Kenya: ODM Needs Kalonzo, Mudavadi - Mbadi

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) needs Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Amani National Congress (ANC) chief Musalia Mudavadi to stand a chance of winning the 2022 election, party chairman John Mbadi said yesterday.

Mr Mbadi said ODM, which is engaged in coalition talks with the ruling Jubilee, has left the door open for Mr Musyoka, Mr Mudavadi and Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang'ula, who together formed the National Super Alliance (Nasa) ahead of the 2017 General Election.

The stance by Mr Mbadi is a departure from the hardline position taken by ODM in recent months, after the three Nasa partners announced the formation of One Kenya Alliance that includes Kanu chairman and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.

Mr Mbadi asked Mr Moi to forge a working relationship with ODM leader Raila Odinga as the only way to guarantee nationwide support before the 2022 vote.

"We cannot underestimate the support other Nasa principals have. We have to incorporate them in our team," Mr Mbadi said during an interview with Ramogi FM.

The other Nasa parties accuse ODM of reneging on the 2017 agreement to support one of them as presidential candidate next year.

Mr Odinga's party insists the deal was only pegged on his winning the 2017 race.

ODM Deputy Party Leader, Ali Hassan Joho, said Nasa partners must put their interests aside and focus on the bigger picture.

"How do we form a government that is inclusive and responsive to the demands of Kenyans? This talk that it must be Wiper, Ford Kenya or ANC is not right. Let us come together," the Mombasa governor said.

Coalition building

He added that there is need for the Nasa-affiliate parties to build a coalition with other outfits that have countrywide support.

"Instead of speaking at each other, it's time we speak with each other," Mr Joho said.

"They should not say Raila promised to support them as he is still in the opposition."

ODM Treasurer, Timothy Bosire, echoed Mr Mbadi's sentiments.

"It is in order and that is the nature of politics. Every moment calls for appropriate measures and responses. However, it might be contradictory and too soon to submit. It is only yesterday that the other Nasa parties threatened to leave," Mr Bosire said.

Speaking to the Daily Nation separately, the Nasa parties welcomed the announcement by ODM, but insisted that the Odinga-led party must support one of them next year.

ANC said the agreement was deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties ahead of the 2017 General Election.

"Since Chama Cha Mashinani pulled out of Nasa, the automatic parties to field a presidential candidate are ANC, Wiper and Ford K. With Ford-K backing ANC, the race is between Mr Musyoka and Mr Mudavadi," ANC Deputy Party Leader Ayub Savula said.

Wiper Vice-Chairman Mutula Kilonzo Jr said Nasa parties have a lot in common, hence the need to continue working together

Ford-Kenya Organising Secretary Chris Mandu said the other parties have no problem working with ODM.

"What we don't want is conmanship in politics," he said.

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