Kenya: Nasa Falling-Out to Claim Casualties in Parliament

The planned withdrawal by the National Super Alliance (Nasa) affiliate parties from the coalition in order to ratify another deal under the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) has put on the line jobs of at least 10 MPs in parliamentary leadership and powerful committees.

Wiper, Amani National Congress and Ford-Kenya have announced their intention to exit the Raila Odinga-led National Super Alliance, which will herald its death if the three pack and leave, to join OKA.

Independence party Kanu will also be required to divorce from Jubilee coalition to join OKA and its lawmakers holding various House posts party are likely to lose them.

Wiper, led by Kalonzo Musyoka, is likely to be the biggest casualty should it withdraw from Nasa to join OKA.

Jobs at risk

Senate Minority Leader Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader Robert Mbui and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) vice chair Jesicah Mbalu are among leaders whose jobs are at risk should their party ratify its Nasa exit.

Senate Agriculture committee vice chairperdon Enoch Wambua and his Roads and Transport counterpart Sylvia Kasanga would also suffer a similar fate.

National Assembly Deputy Minority Whip Eseli Simiyu (Ford Kenya) and Commissioner of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC) George Khaniri (ANC) will also face the axe if their parties walk out of Nasa.

On Sunday, a senior ODM official told the Nation that their Nasa partners must prepare to relinquish their positions should they make good their threats to leave the coalition.

"Nasa being the minority coalition in parliament is entitled to those minority seats but should it be dissolved courtesy of the withdrawal of the three parties - Wiper, ANC and Ford Kenya -- ODM, being the largest opposition party, will have no reason but to take up those seats," said the official who sought anonymity so as not to be seen to be jeopardising the ongoing talks between ODM and the parties over a financial dispute.

Jubilee coalition

In Kanu, Senate Majority Leader Samuel Poghisio, his party leader Gideon Moi and Chairman of National Assembly Committee on Delegated Legislation committee William Kamket stand to lose out should they ship out of Jubilee coalition.

Mr Moi chairs the Senate Information, Communication and Technology Committee, but his party has revealed it has no plans yet of withdrawing from its coalition with Jubilee.

The Baringo senator is also said to be a key ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta, the leader of the Jubilee coalition as well as Mr Odinga, hence his withdrawal from the coalition may not be tenable.

"Right now we are all planning for 2022 and we should not be thinking otherwise. Furthermore, our deal with Jubilee runs until 2022 and we can only enter into any other arrangement if it becomes necessary," said Kanu Secretary-General Nick Salat, adding that the party is not ready to halt its relationship with the government.

Wiper

But for Wiper, Nasa exit appears possible. Co-vice chairmen Mutula Kilonzo Jnr and Victor Swanya said their party will heed to the resolutions by its organs to pull out regardless of the implications.

"The position I hold is a coalition position. If the coalition is dissolved the positions will be reorganised according to parliamentary strength," Mr Kilonzo Jr told the Nation Sunday.

He, however, pointed out that whereas the Speaker may have to rule on the matter, ODM is not entitled to take up their positions since without the coalition "positions will be shared across board depending on party strength".

Mr Swanya told the Nation that should Wiper's National Executive Committee (NEC) sitting today (Monday) approve the withdrawal from Nasa, they will be ready to forego any position the party holds courtesy of the coalition.

"We have a NEC meeting tomorrow (Monday) and a PG (Parliamentary Group) meeting on Tuesday (tomorrow) and as a party we have considered the costs and are ready to forgo those positions. It doesn't make much meaning as we are just one year to the elections," said Mr Swanya.

He declared: "Every good thing comes at a cost. We believe in One Kenya Alliance and will do everything to join it. Our ODM brothers are free to join us only if Raila Odinga will back one of the principals in this new alliance."

Ready

Ms Mbalu also said she was ready to bite the bullet should Wiper pull out of Nasa coalition.

"I am ready to lose this position should Wiper make a decision to pull out of Nasa," the Kibwezi East MP said.

For Ford-Kenya and Mr Wetang'ula, himself a casualty of the ODM control of Nasa numbers when he lost his Senate minority seat, the death of Nasa is a foregone conclusion.

"What is left of Nasa are issues of accountability and the declaration of where to bury it. What remains is the issues of accountability. ODM has a duty, both moral and legal, to give us our share of the funds it gets. We have done our calculations and we have sent Raila how much ODM owes our parties," Mr Wetang'ula said in Bungoma yesterday.

Despite being a member of Ford Kenya, Dr Simiyu is, however, likely to survive should there be a reorganisation of the leadership positions as he is allied to a faction of the party that is allied to Mr Odinga, whose party ODM controls the minority wing of the two houses.

Mr Khaniri is also said to be favoured by Mr Odinga's camp and could survive the onslaught should his party leave Nasa, so is Mr Kilonzo Jnr.

Additional reporting by Brian Ojamaa

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