Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto will join the National Super Alliance on Saturday, complicating the Jubilee Party’s campaign in Rift Valley. Meanwhile, Independence party Kanu is also gravitating towards NASA and secretary general Nick Salat has confirmed he will represent his party in Bomet. A truly united and coordinated opposition is considered a serious threat to
Bomet Governor Isaac Rutto will join the National Super Alliance on Saturday, complicating the Jubilee Party’s campaign in Rift Valley.
Meanwhile, Independence party Kanu is also gravitating towards NASA and secretary general Nick Salat has confirmed he will represent his party in Bomet.
A truly united and coordinated opposition is considered a serious threat to a Jubilee victory in August.
Next week Kanu is to announce which side of the political divide — NASA or Jubilee — it will back, after a National Executive Committee meeting.
Rutto, host of the rally and a vocal critic of the Jubilee administration, is to officially embrace NASA, giving the coalition more foot soldiers in the South Rift.
The governor who heads the CCM party is a particular adversary of Deputy President William Ruto and is challenging him in his backyard.
Yesterday, NASA Chief Executive Officer Norman Magaya told the Star Rutto will officially jump ship.
“I can tell you without a doubt that we are reading from the same script with Isaac and he loves this country,” Magaya, former Cord CEO, said.
“He [Governor Rutto] appreciates that Jubilee has completely destroyed the fabric that holds the nation together and he will be affirming his commitment and his love for the nation by officially joining the National Super Alliance.”
The renewed focus of opposition bigwigs on the populous Rift Valley signals the forthcoming battle to slice off a chunk of the population that voted overwhelmingly for President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2013.
NASA leaders led by Raila Odinga have been trying to replicate the 2002 Narc behemoth that easily broke Kanu’s 24-year grip on power.
Just last week, Raila said the political landscape has shifted and Jubilee can no longer claim dominance in regions such as Meru.
“There is nothing like Cord or Jubilee strongholds. You saw yesterday when I went to Meru. Would you say that is a Jubilee stronghold? You go to the Rift Valley, a huge chunk of it, would you say it’s a Jubilee stronghold?” the ODM chief asked.
Yesterday, Salat said NASA was the best way for Kenya, even as his party awaits the NEC verdict next week.
“For me, I am still adamant, NASA is the way to go,” Salat said, revealing that Kanu had postponed for a week a meeting to decide its political direction and allegiance to either Jubilee or NASA/Cord.
“I will be very much present in Bomet,” Salat told the Star.
The longtime Kanu secretary General and ally of Kanu boss Gideon Moi had been rebuked and threatened with disciplinary action for associating the party with NASA. That was after he conspicuously attended an opposition unity rally on January 11 at the Bomas of Kenya.
Two weeks ago, Gideon Moi announced he been mandated to talk to both Jubilee and NASA and decide which to support.
This despite Uhuru personally telephoning him and urging him to keep his distance from an opposition alliance.
“As at now we, do not have a preferred candidate, but in about two weeks, we will meet again for me to give a report on who to support,” Moi announced on January 19.
The Rift Valley region overwhelmingly voted for Raila in 2007 but abandoned him for Uhuru in 2013. This was due to a well-oiled campaign that the ex-Prime Minister was the architect of the ICC cases against Uhuru and Ruto. The cases collapsed, but the ICC is now investigating witness tampering.
Now NASA backers say all Kenyans are feeling the pain of a ‘collapsing’ economy, grand corruption, mismanagement and unprecedented external borrowing
“The NASA wave is sweeping every part of the country and the Rift Valley is no exception.
South Rift has for all intent and purpose, slipped through Jubilee’s hands…Kenyans have more or less decided this regime must be retired,” Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi said.
Micah Kigen, running for Keiyo South MP, said NASA represents the face of Kenya and it will cause the Jubilee Party considerable discomfort in the Rift Valley.
“We (Kalenjins) are part and parcel of NASA. Our only prayer is that NASA should stick together because the people are tired of Jubilee,” Kigen said.
However, he warned NASA to be careful because the Jubilee leadership is determined to see it break up even before the election.
“There is no development in this area. Every time they purport to launch projects, the next day the machines are driven away.
The people are dejected and tired of empty promises. The people are ready to move en masse to the opposition, just as they moved to ODM in 2007, without the instigation of any politician,” Kigen said.
The Saturday rally will be the second major opposition event hosted by Governor Rutto — after a huge homecoming rally in November last year. Rutto was welcomed back from South Africa where he was treated for facial injuries suffered when he was struck by a police teargas cannister at a protest.
The opposition has been painting Kenyatta’s administration as failed, indifferent, irredeemably corrupt and tribal. It hope to use this narrative to lure the Kalenjin community.
Speaking during a rally in Trans Mara on yesterday, Governor Rutto said everyone seeking the presidency has a right to seek votes in every part of the country.
The Chama Cha Mashinani Party boss condemned what he termed attempts by some Jubilee leaders and their supporters to balkanise the country into Jubilee strongholds.
“There is no point saying this is a Jubilee area, it is not! NASA is welcome for its rally this weekend in Bomet and if someone is hell-bent on planning to send brokers and goons to heckle us, he is mistaken because it will backfire during Election Day,” Rutto warned.
Yesterday, when they unveiled a coordinating committee to spearhead NASA campaigns, the opposition termed the Super Alliance “broad and bold”.
“Our alliance is conceived as a mass movement of political parties, institutions and organised groups.
It carries on board groups including trade unions, the business community and employers, civil society, self-help groups, women and youth organisations, chamas, transport associations, religious organizations, student organisations and individuals,” NASA chiefs said in a statement.
Raila said NASA is a special-purpose movement to uproot the Jubilee regime from power for misrule, abdication of responsibility, collusion in runaway corruption and the declining state of Kenya’s economy.
Raila, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, ANC boss Musalia Mudavadi and Ford Kenya chief Moses Wetangu’la are principals of the new alliance.
Via The Star.