One Kenya Alliance principals denies coalition talks with Ruto
Principals of One Kenya Alliance (OKA) yesterday denied meeting or receiving a formal invitation from Deputy President William Ruto, to partner with him ahead of the August 2022 polls.
Yesterday, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, his Wiper Democratic Movement counterpart Kalonzo Musyoka, Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetangula, Kanu’s Gideon Moi and UDP’s Cyrus Jirongo, dismissed reports that the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) associated with Ruto, had sent them a formal invitation for pre-election coalition talks.
Mudavadi was categorical that he has neither received any invitation nor met the DP.
“Kenyans must guard against the constitutional right of freedom of association.
When I happen to meet anybody, I will not shy away from making it public,” said Mudavadi.
The ANC leader charged that all politicians seeking votes, are free to criss-cross the country and no one needs permission from him to access Western region.
On December 31st, while gracing an event organised by Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malalah, Ruto claimed that he had sought permission from Mudavadi to visit the area in his vote-hunting mission.
“Kenyans are free to campaign anywhere in the country and do not need permission from me to campaign in any part of this country. I shall defend the constitutional right of freedom of assembly,” said Mudavadi.
The OKA principals said that they are in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta and not to force a run-off.
“We do not go into an election to create a run-off. We are going into an election to win,” said Mudavadi.
On Monday, UDA Secretary General Veronica Maina, claimed that Ruto had extended a formal invitation to collaborate with the two politicians in the 2022 General Election.
The DP, who has convinced politicians in his camp to denounce other parties in favour of UDA, is however willing to accommodate ANC and Ford Kenya in his planned alliance.
“In case they accept, we will listen to them because as UDA, we are a democratic party that does not give demands.
Yes, anyone who wants to support us has to join UDA, but we will listen to ANC and Ford Kenya,” said Maina.
Wetangula said he had not received any invitation from anyone.
“I have not received any formal or informal invitation from anyone. I am a member of OKA; the coalition of the willing,” said Wetang’ula.
He also weighed in saying that they should not be coaxed to support anybody on grounds that OKA’s presidential bid will force a run-off.
“We have joined the race to win and not force any runoff. We will not be cajoled into sprinting while we are in a marathon race,” said Wetangula.
Kalonzo denied claims that OKA is flirting with either Azimio La Umoja championed by Raila Odinga or Hustler’s narrative driven by Ruto.
“I have not talked to Raila since last year when we had our National Delegates Conference. How can one flirt with someone they are not in communication with,?” posed Kalonzo.
Moi on his part said that his Kanu party was only in a coalition agreement with Jubilee for this term and will be free to join any coalition after 2022.
In a statement read on behalf of the OKA team by Jirongo, the alliance assured supporters that it is intact and remains focused on offering a just leadership.
“The alliance continues to grow and attract key political stakeholders. More political parties are on the way,” read the statement in part.
While supporting the Political Parties Amendment Bill (2021), OKA cautioned against any attempt to introduce over-reaching regulatory powers over political parties.
“Alliance supports the strengthening of coalitions. We call upon Members of Parliament to exercise sobriety and restraint in the ongoing debate, and urge them to shun any partisan politics and consider the interests of the Kenyan people first,” said OKA.