My word is my bond, I’m in opposition alliance says Wiper leader
Tuesday March 21 2017
Why do your consider yourself the best candidate for the Nasa out of the four principals?
My principle is not to talk about myself, I would rather let fellow citizens judge me, particularly those I have worked with. However, my political and professional resume stands out after being an MP, a minister in various ministries, deputy speaker of parliament and vice president. I have been a presidential candidate before and because of the seriousness of that candidature, it was me who was able to hold the country together after the disputed 2007 elections. I have the credentials and it is not just out of vain glory because I have served the country at the highest level. In Nasa, it is more of the vision than an individual because we want to change the country for the better.
Can you look Kenyans in the eye and confirm that you will stay in Nasa even if you don’t get the ticket?
I have said it several times that I am in Nasa to stay and my word is my bond. When I received my nomination certificate from the Wiper Democratic Movement Party on Thursday, it was because it is a constitutional requirement that a presidential candidate must be nominated by a political party. Nasa is not a political party but a coalition and any one of us who gets the ticket will have to run on the ticket of a political party under Nasa. It was the first step of my journey to hopefully baging the Nasa ticket.
Why then is your Wiper Democratic Movement against joint nominations as was witnessed in 2002 under the Narc Coalition?
Unlike Narc which was a registered political party, Nasa is not. In Narc there was competition between the two parties — LDP and NAK —and whoever won carried the Narc flag. This was also the case with Cord in 2013, when I agreed to be the running mate of Raila Odinga, even then he had to run as an ODM presidential candidate. It is exactly the same and this is a reality a lot of people don’t seem to appreciate. It is not correct to say that Wiper does not like joint nominations. It is because of this reality that Musalia Mudavadi of Amani National Congress and Moses Wentangula of Ford-Kenya have also said the same.
Why is it taking so long for Nasa to come up with a presidential candidate?
That is not true. We had appointed the National Co-ordinating Committee to come up with a formulae and now we have three potions; by consensus or by caucuses and if any of them does not work, then we can have joint nomination. We are aware that our competitors in Jubilee want us to fight among ourselves in a joint nomination so that whoever loses unfairly goes to them. We have mapped the country and in areas where there is support for more than one party in our group, then we shall share out the seats for governor, parliament and county representatives, and women representatives. It is not correct to say that a certain a party does not like joint nominations, what we are saying is that we don’t want to give advantage to Jubilee like in 2003 when we made a mistake of running against each other in Nairobi which allowed Jubilee to get seats we ought to have won.
Your supporters maintain that you had signed a memorandum of understanding with Mr Odinga that you will contest in 2017. Is that agreement going to stand in the way of getting a joint opposition candidate?
That matter was a result of deep reflection between me and Mr Odinga because we have come a long way. We were together in 2006 and when we split, the country almost went to the dogs. In 2013 having been a vice president, I agreed to support Mr Odinga because I wanted to finish tribalism in this country and bring cohesion. If it is necessary that I do it again against popular sentiments, I will do it because I don’t want to be blamed. Now the MoU issue cannot come in because Mr Mudavadi was not party to it. But it is still binding between me and Mr Odinga. It is only the two of us who have a case to answer.
Do you think Nasa is the viable alternative to Jubilee and why?
Of course it is, provided that we remain together and we don’t fall to betrayal which has become a trait in Kenyan politics. Personally, I have been able to kick out betrayal and selfish ambition from my psyche. I wish everybody in Nasa could do the same. We are aware of the challenge and that is why Mr Odinga, Mr Wetangula and I worked very hard to kick out the former commissioners of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. However, there is still a possibility of gerrymandering with the elections. Unless we seal every loophole, like the manual identification of voters and transmission, that still remains a source of worry to us.
How do you rate your other opponents in Nasa individually?
They all have capacity and if any of the four of us gets the ticket, we will be ready for change because Nasa is not an individual but a vision. The country is ready for change and any of us who gets the ticket and is supported by the rest will make it. To me, the main issue is the conduct of elections and if we can deal with the IEBC issue, then any of us is good to go.