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OKA chiefs hint at possible reunion with Raila

THE STAR 10/1/2021

Kalonzo advocates post-election merger, but Mudavadi says they are open to pre-poll talks on a broader coalition of the willing.

Kanu chairman Gideon Moi joined by ODM leader Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa during Kanu national delegates conference at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, on September 30, 2021. View pictures in App save up to 80% data.
Kanu chairman Gideon Moi joined by ODM leader Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa during Kanu national delegates conference at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, on September 30, 2021. Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY

The opposition on Thursday hinted at a possible reunion that will see the former National Super Alliance principals team up as the country approaches the 2022 General Election.

Letting the cat out of the bag were One Kenya Alliance chiefs.

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka said there are chances of a possible merger of all the opposition bigwigs. 

But while Kalonzo spoke of a post-2022 merger, his OKA counterpart Musalia Mudavadi said the alliance is open to pre-2022 talks on a broader coalition of the willing.

“I am ready and willing to walk with my brother Gideon Moi. I can see after 2022, a possible merger of all of us,” Kalonzo said.

They spoke during Kanu's National Delegates Conference at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi. 

Kanu chairman Gideon and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula are the other principals in the fledgling OKA outfit

ANC leader Mudavadi talked of a more expanded OKA that brings on board more like-minded individuals and groups ahead of 2022.

He said political coalitions are always conceived closer to elections, disclosing that OKA is considering requests for an alliance by a number of political parties, professionals and other associations.

“This event indeed confirms to detractors that OKA is an ongoing conversation. Many Kenyans—political parties, professionals, trade unions, associations, and even welfare groups—are lining up to join OKA. We are not about to shut the door on them,” Mudavadi said.

“It appears that some have forgotten that in the history of Kenya’s coalition formation, coalitions usually come to maturity very near to elections date.

"In OKA, we are making deliberate steps, and at our own pace, towards a strong alliance but keeping an eye on IEBC timeframes. We will do the correct things, not rushed.”

Kieni MP Kanini Kega told the team to stick together, saying next year’s election is theirs to lose.

“The team behind here and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga is the team that will form the next government,” the National Assembly Budget and Appropriation Committee chairman said.

ODM leader Raila Odinga, for his part, steered clear of coalition talks, only saying he was ready to electioneer with Gideon.

He also took an indirect swipe at Deputy President William Ruto over the dynasty tag, saying he, Gideon and President Uhuru Kenyatta are not dynasts as peddled by Tangatanga politicians.

The DP has previously been accused of inciting class wars pitting the poor against the rich through hustler-dynasty politics.

“Mzee Daniel Moi, Gideon’s father, was an ordinary teacher. Mzee [Jomo] Kenyatta was a meter reader. Both rose from lowly positions to become heads of state,” Raila said.

The ODM boss said contrary to what Kenyans are being told, anyone aspiring for the top seat should be given a fair chance to compete with others.

He said all former presidents were from poor backgrounds and worked their way to the top.

"The strength of our democracy is the strength of our political parties. There must be tolerance among political parties. Political competition is healthy in our country; it strengthens democracy and that is the best way to make our country grow and prosper,” Raila said.

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