20 April 2017

Kenya: Nasa to Name Flag Bearer April 27, Ropes in Isaac Ruto

Photo: Jeff Angote/The Nation
Nasa principals from left: Musalia Mudavadi, Raila Odinga , Isaac Ruto, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetang'ula at Bomas of Kenya on April 20, 2017.

Nairobi — The National Super Alliance (NASA) will unveil its presidential candidate on Thursday, April 27.

The alliance which received a fifth principal - Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto - at an event held at the Bomas of Kenya Thursday said that the co-principals had agreed on a power sharing deal and what remained was the naming of its flag bearer and running mate who will face President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto.

"I stand before you to report progress and give you a date with destiny. On the 27th of April, 2017 we have a date with you in Uhuru Park and that day you will be told the team that will liberate Kenyans," co-principal Moses Wetangula told NASA supporters at Bomas.

According to Wetangula who is also the Senate Minority Leader, the alliance had ratified a decision to include Ruto's Chama Cha Mashinani (CCM) in NASA with the governor assuming the position of a co-leader.

CCM joins Raila Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), Musalia Mudavadi's Amani National Congress (ANC), Wetangula's Forum for Restoration of Democracy - Kenya (FORD-K) and Kalonzo Musyoka's Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM).

Wetangula said all the parties in the formation will be treated as equals.

"The power sharing agreement has been completed and we want to share power equally and horizontally," he said.

"I want to assure the country that we bind ourselves in the name of God that none of us will think twice or walk out of this arrangement," he added urging supporters of the various parties to stand by whoever will be picked by the five to take on Kenyatta.

Odinga who is seen as the front runner among his peers in the race to unseat Kenyatta welcomed the new coalition partner saying he has been critical in the fight for devolution of more resources to the county regimes.

"I am proud to welcome Ruto to the NASA Summit. With his entry, we launch a new march towards the August 8 elections, the day on which we shall liberate Kenyans," he said.

He said that the entry of Ruto strengthens the existing alliance that has metamorphosised from a three-member Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) for during the last General Election, into a four-member NASA and ultimately the Pentagon unveiled during the meeting.

The Opposition chief said the five had agreed to deal decisively with corruption if NASA is elected to form the government on August 8.

"We will not lie that we have done all we can to rein in corruption when our associates, family members and friends are fueling it and reaping from it," Odinga said.

On his part, Wiper Leader Musyoka praised CCM leader Ruto for fighting for the devolved units amid fierce criticism from his peers in the ruling Jubilee Party on which he was elected governor (the United Republican Party - URP).

"We reaffirm our commitment to devolution which is our clarion call so that people at the grassroots will benefit," he said.

Ruto said his entry into NASA signifies politics of inclusion adding that Kenyans were free to work with each other provided they agree ideologically.

"We should not forget why we voted for the new constitution. Citizens are not just there to vote but they also have a right to government services."

He faulted the recently released economic survey statistics which indicated that the country had witnessed a steady growth over the past four years saying the blossoming of real estate industry in the country has not translated into benefits to the Kenyan masses.

Mudavadi who was the first to suggest the formation of the NASA alliance urged supporters to show up in large numbers during the poll day to ensure that the coalition candidate wins the election.

"We all must ensure we support this alliance protect the fundamental right of the people and ensure the Constitution is safeguarded," Mudavadi told supporters.

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