He is the master political tactician whose every step is a chess move. When he joined ranks with President Uhuru Kenyatta on March 9th 2018, his political obituary was written. A number of pundits as well as political leaders leaders believed it was end of the road, his time was up. Little did they know this was just another one of those political master stroke moves that would reinvent Raila Odinga and place him once again at the center of country’s politics.
A year ago, after joining President Uhuru Kenyatta in the famous handshake, many believed that NASA, a Coalition bringing together Raila Odinga, Isaac Rutto, Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka and Senator Moses Wetangula died a natural death. Isacc Ruto, after losing the Bomet seat with his Chama Cha Mashinani, took a backseat from politics and even at one time was thought to have joined DP William Ruto’s camp. ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi was on record saying he does not approve of Raila, Uhuru unity and even castigating Odinga for joining the same people who had put the country in so much pain.
Moses Wetangula on the other hand was the most vocal about his thoughts of being betrayed by Raila. He was even stripped off the position of Minority Leader in the Senate, prompting the famous ”the divorce will be noisy and messy” remarks. Kalonzo Musyoka, who heads Wiper, even though disgruntled with the unity pact between Uhuru and Raila, was the first NASA principal to publicly endorse it and support the two.
More than a year later, Odinga is now breathing life into NASA and has brought all the four other principals together. Only last week, after months of publicly flirting with DP William Ruto, CCM leader Isaac Rutto was at Raila’s Capitol Hill office accompanied by former MPs Zakayo Cheruiyot and Franklin Bett. The leaders discussed issues of national importance including the pending Mau Evictions as well as Rift Valley politics. Senator Wetangula has since softened his stance and is back on Raila’s fold after publicly saying on national TV him and Raila are in good terms and will work hand in hand to serve Kenyans.
Musalia Mudavadi on the other hand has made several public appearances with the ODM leader, latest being the funerals of Kibra MP Ken Okoth and Governor Joyce Laboso. It is believed, Raila also played a key role in ensuring President Uhuru appointed Kalonzo Musyoka as the country’s special envoy to South Sudan.
NASA coming back to life has been mainly because of the pivotal position Raila Odinga has taken in government. Even though he is not an official appointee or elected leader to be in government, the AU Envoy has been the center of attraction. With Cabinet Secretaries, heads of corporations, state bodies and parastatals trooping to his Capitol Hill office, to either brief or consult him on a number of governance issues.