D-Day for OKA four as Raila launches his 2022 campaign
Rawlings Otieno and Kepher Otieno
Two meetings that could decide the direction that next year’s General Election will take are being held in Nakuru today.
On the one hand, the principals of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) will host a key meeting to determine their alliance’s future.
On the other, Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga will be launching his 2022 election campaign.
The meetings come days after President Uhuru Kenyatta sent a strong signal that Opposition chief Raila Odinga was his preferred successor.
Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), Moses Wetangula and Kanu’s Gideon Moi yesterday led their troops to Naivasha where they are scheduled to discuss a report of the technical team, details of a joint MoU, a manifesto and possible realignments.
The trio meet in Naivasha the same day Raila is expected to address the nation from nearby Nakuru town “on important national issues.”
It was unclear why Raila decided to make his statement in the same county on the same day but Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya told People Daily that the Opposition chief will use it to launch his countrywide campaigns.
“The main thing is to launch his countrywide campaigns before starting his meet- the-people tours in Nyanza followed by Western. In fact, I will be there with him.”
Sources told People Daily there has been pressure from President Kenyatta for the Opposition leaders to forge a united front ahead of next year’s elections.
Mudavadi said an eight-member technical committee is today expected to present a progress report on OKA when they convene in Naivasha for a two-day meeting.
He revealed that the retreat was a joint Parliamentary Group meeting by the four-affiliate parties for briefing on the roadmap to the General Election.
“This is a PG of the parties that started the process of coming up with the new coalition.
Obviously, you have to bring your Members of Parliament to such a meeting,” said Mudavadi of the break talks.
A technical team has been drafting legal instruments for the pact as well as reviewing the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the constituent parties’ leadership with a view of giving one of them the presidential ticket.
“A technical team will give a progress report on what they have achieved so far in the build-up to OKA,” he added.
“The retreat is to allow the technical committee to table its report for us to go through.
The report should contain the method of picking the flag bearer and how the alliance will operate,” said Lugari MP Ayub Savula.
He said the technical team was also charged with crafting how to incorporate other political leaders and parties should they want to be part of the alliance.
Members of the team are Nambale MP Sakwa Bunyasi, Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malalah and his Nairobi counterpart Johnson Sakaja representing Mudavadi, Senators Enoch Wambua, Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and Fafi MP Abdikarim Ousman representing Kalonzo, Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa and his Kitutu Chache South counterpart Richard Onyonka representing Wetangula, while Tiaty MP William Kamket represents Moi.
The team has been in Naivasha since Friday and was joined by the principals yesterday.
Sources said that Moi’s pact with President Kenyatta would be part of the agenda.
Moi has been adamant that he would not pull the independent party out of the coalition with Jubilee, reportedly straining the relationship with his co-principals.
According to sources in Naivasha, the retreat will determine how negotiations with Moi should be handled as he is perceived to be a fringe member in the party, considering Mudavadi and Musyoka are battling to become the flag bearers.
There has been a Musyoka and Mudavadi online battle on who should be the OKA’s presidential flag bearer both releasing posters insinuating that their leaders will be selected as flag bearers.
A poster by Mudavadi’s team portrayed the ANC leader as the alliance’s choice with Musyoka deputising him.
Musyoka’s team later released their poster with Mudavadi listed as his deputy. Insiders disclosed that the online mind games had split the OKA affiliate members.
The alliance was also expected to discuss constituent parties sharing power and settle on the flag bearer.
The OKA retreat is a follow-up to Uhuru’s meeting with the co-principals and Raila that was aimed at uniting the leaders.
A member of the Technical Committee speaking on condition of anonymity said the Parliamentary Group comprising MPs and senators from the member parties was expected to report to the principals on the outcome of their deliberations.
“We are also working on a joint MoU and manifesto as well as laying out some strategies for the 2022 election,” said the official.