A source interviewed by the Sunday Standard revealed that Wiper leaders widely deliberated on lack of clear and consultative post-election strategy. “That is why as a party we are not keen on riding on the NRM as currently established because it could be another trap to edge out Kalonzo Musyoka in the 2022 political arrangement,” Said the source
By Allan Tawai
The demands by Wiper Party to have a bigger say in NASA’s post-election activities has raised fresh questions about the state of the Opposition coalition.
On Thursday, elected Wiper leaders held a day-long retreat at a resort in Athi River in Machakos County where the party’s relationship with its NASA affiliates was discussed and “strong observations” made. The retreat resolved to begin ‘a vigorous exercise’ whose agenda is to position Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka well for the 2022 race.
Kalonzo is a NASA co-principal alongside ODM’s Raila Odinga, Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula and Amani National Congress’s Musalia Mudavadi. He was Raila Odinga’s running mate in the NASA presidential ticket of the August 8 election.
Makueni Governor Prof Kivutha Kibwana chaired the meeting and although he was careful not to spill the beans on Wiper’s post-election grievances, the distinctions still came out.
“We want to play an active role in NASA going forward because we have a huge stake in a stronger NASA. We are looking at this in both short and long term,” Kibwana told Sunday Standard.
Key among the issues that dominated the deliberations is the lack of a clear, broad and consultative post-election strategy for NASA.
Wiper was concerned that the existing coalition structures which were created for purposes of the 2017 August election were still running the show. The manner in which the National Resistance Movement (NRM) wing was unveiled also came into focus.
Kibwana played down the concern but appreciated the need for “new structures.”
“The strategy as unveiled thus far espouses broad perspectives. From my understanding, Wiper’s sentiments reflect the nitty-gritty of this and how, moving forward, we can get a strong NASA moving and achieving both short and long term goals of this struggle,” Kibwana said.
However, a senior politician who attended the meeting said the party’s position on 2022 — when Kalonzo is expected to be the NASA presidential flag bearer — was made after other ‘serious concerns’ were raised about the manner in which the ODM wing of the Opposition coalition was treating Wiper.
The thrust of the concerns was the stillborn attempt to allot parliamentary leadership positions among NASA affiliates before Parliament broke for the repeat election. Before the repeat elections, the “Minority Leader” position in the 11th Parliament, which had been occupied by Wiper’s Francis Nyenze, was allotted to ODM’s John Mbadi.
To compensate for this, Wiper was given the two minority Whip positions in the Senate and National Assembly to be occupied by Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and Robert Mbui respectively. However, Coast ODM leaders lamented that the National Assembly Minority Whip position was initially occupied by one of their own, Thomas Mwadeghu and vigorously demanded it.
The House broke before these matters could be amicably settled and with Parliament reconvening on Tuesday, Wiper is digging for a fight to save its slots.
“They want to grab the key positions in Parliament without involving our side in any consultations which we believe is against the spirit of the coalition arrangement,” the source said.