Cord leader Raila Odinga yesterday declared he will work with Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi to defeat President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee next year.
The two appeared together in Laikipia where they pledged unity and expressed egret for going their separate ways in 2013.
“We will be together in 2017,” Raila emphasised at Resort hotel in Laikipia North constituency where he met ODM leaders.
The unity statement is the strongest indication the National Super Alliance, NASA, will be formed and transformation of the political landscape is expected.
At the same meeting Mudavadi announced he will work with Raila and other opposition leaders to remove President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto. He said the National Super Alliance is the best outfit to defeat Jubilee.
“What is important is the unity message we send to voters. We are not saying we do not want ODM, Wiper, Ford K or the others. We want unity of purpose that will see us win. And my standing here shows I have that will,” Mudavadi said.
Raila promised Jubilee a bruising battle and urged supporters to arm themselves with IDs and voter’s cards.
“Come February next year, it won’t be business as usual. This government is full of thieves who need to be sent home. We want bring change,” Raila said.
The announcement could represent a sea change.
While some Kikuyus hate Raila, many are understood to have no problem with Mudavadi and could vote for him as the opposition candidate.
Jubilee leaders have been boasting they will win in a landslide if Raila is the presidential candidate but if Mudavadi is the flagbearer, the battle would be difficult and victory less certain.
“If they stick together and have Mudavadi as their presidential candidate and they are also able to bring in Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, they will have a real chance of defeating Jubilee,” Professor Macharia Munene of USIU said.
While Mudavadi has been pushing for creation of the National Super Alliance as the vehicle for a united opposition, Raila has been talking of broadening the opposition.
Last Saturday the Star exclusively reported technocrats working on an opposition coalition proposed the presidential candidate should either be Raila or Mudavadi. Whoever doesn’t get the ticket would become Prime Minister in a new government.
The team also proposed the Constitution be amended to create a position of second deputy president, one which should go to Kanu leader Gideon Moi. It proposed two positions of deputy president reserved for leaders from Kisii and the Coast.
Yesterday both Mudavadi and Raila confirmed they have been discussing a coalition and affirmed they will announce a new alliance by February.
Mudavadi said he and Raila were not enemies, saying they have worked together before and would work together again.
“Raila is my big brother and we have come a long way. For this election we will work together to ensure Jubilee is defeated,” Mudavadi said.
At the weekend Deputy President Ruto dismissed the proposed opposition alliance, insisting it’s a pipe dream.
But yesterday both Raila and Mudavadi said the opposition has no choice but unite.
Mudavadi said NASA is going to be very real.
He questioned the source of money spent on harambees by Ruto and other Jubilee leaders.
Mudavadi and Raila accused Uhuru and Ruto of abetting corruption, nepotism and tribalism.
“They are moving around with bags full money. Where do they get the Sh18m they are dishing out in harambees every weekend?” Mudavadi asked.
He said public money is stolen through the Ifmis platform, but prior to the last election Uhuru and Ruto had pledged to digitise systems to close graft loopholes.
Raila said Tanzanian president John Magufuli, who has only been a year in office, has already jailed former Tanzania Revenue Authority and Tanzania Ports Authority bosses.
The ODM leader also said five governors, several ministers and state officials have been jailed in Nigeria for corruption
The two leaders were accompanied by Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, MPs Mathew Lempurkel (Laikipia North), Junet Mohamed (Suna East) Alfred Agoi (Sabatia) and Elijah Memusi (Kajiado Central)
Today Mudavadi will join a mother set of opposition leaders in Emurua Dikirr in Narok county and again call for opposition unity. He will attend a funds drive for Transmara East Women Association Sacco.
The harambee hosted by Emurua Dikirr MP Johana Ngeno is expected to kick off the campaign for votes in the Rift Valley. This will complicate DP Ruto’s strategy as he slowly faces a rebellion in his Rift backyard.
Already a number of leaders led by Raila, Senator Moi and Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto are criss-crossing the region for support.
On Sunday, Raila toured Kericho where he attended church service at Litein AIC before proceeding to Kericho’s Moi Gardens for a well-attended rally. He again slammed Jubilee over corruption.
Raila is using the controversial Sh35 billion Itare Water Dam project in Kuresoi to reclaim his support in the region that voted overwhelmingly for him in 2007. He says it will choke the flow of water in parts of the South Rift, including Narok, Bomet, Kericho, Nyamira and Kisumu counties.
“The DP is under siege as several leaders from his Rift Valley backyard and the opposition are plotting to cut him town to size to weak his base and clout in the vote-rich region,” says South Rift political analyst Kipng’eno Chepkwony.
The rebels leaders who include Kuresoi South MP Zakayo Cheruiyot and his Emurua Dikirr counterpart Johana Ngeno have been on the coalition path with the DP whom they accused his of using a section of leaders from the region to undermine them in their areas.