By Sarah Korere
That the so-called ‘National Super Alliance’ has been a phony and a fraud from the beginning has been amply demonstrated of late, not least by the fact that it was never registered as a political entity and will not appear on any ballot paper anywhere in Kenya.
However, the remaining evidence that Nasa was still some sort of entity existed in the uneasy truce forged between formerly bitter rivals from five parties.
Nevertheless, this show of unity is now desperately fading as the individual parties that make up Nasa are busy squabbling over regional election campaigns.
One would think that if Nasa was worth anything as a political entity it would have an established identity, ideology and binding manifesto and would then field candidates across the country. That there are bitter political and ideological rivalries demonstrates amply that there is nothing which binds the parties or their leaders together.
Already, only weeks after the formation of Nasa, some of the parties like the Wiper Party and the ANCabjectly ruled out the possibility of joint nominations with other parties in Nasa. This was an inauspicious start to an alliance which stated that it was a unique coalition which would unify the country.
Much of the infighting was caused, perhaps unsurprisingly from Raila Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), which has vowed to vie any and every contest it can, even if it places his fellow Nasa principal’s party seats in danger at the voting booths.
Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula recently let the façade slip on the simmering tension among NASA affiliates when he asked Raila not to interfere with local politics in Western region ahead of the August 8 polls. Wetang’ula was quoted by a local daily on Monday telling off Raila over attempts to “impose” a candidate on the people of Western.
“We will not allow anybody to dictate to us. We have decided Raila will get our votes for the presidency but ODM will not get seats in the region,” BoniKhalwale, Ford Kenya deputy party leader, said.
In Kisii, Governor James Ongwae of ODM is gearing up for a battle for his reelection against Wiper’s Lumumba Nyaberi posing a political puzzle for Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Raila.
In Mombasa, ODM deputy party chief Hassan Joho is starting to sweat as Wiper secretary general Hassan Omar is challenging his re election.
In Narok, Nasa wishes to unseat the incumbent governor from the Jubilee Party, Samuel ole Tunai, but the entrance of ODM’s Tiampati ole Musuni into the race, alongside Patrick Ole Ntutu of Chama Cha Mashinani, means the opposition will be split once again.
The infighting and interference of ODM in Narok led one of its strongest supporters and campaigners Francis Ole Nkoitoi to officially quit ODM for Jubilee.
In Raila’s own backyard of Bondo, he has created grave consternation from local elders by his bulldozing “six-piece voting” demand, and as a result was booed by irate residents when he tried to campaign for Siaya Governor Cornel Rasanga.
This dictatorial farce has been replicated across Kenya.
Raila’s plan it seems is to use Nasa as a tool at the national level while not giving one inch or helping any other opposition party at the regional level. He wants to have his proverbial cake, and to eat it.
In fact, even at the national level, ODM have shunted everyone else aside. Last week, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has said ODM will take charge of NASA campaigns, and threatened his constituents by telling them to forget about development if they elect MPs from parties other than ODM.
Raila and ODM have ripped the heart and soul out of Nasa and its expressions of unity for the greater good of Kenya. What was once seen by many Kenyans as a great white political hope for Kenya, as evidenced by the alliance’s shirts, is now seen as an orange nightmare.
The Nasa mirage is fading by the day and many more Kenyans are waking up to the fact that it was been swallowed whole by ODM.
Nasa has become ODM, and ODM remains Raila’sexclusive enclave, all the other Nasa principals and parties have become mere background noise.