Kenya: William Ruto in Talks With Some Nasa Chiefs, Claims Hassan Joho

Deputy President William Ruto is in secret talks with some National Super Alliance (Nasa) leaders as politicians intensify coalition building ahead of next year's elections, Mombasa governor Hassan Joho has alleged.

Mr Joho, who is one of Mr Raila Odinga's deputies in ODM, yesterday sensationally claimed the Orange party is aware of a plot by some of their Nasa partners to negotiate with the DP's United Democratic Alliance (UDA).

"When these Nasa people were forming One Kenya Alliance and when Wiper was doing a cooperation pact with Jubilee, we kept quiet and never threw stones at them.

"Currently, we are even aware that some of them are negotiating with UDA, but as ODM we are not complaining. Why must they continue dragging Kenyans seeking a united country behind?" Mr Joho asked.

The One Kenya Alliance brings together leaders of three parties that are affiliated to Nasa -- Mr Musalia Mudavadi (Amani National Congress), Mr Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) and Ford Kenya's Moses Wetang'ula -- as well as Kanu's Gideon Moi. The Baringo Senator has, however, lately warmed to Mr Odinga.

Presidential bid

The three Nasa leaders have insisted they would not back Mr Odinga's presidential bid again and demanded that he honour an agreement in the run-up to the 2017 General Election committing not to run for the top seat.

Mr Odinga ran on a joint ticket with Mr Musyoka as the running mate in 2013 and 2017, with the backing of the other two leaders.

The former vice-president has declared he would rather retire from politics than play second fiddle to Mr Odinga again.

Mr Musyoka stepped up the pressure on the ODM leader on Sunday, saying he was negotiating a new deal with the ruling party to renege on the Cord and Nasa agreements of 2013 and 2017, respectively.

"I'm challenging my fellow leaders to live in accordance with what we proclaim publicly or even privately and more so in writing. If you sign a coalition agreement like Nasa or Jubilee with other parties, then you live by that," Mr Musyoka said.

Seeking partnerships

ODM has announced it is crafting a pre-election coalition agreement with President Kenyatta's Jubilee party, a development Mr Joho yesterday said had rattled their rivals.

Mr Joho said ODM, just like their partners in Nasa had done when forging the One Kenya Alliance, is seeking partnerships with like-minded leaders.

He said several parties were now engaging in the best 2022 working formula and wondered why "our engagement with Jubilee is causing trouble."

Mr Joho insisted Mr Odinga was only meant to back one of the Nasa members after serving one term had he won the presidency in 2017.

"If we did not win and parties are purely formed to capture political power and we have not captured power, then nobody should force us to support them," he argued.

Yesterday, Mr Mudavadi told ODM not to equate their planned deal with Jubilee to their working arrangement as members of the One Kenya Alliance.

"Nobody has formally registered a coalition document yet," Mr Mudavadi explained.

He also distanced himself from claims by ODM that some of them were in talks with the DP.

Ford Kenya Organising Secretary Chris Mandu Mandu also denied claims by ODM that some of them were warming to UDA.

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