Jubilee, ODM eye one presidential candidate in 2022
President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga’s allies are crafting a deal, that would see their parties field a single presidential candidate in next year’s General Election.
Politicians from the two camps told People Daily that a possible merger between Uhuru’s Jubilee Party and Raila’s ODM would be the culmination of the Handshake between the two leaders.
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju and ODM national chairman John Mbadi yesterday told off those dismissing the possible merger and expressed confidence that it was likely to alter the 2022 game plan for their opponents.
“We want to be more accommodative and ensure that we bring all Kenyans together.
We are ready to listen to those who may disagree with us. We want everybody on board because we are not in the domain of disrespecting others,” said Tuju.
The official said that Jubilee and ODM were working on a pre-election alliance that would see them field one presidential candidate in 2022.
According to Tuju, having the two parties work together is in the best interest of the country and they are keen to formalise their relationship in a coalition deal.
Deputy President (DP) William Ruto and Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka have already dismissed the merger talk, saying it will be a tribal alliance.
But Mbadi yesterday faulted the DP who he accused of dishonesty.
“Why is Ruto so bitter? Why did Kalonzo sign a cooperation agreement with Jubilee? We are not mad people to go into an arrangement that has no value.
We need everybody so that we can work together for the sake of peace and development of this country. ODM is forming a more serious coalition,” he said.
Mbadi reminded Ruto that in 2013 he (Ruto) formed a coalition with President Uhuru to the exclusion of others.
He said that ODM had decided to enter into a coalition agreement with Jubilee to bring all Kenyans together and end divisive politics.
“Ruto formed an alliance with Uhuru in 2013 to the exclusion of others. We humbled ourselves. It was not tribal then.
How does the same Uhuru working with Raila become tribal? Ruto behaves as if Kenyans owe him some birthright that if he does not become the President of this country... he scandalises, abuses, trashes anything that is not going his way,” said Mbadi.
Uhuru’s key ally; Nyeri Town MP Wambugu Ngunjiri, said Jubilee will certainly lead or be part of the next administration post-2022.
“Jubilee will engage or be engaged by other parties that want it to form a winning coalition.
This is the reason for this coalition discussion. Coalition talks will continue to whichever other party can add value to the work we are doing and will have done as Jubilee, over last 10 years,” said Ngunjiri.
Ruto, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo and some of their allies have poured cold water on the emerging coalition.
On Saturday, Ruto while on a tour of West Pokot, fired a salvo at a possible Jubilee and ODM coalition, saying he was not ready for the planned merger, even as he lamented the “killing” of Jubilee.
“I have heard them talk about Jubilee and ODM coming together. Let them know we are not bothered.
We have our own ‘hustlers’ party that has no tribal or regional boundaries.
These people have destroyed Jubilee, which was a national party. Now they want to tell us that everyone establishes a regional party. UDA is for Kenya and cannot fit in a particular ethnic group,” said Ruto.
Kalonzo said he would rather retire, than support Raila for president again.
“I will be the most stupid fellow under the earth to support for the third time, a presidential candidate without a measure of reciprocity,” Kalonzo said.
Mudavadi yesterday ruled out the possibility of his party entering into the pre-election coalition talks being mooted by Jubilee and ODM of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Mudavadi said that coalition-building is a serious matter that requires principles based on honesty, integrity, social morality, accountability and people-based service delivery and not merely the weaving and knitting of political outfits, at will and choice, to meet individual expectations of its central players and their courtiers.
He said he had no clue about the reported discussions between Jubilee and ODM given that none of the involved parties had talked to him about the move “since it is their own affair” and he was therefore not in a position to proffer any meaningful opinion on the matter as it does not concern him a hoot.
Tuju, a member of the steering committee on the Jubilee-ODM coalition talks, questioned why their opponents were dismissing the merger if it had no impact.
“Why should they worry about what is going nowhere? They should not worry because according to them, it’s not going anywhere,” said Tuju.
His ODM counterpart Edwin Sifuna also told off their opponents, saying they should concentrate on their alliance building and leave Jubilee and the Orange party out of it.
“They are free to bark and have the right to association. It is time for us as ODM to trudge on. We will not listen to detractors,” charged Sifuna.
According to the ODM official, Ruto should focus on UDA while Mudavadi and Kalonzo have One Kenya Alliance, which should be their concern.
“When Ruto rebranded PDR to UDA, we never talked about it. When Mudavadi, Kalonzo, Gideon (Moi) decided to form One Kenya Alliance, we have never talked about them?” posed Sifuna.
National Assembly Deputy Majority Whip Maoka Maore (Igembe North) said political coalitions were for the willing.
“Let them get talking. Those who stand shaken by the move surely know the size of the opponent.
We swing to impress the suitors not the competition. The next few weeks we shall clear Tanga Tanga debris from Mt Kenya region and you see the shape of things to come, said Maore.
Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga and a member of the Orange party’s National Executive Committee (said the coalition is the next big thing.
“If there was nothing they wouldn’t be talking about it. It is the next big thing in the political scene,” said Wanga.