Raila’s options as the country prepares for 2022 general elections just got harder as One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals, who met early this week, issue tough conditions as a pre-requisite to entering a pre-election alliance with him.
The four principals led by Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Kanu chairman Gideon Moi and Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetangula said they were ready to accommodate Raila in a pre-2022 alliance on condition that he joins as an “equal partner” and that he backs one of them in the next presidential election.
The principals, according to sources, met at a hotel in Nairobi’s Karen neighbourhood to come up with a common front ahead of today’s meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila.
Today’s meeting, at a yet to be disclosed location, is a follow-up to last week’s session at State House, Mombasa where the leaders failed to commit themselves to forming one movement to take on Deputy President William Ruto in next August’s election.
The President is said to have promised to convene another meeting this week after last Friday’s Court of Appeal ruling on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) bill.
The President has made it clear that he is ready to support any of the opposition leaders as long as they unite.
Sources privy to this week’s meeting deliberations said the OKA principals are now waiting for Raila to respond to what they say are their irreducible minimums.
But reacting to the demands, ODM chairman John Mbadi said Raila does not have a debt to pay since “he has never ascended to the presidency”.
“What we need at the moment is not reciprocating for anything, but a formula through which we can capture the presidency in 2022 and thereafter offer good governance. Those obsessed with paybacks are wasting their time,” Mbadi said.
The Minority Leader in the National Assembly said ODM is participating in the negotiations in good faith and with a view of identifying a strong candidate that would beat his opponents at the ballot.
“But let it also remain very clear that ODM has already indicated that it will field Raila as its presidential candidate,” Mbadi told a local daily by telephone.
It was an argument shared by ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna who compared the OKA demands to a stream wishing to be joined by a big river.