NASA leaders push for structured dialogue with Jubilee
The National Super Alliance co-principals have agreed to retain parliamentary leadership as currently constituted. After a five-hour meeting, Raila Odinga (ODM), Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC), and Moses Wetang’ula (Ford Kenya) also agreed to push on with the planned swearing in of the NASA leaders on January 31.
A source privy to the Karen meeting indicated that the co-principals also discussed their willingness to dialogue with Jubilee over an inclusive government.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said the four also agreed on the need to dialogue with Jubilee over electoral justice and expanding the Executive after constitutional amendment.
The willingness by NASA for talks comes just a day after Majority Leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale said the ruling party would not have any talks on power sharing but could dialogue about development.
“We can only dialogue about development and not any other issue. NASA MPs have taken their seats in Parliament as the opposition wing and we as Jubilee have also taken our seats as the ruling side. They have taken the watchdog committees – Public Accounts Committee and Public Investments Committee – which are chaired by the opposition members,” Duale said
Other sources, however, indicated that no resolution had been reached about the sharing of positions because the leaders ‘were in a hurry’ and said they would look into the issues another time.
“They discussed the need to have structured dialogue with Jubilee over electoral justice and the need to form a government of national unity. This is what must be on the agenda for dialogue,” said the source. On Friday, the team heads to Ukambani for a people’s assembly meeting to push for the swearing in agenda.
Coming on the heels of the US administration saying it was ready to fund the activities of the dialogue, the co-principals were said to be keen to ensure that President Uhuru Kenyatta formed a government of national unity.
This is pegged on the fact the August 8 election was nullified by the Supreme Court and in the subsequent October 26 election, less than half of registered voters participated, leaving millions out. Political observers have also indicated that a government of national unity could be the reason Uhuru named a partial Cabinet, an apparent move to include NASA.
Prior to the Karen meeting, each co-principal separately met with his inner circle to agree on the agenda that was to be presented at the summit. During the meeting, it is understood that the Orange party said no to its partners who wanted to discuss the redistribution of parliamentary slots.
This must have informed the agreement that the Opposition retain the current House leadership as is constituted. Originally, the meeting was supposed to be held at Capitol Hill, then it was moved to Cold Springs in Karen. When the media was informed about this, it had yet again shifted to Hemingway before moving to Karen County Club, which is exclusively for paid-up members.
ALSO READ: Uhuru and Odinga congratulate Olunga for becoming the first Kenyan and first Girona player to score a hat trick in La Liga A document prepared before the meeting by ODM indicated that it had ceded a lot of ground to its coalition partners could not go any further.
Of concern to Kalonzo’s Wiper party is the powerful Parliamentary Service Commission slot, which it has vowed to take from ODM. ODM seems to be angered by the continuous wrangling between its partners.
Leadership positions ANC and Wiper have complained that ODM was using its ‘tyranny of numbers’ to deny them House leadership positions as spelt out in the original pre-election NASA agreement deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties.
This view has, however, been dismissed by the Orange party, which has denied the existence of any agreement on the sharing of House leadership positions.