There is disquiet in NASA following signals from ODM leader Raila Odinga that he is preparing to run for President in the 2022 General Election.
NASA was Raila’s 2017 vehicle which brought together Wiper Democratic Movement leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula.
While the former Prime Minister is yet to openly declare whether he will vie, his recent moves have made his would be competitors mark him out as a potential candidate.
Yesterday, Wiper and ANC tore into Raila saying after four barren trials for the top seat it would not be tenable for him to give it another stab.
Wiper executive director Jared Siso claimed their party was aware that Raila is laying ground to run, warning that as long as the Nasa memorandum still exists the ODM chief will have no option but to support Kalonzo.
Siso said Wiper is currently re-branding and strengthening its structures ahead of 2022, saying his party is supporting the handshake for the sake of peace.
“We know we will have another political realignment but certainly from our end it doesn’t include any intention whatsoever to support Raila for 2022. 2022 is still far but we have to plan for it,” he said.
He added: “As a party we are aware that Raila has something up his sleeve but even our party leader believes that we had a pact which we deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties.”
He said the former Vice President who supported Raila in the 2013 and 2017 will never again back a Raila candidature.
“It will be the height of dishonesty after twice promising to support another candidate to create another way to make a comeback but as we see it, I don’t think Raila has any intention not to support Kalonzo come 2022. What is happening could be pressure from his sycophants,” he said.
Former Machakos senator Johnson Muthama who co-chairs the Nasa management committee said if Raila intends to run on the coalition ticket, then they will have to sit to deliberate on the matter.
“If the presidency will be sought through Nasa , then we will have to revisit the memorandum we had in 2017. But if not, Raila is free to plan, declare and run for any seat just as the other leaders will also do,” he added.
ANC boss Mudavadi, the brains behind Nasa, said Raila has a democratic right to run in 2022.
But in a thin veiled diss at Raila, Mudavadi said he has chosen not to join government saying failing to form government, their role was to stop corruption, reform IEBC and ensure good leadership.
“We must stop this hypocrisy that you can be in government and opposition at the same time. Chose one. I refused a government job so that I keep the government on toes,” he said.
He said “we must not live in a society where a Constitution must be amended after every election”.
“I am in Nasa. Our supporters are questioning our activities and we must be held accountable. We have to push for what is at stake for Kenyans.”
However while reacting to media stories indicating that he will run in 2022, Raila did not deny if his name will be in the presidential ballot in 2022 only saying it was too early.
“Hon Raila Odinga strongly objects to reports appearing in the Sunday Nation today that put him in a presidential race he has not declared any interest in and which does not exist currently,” Raila’s spokesman Dennis Onyago said yesterday in a press statement.
Onyango said the media deliberately twisted Raila’s calls for his party ODM to prepare for grassroots elections to mean he is in the presidential race.
“Raila Odinga does not believe that three years into an election expected in 2022, who is running, who is ahead, who is behind, who is going to win, what are the odds and who will lose is the priority the press should force Kenyans to occupy themselves with,” he said.
He said it was irresponsible and reckless for the media instead of focusing on urgent economic and social issues that the country should address before 2022, they are concentrating on the 2022 politics.
“Mr Odinga entered no race yesterday and he knows no race that is on as reported in Sunday Nation. It’s way too early,” he added.
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