NASA leader Raila Odinga walking on egg shells as Kenya crosses into New Year
12 months ago, 30 Dec 01:00
NASA leader Raila Odinga is walking on egg shells as Kenya crosses into the New Year, with his political ambitions coming to a head with those of his key lieutenants. Despite his “swearing in as the people’s president” still hanging in the balance, the drum beats of 2022 have already started within the National Super Alliance (NASA). The drums are expected to get louder in the coming weeks as governors serving their second and last terms start positioning themselves for a better bargaining power in the race to succeed President Uhuru Kenyatta. Those within Raila’s inner camp however fear this may threaten his quest for mounting a successful political comeback in 2018. Considered a politician with nine lives, Raila is arguably the greatest ‘comeback’ king in Kenya’s politics. He has remained politically relevant for four decades. He has always had a game up his sleeves even when everyone thought he had been finished for good. The only other politician who has ever held such qualities in post-independence Kenyan politics is retired President Daniel Moi. But with his key lieutenants appearing to position themselves to inherit his political fortunes, Raila finds himself in another complicated situation. The talk of 2022 was ignited by Lugari MP Ayub Savula, an ally of NASA co-principal Musalia Mudavadi, who asked Raila to “forget about his swearing in” and instead focus on grooming the ANC leader for the next presidential election. However, nominated MP Geoffrey Osotsi, also an ally of Mudavadi, has rubbished Savula’s claims, saying his position is not that of the party. “Savula is on his own mission to wreck the opposition from within for the sake of his masters. We know his paymasters, his price and their agenda,” Osotsi said. “It is premature to start talking about 2022 when we are still talking about the swearing in of Raila and Kalonzo. This is what we should be concentrating on then everything will take its own course.” But had it been only Savula talking about inheriting Raila’s constituency then no eyebrows would have been raised. Raila’s party ODM is biggest in NASA and has been using its muscle as the engine of the Opposition. With Raila having not shown an interest in grooming a heir to his throne, alarm bells have started ringing that he is not willing to hang his boots yet. During a rally in Kitui on Thursday, led by NASA co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka, Wiper leaders could not hide their frustration with ODM. Despite Kalonzo saying he is prepared to be sworn in with Raila if President Kenyatta does not institute talks on electoral injustices, speaker after speaker said Wiper will not shy away from charting its own political course. “The time has come. As Wiper we will not allow our elected leaders to be taken for granted. We are a major party in this country,” said Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua. Makueni Governor Kivutha Kibwana, who was holding brief for Kalonzo in NASA while he was away, said, “The MOU says in ...
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