NASA Will Only Succeed if Raila Odinga is its Presidential Candidate – Martin Ngatia
As a strategy for defeating Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party in next year’s election, the Kenya Opposition, led by the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD), has decided to establish what they have baptized the National Super Alliance (NASA). Opposition figures who are discussing modalities of this Alliance are Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula, Isaack Ruto, Kalonzo Musyoka and Gideon Moi. While the Kenya Red Alliance welcomes the formation of this supper alliance, KRA believes that it will only succeed if Raila Odinga is its presidential candidate.
This is because apart from Raila Odinga and Isaack Ruto, other members of the Alliance are political opportunists who can come together purporting to set up a new alliance then bolt out to join the government anytime they are offered a substantial amount of money.
Musalia Mudavadi sabotaged Raila’s Presidential bid in 2013 after the Mount Kenya Mafia cartel tricked him that they would make him their presidential candidate. After trying to disrupt ODM, he moved to join the mafia which then short-changed him, causing him to disappear into political oblivion. For the last four years, Mudavadi has been chilling in political cold storage. Since elections are approaching, he has found a new opportunity to re-invent himself politically to become relevant. He is teaming up with Raila Odinga once again to use Raila’s high political profile to rebuild himself and once he is pampered again, chances that he will run away exist.
Both Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula have been sending mixed signals although they are supposed to be in the same political formation with Raila Odinga. Between Kalonzo and Wetangula, Kalonzo is the weaker link. In 2007, he betrayed the opposition by accepting to work with Kibaki thereby allowing Kibaki to be sworn in after the 2007 election rigging. Without Kalonzo’s support, Kibaki could not have been able to manipulate the numbers to become President and Kalonzo partly takes responsibility for sustaining Kibaki in power after Kibaki stole the vote.
Moses Wetangula’s political career could have evaporated by now if he was not close to Raila Odinga. In Westerm Province, Wetangula has a lot of competition when it comes to the question as to who is the political supremo among the Luhya. Those seeking to dethrone Wetangula in Western include Bonny Khalwale, Musalia Mudavadi, Cyrus Jirongo, Francis Atwoli, Noah Wekesa among others. By being close to Raila under Cord, Wetangula has a big advantage over his competitors because Cord is seen as a national outfit. Kalonzo’s membership in Cord also accords him the same cushion (as Wetangula) among Ukambani leaders. Both Wetangula and Kalonzo have not yet cultivated a national image which can enable them to successfully bid for president. For this reason, Raila is the guy to watch.
Gideon Moi is out of the question. If Gideon is cleaver, his sole purpose of moving close to NASA should be for him to build himself politically for the future. Isaack Ruto is in a slightly unique situation. The Mashinani Party founder appears to have learnt from his name-sake, William Ruto, who built his political career by aligning himself with Raila Odinga before the DP quit when he realized that he could fill a leadership vacuum in RV by transforming himself into a Kalenjin leader. Isaack is seeking to dislodge his name-sake from the “Kalenjin leadership” and his presence in NASA should work to his advantage.
On the whole, Raila needs to be careful with the opportunists in NASA because they are the type of people who can create a controversy around the nomination of NASA’s Presidential candidate with the agenda of bolting thereby destroying both Cord and NASA to enable them regroup to join the government after abandoning Raila Odinga. The starting point of discussions in NASA should be based on Raila Odinga as NASA’s flag carrier otherwise anything can happen.