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NASA coalition partners Musalia Mudavadi (left), Kalonzo Musyoka (centre) and Raila Odinga (right) during a press conference on February 7, 2018.

Kenya

ODM dismisses Kalonzo and Mudavadi talk on endorsement by Raila

NAIROBI, Kenya Feb 22 – The war of words between former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi escalated on Sunday after the Orange party said their leader has no time with 2022 endorsement talk.

ODM Secretary-General Edwin Sifuna said Raila was busy helping President Uhuru Kenyatta deliver on his mandate following their March 2018 handshake that culminated to the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

“It is becoming rather tasteless lately, having to consume the whining from the former NASA co-principals, in their greedy desire to have Raila step down for them in the 2022 race,” Sifuna said in a statement in response to remarks from Kalonzo and Mudavadi who said they are not interested in Odinga’s endorsement.

While Kalonzo spoke in Machakos, Mudavadi’s remarks were made by his Spokesman Kibisu Kabatesi.

“We now have to contend with a band of pretenders to the throne, who think that the presidency is a potato you can slice in pieces and share out at a table,” Sifuna said in reference to the Kalonzo, Mudavadi and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula.

Wetangula said at a rally in Western Kenya recently that it was time considered endorsing any of them because they have supported him in “30 political years.”

But without mincing his words, Sifuna said, “we advice the three that if they want the presidency, Raila does not keep the ballots at his home. The NASA co-principals must stop dancing around their village huts and travel the breadth of the country seeking that mandate. Raila is focused on helping the President deliver on the unity agenda for all Kenyans and building the bridges to a prosperous future.”

Sifuna’s statement followed Mudavadi and Kalonzo’s separate statements in which they launched a scathing attack on Odinga who has said he will not endorse anyone of them.

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“I only seek the endorsement of our Heavenly Father who delivered the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt, taking them through the desert to the Holy Land,” Kalonzo said Sunday when he addressed faithful at the Kyemutheke African Inland Church.

Mudavadi on his part took a swipe at Odinga’s claim that he will not endorse any of his NASA colleagues because they failed to show up at his illegal swearing.

His Spokesperson Kabatesi said of Raila, “he hates being reminded that he’s a political con, but reminded he’ll be until he forgoes deceit. Politics of deceit don’t befit a Kenyan leader.”

But in defense of his Party Leader, Sifuna claimed that, by boycotting the swearing-in ceremony, the other principals had betrayed him by abandoning him at the hour of need, and therefore did not deserve his endorsement.

“The swearing in of Rt Hon Raila as The People’s President was a moment for him to know his partners and friends, and the three so called NASA principals fell short at his hour of need. They therefore cannot ride on his back like leeches and keep whining about being given a seat that only Kenyans can give,” said the ODM Secretary-General

Odinga was the NASA Presidential candidate in 2017 with Kalonzo as his running mate. Other NASA co-principals were Mudavadi, Wetangula (Ford Kenya) and former Bomet Governor Isaac Ruto of Chama cha Mashinani.

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