OKA technical team fails to agree on modality to pick flagbearer amid talk of Kalonzo, Mudavadi rivalry
One Kenya Alliance (OKA) principals are convening in Elementaita, Nakuru County, for make or break deliberations on the modalities of picking the coalition's flagbearer in the August 9 presidential race.
Their meeting was preceded by a 3-day retreat by a technical committee that had been tasked with drafting a mechanism of settling the presidential candidate question and structure of the OKA team.
The principals face an uphill task settling on a candidate and keeping the alliance intact amid talk of overtures from Deputy President William Ruto and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party chief Raila Odinga, the perceived two top horses in the State House race.
Top on the agenda will be the OKA principals' briefing by a technical committee, that has for three days been meeting to craft modalities of picking the coalition's top ticket bearers after weeks of insisting that the alliance will remain united all the way to the ballot.
Sources in the technical committee told Citizen TV that a report was ready and three formations arrived at for adoption, rejection or amendment by the OKA principals.
The three options placing Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka at the top of the ticket, with Amani National Congress (ANC) party boss Musalia Mudavadi as his running mate in the first set.
In the second pairing, the technical committee proposed a Kalonzo-Martha Karua ticket, and a Kalonzo-Moses Wetangula option as the third choice.
The committee considered numerous factors in the proposed pairings, which include a presidential hopeful's ability to garner and deliver numbers at the ballot, capacity to mobilise financial resources to fund the presidential race, regional representation and negotiation skills should OKA opt to team up with other formations in the August race.
Mudavadi did not send representatives to the technical committee, further fuelling speculation that he was warming up to DP Ruto.
Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala's recent dalliance with Ruto, ostensibly on Mudavadi's behalf, raising the OKA principals' antennae.
“We are in the season of looking for more friends, and therefore people should not be offended when they see members of ANC going round this country. I will continue championing for the interests of Musalia Mudavadi to ensure that he is on the correct team that is going to form government,” said Senator Malala.
Mudavadi, on his part, said: “I cannot hold anything against Senator Malala, he is within his rights…I listened to the remarks that he made and I don’t think he made any remarks that would in any way be inimical to this country.”
Kalonzo is expected to host another meeting at his Yatta home on Saturday, amid talk of considering a re-union with Odinga after the acrimonious NASA fallout.
The direction OKA intends to take still a wait-and-see matter.