolerance to corruption, are open to honest negotiations,” said Gideon.
He went on: “This shall involve structured and open negotiations that must include resolution of the country’s crippling debt portfolio and discussion on exploration of our natural resources to address the debt and create employment for our largely unemployed youths amongst other important issues.”
Asked if Azimio La Umoja championed by ODM leader Raila had approached OKA for a possible coalition, Kalonzo confirmed there have been talks with a view to teaming up against the Ruto-Mudavadi -Wetangula axis.
Multiple sources told People Daily that the talks are at an advanced stage and once the two parties reach an agreement, a public announcement would be made.
“Things are slowly changing and soon you will see what we have been talking about unfolding. I can confirm that we are headed there, not yet, but we are headed there,” said the source.
The source who sought anonymity in order not to upset the talks, said the OKA principals have made it clear to the Azimio team that they will seek to play a prominent role in the coalition.
“The talks are ongoing and we hope we will reach a deal. OKA is pushing for something tangible if they are to shelve their ambitions,” said the source.
However, some Kalonzo lieutenants who are eyeing various elective seats in his backyard are pushing their man to go all the way to the presidential ballot.
The hardliners are said to be those seeking governorship seats in Machakos, Makueni and Kitui.
Makueni MP Dan Maanzo yesterday ruled out the possibility of Kalonzo ditching his presidential campaign. “If it happens, it will be the Azimio guys joining us, not the other way round. Kalonzo will be on the ballot,” said Maanzo.
Aware that coalition parties have until April 9, to deposit their agreements with the Registrar of Political Parties, OKA announced that they will deliver their agreement on February 28.
Yesterday, the OKA principals formally incorporated all the constituent political parties into the One Kenya Alliance, by signing a Deed of Assignment.
“This is an affirmation of our commitment to standing firm, together, and focused on securing the lives of Kenyans. We have finalised on the OKA Coalition Agreement, which details the nature and extent of our political engagement and cooperation as partners. We shall officially deposit it with the Registrar of Political Parties as OKA Coalition on Monday, February 28, 2022,” said their statement.
OKA leaders said they would officially and publicly unveil the coalition and demonstrate how their vision will fundamentally transform Kenya.
“We have lined up a series of public engagement activities to be hosted by our constituent political parties and partners in various parts of the country,” said Moi.
OKA charged that their resolve emanates from the resilience they have witnessed among Kenyans in their recent political tours.
“They deeply desire leadership with a solemn responsibility to build a responsive and sustainable economy; promote the rule of law; and restore the decency of living within our borders. Several other political parties have expressed interest in joining the coalition. This is because we believe that the diversity of our nation calls for heterogeneity of minds and ideas to effect impactful change,” said OKA.
This was the first meeting that brought together the four OKA principals after the dramatic exit of Mudavadi and Wetangula to team up with Ruto under the Kenya Kwanza Alliance.
Mudavadi maintains they joined Ruto after realising that Kalonzo and Gideon were sympathetic to Azimio.
“OKA was a project just like the Azimio movement that is a government project. State projects will ultimately stall and I ask Kenyans to reject State-sponsored projects,” he said.