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Kalonzo, Mudavadi flagbearer ambition could aid OKA death

By Rawlings Otieno
Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 00:00 | 3 mins read
ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Wiper counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka during a past press briefing. Photo/PD/File

Presidential ambitions of Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and his Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM) counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka, could soon tear apart the nascent One Kenya Alliance (OKA), if their insistence on being on the ballot stays the course.

The duo separately insist that they have the mettle, steel and political muscle to take on Deputy President William Ruto and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga in the August 2022 polls.

OKA comprises Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Kanu chairman Gideon Moi (Baringo senator) and Bungoma senator who is also the Ford Kenya boss Moses Wetangula.

Although Gideon is also keen on getting the OKA presidential flag, Mudavadi and Kalonzo are seen as the front-runners in the race.

Kalonzo who has played second fiddle to Raila in both the 2013 and 2017 polls and  insists that it is his time to get the support from his colleagues, while Mudavadi insists that his State House bid is unstoppable.

While defending OKA , Mudavadi said that the outfit is moving systematically, but vowed that he will be on the ballot.

Ill-advised

“It is absurd to talk about two presidential candidates from one coalition. ANC Party has given me the mandate to fly its flag in next years’ General Election. I am sticking to that mandate. 

For now, we are talking in OKA with other friends so that we will forge a united front,” said Mudavadi.

The ANC leader said that OKA is an emerging conversation, which has not yet been formalised into coalition, adding that OKA will settle on a candidate through consensus.

“The rules on coalition formalisation gives us room until around March next year. As for now, I am focused on popularizing my ‘Uchumi Bora na Pesa Mfukoni candidature.

The history on matters related to picking coalition flag bearer’s shows that it has been the route that works,” he said.

Mudavadi explained that consensus goes as far back as NARC, which gave retired President Kibaki the ticket, to CORD that settled on Raila, then the Jubilee of 2013 to Uhuru and Nasa, which gave Raila.

However, political analysts opine that it may not be obvious that the first round of the presidential vote in 2022, may produce a candidate who meets the thresh-hold of 50+1 per cent to be declared president.

While some pundits argue that the first round may produce a run-off between the first two candidates, and the other candidates may have to rally either side, others contend that the idea of OKA was may not last long.

Moi University don Masibo Lumala averred that Mudavadi’s strength is in Western Kenya and should he play second fiddle to Kalonzo, then his candidacy will be shaky and vice versa for Kalonzo.

“OKA came too early. This alliance should have been crafted a few months to election.

None of them –Mudavadi and Kalonzo will accept to be the running-mate of each other. If they do, whoever accepts will be doomed politically,” said Lumala.

Lumala argued that the duo have no political steel to push for run-off if they go it alone in the 2022 polls, adding that both do not have enough numbers.

Prof Amukowa Anangwe charged that it is probable that both Musalia and Kalonzo will be on the ballot, adding that ideally, Kalonzo should back Mudavadi for obvious reasons.

“Mudavadi’s backyard has more numbers than Kalonzo’s by more than two million people.

Mudavadi has more credibility nationally than Kalonzo in the eyes of ordinary Kenyans. If Kalonzo insists on running, the move should not destroy OKA.

“The two can still run separately but cooperate in other areas; especially in the event of a run-off when they may need to come together to bargain collectively on shared political agenda and spoils vis-a-vis other formations.”

He however, warned that such a scenario where the duo will be on the ballot might not necessarily work in favour of Ruto.

“Without Mudavadi and Kalonzo in the presidential race, Ruto may have a clean sweep of Luhyaland and Ukambani.

But with both in the race, they may hold onto their respective backyards and deny Ruto the votes in the first round,” he said.

Transitional president

According to Anangwe, the duo wants to run because their people want them on the presidential ballot, notwithstanding the electoral outcome.

But a Kalonzo inner circle official who sought anonymity told People Daily that President Kenyatta told them that each political leader was to go and popularize their parties even as they await the next meeting where more deliberations will take place.

“They were told that they should go and strengthen their own political base. There is a planned meeting in September with the President.  If there are compromises to be made, they will be  made later not now,” said the source.

He went on: “Whoever takes over from Uhuru will be a transitional president as along as it is not Ruto.

We have told them that if they make a mistake and allow Ruto to be president, they should be prepared to have an extremely brutal and vengeful president for 10 years and even more.”

But Borabu MP Ben Momanyi (Wiper) exuded confidence that OKA will find the best method of picking a flag bearer.

“We have sat as a coalition and I know for sure that we will agree on a candidate,” said Momanyi.

Rawlings Otieno

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