Nasa is now officially dead and buried. Indeed, the last time all the co-principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula met to discuss the coalition affairs was over a year ago.
So sour is the relations that Raila does not bother to pick calls from Mudavadi and Wetang’ula as he claims he can still get the Lunya votes without them. Word has it that Raila is working on 2022 lineup with Mudavadi, Kalonzo and Wetang’ula out of mind.
Raila awaits the Bridging Bridges Initiative report that proposes more political seats to design a plot that suits his own whims.
The ODM leader also rarely talks to Kalonzo and is reportedly courting Makueni governor Kivutha Kibwana to join his team. The governor has fallen out with Kalonzo and is now charting a new political path.
Wetang’ula, insiders add, is toying with the idea of teaming up with William Ruto ahead of the 2022 polls while Kalonzo is courting Mount Kenya region to back him. The former vice president has accepted the fact that Raila will not honour the pre-election pact they signed ahead of the 2017 polls for the ODM leader to back him in the presidential race.
Raila is reaching out to Kanu chairman Gideon Moi, CCM leader Isaac Ruto, governors Hassan Joho, Anne Waiguru, Jackson Madago, Alex Tolgos, a number of Kalenjin tycoons led by David Langat, Kiprop Buzeki and cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i in crafting a new lineup.
He is also depending on the powerful Kenyatta family and trade unions in the power game.
That Wetang’ula and Mudavadi are losing national political grip was clear recently when power man and Cotu secretary general Francis Atwoli hosted Organisation of African Trade Unions and Unity at Stanley Hotel, Nairobi. Uhuru Kenyatta opened the conference with Raila closing it.
Kalonzo was invited to give a key speech but surprisingly, Ruto, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula were never invited to the international forum.
Word has it that it was due to their current position on constitutional change being pushed by majority of Kenyans. Atwoli is emerging a key player in Uhuru succession and a darling of the president. During his off-the-cuff remarks at the conference, Uhuru said they should feel free and enjoy Nairobi as they were in safe hands of Atwoli.
Just like Atwoli, Raila concern is that Mudavadi and Wetang’ula are not genuine on reform agenda to address the current constitutional loopholes that lead to bloodshed after every general election year.
The death of Nasa was demonstrated by the fielding of candidates by sister parties in the Kibra parliamentary by-election which is slated for November 7.
Calls by ODM for sister parties to back its candidate, Imran Okoth, went unheeded after Mudavadi’s ANC cleared Eliud Owalo while Wetangula’s Ford-Kenya is fielding Khamisi Butichi.
On its part, Wiper backed Ford Kenya’s candidate to reciprocate the support the party gave them during the Embakasi South by-election where a Wiper candidate, Julius Mawathe, floored other competitors in the Wiper zone.
Curiously, Raila did not bother to congratulate Mawathe for the win though Wiper is a key partner in the Nasa coalition.
Cracks in Nasa began to emerge in early 2018 when Raila was sworn in as the “people’s president” without his co-principals. To complicate matters is the decision by Kalonzo to back Ford Kenya candidate in Kibra-by election, a seat that ODM assumes belongs to it. It is said Kalonzo move in Kibra has not been received well by Mudavadi.
Back to Raila swearing-in, Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula gave the ceremony a wide berth and their explanations on why they skipped it were met with mixed reactions.
The trio jointly signed a statement they distributed to newsrooms saying they missed out on the sham occasion due to “circumstances beyond comprehension and control”.
But more shock was in store for the trio when Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila met secretly and crafted an agreement.
Matters got complicated when Wetang’ula was kicked out of the senate minority leader position following his bitter fallout with Raila and his place taken by Siaya senator James Orengo.
When he was ousted from his senate leadership post, Wetang’ula warned Raila that the political fallout between them would be “noisy, messy and with casualties”.
On his part, Mudavadi first distanced himself from the handshake, saying it was a Raila-Uhuru personal matter while Kalonzo, also citing betrayal by Raila, said Nasa was pushing for more structured talks and not a tete-a-tete between two leaders.
Kalonzo has since changed his mind and backed the handshake, going to an extent of declaring he was ready to be the president’s errand boy.
Insiders say the three leaders knew well that without Raila, Nasa is dead in water.
In other words, and as Raila’s staunch supporters would say, Nasa is Raila and Raila is Nasa.
Already, Raila supporters are drawing parallels between the handshake with the 2000 move when he joined the then monolith Kanu hoping to be endorsed by then president Daniel Moi only to be overlooked in favour of Uhuru.
ODM is Kenya’s second-largest party, with 76 MPs after the ruling Jubilee party which has 171 lawmakers in the 349-member national assembly. Wiper has 23 MPs, making it the second largest opposition outfit after ODM, while Wetang’ula’s Ford Kenya has 13 MPs and Mudavadi’s ANC with 14 MPs.
Insiders say the other Nasa co-principals are reportedly having meetings with aides of either the president or Ruto with a view to forming an alliance to stop Raila.
But Raila on his part is revamping ODM ahead of the next elections.
There are plans to open more branches across the country followed by coordinated tours and recruitment of members.