The war of words pitting the once inseparable Nasa principals escalated recently as the prominent leaders jostle for political clout ahead of 2022 General Election in which many of them aspire to the presidential seat.
The dirty mudslinging was sparked by the ambitious Amani National Congress leader, Musalia Mudavadi, when he demanded that his erstwhile friend, now opposition chief Raila Odinga, shelves his presidential hopes by backing another candidate in the next election.
His innocent demand received an angry reaction from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila who categorically made it clear that he would not endorse for President any of his former National Super Alliance co-principals.
Raila accused the trio, who include Wiper Democratic Movement’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula, of abandoning him at the very moment he needed them the most at the mock swearing-in ceremony in Uhuru Park, Nairobi.
The ODM leader said the three co-principals betrayed him when they failed to appear with him at the Uhuru Park rally where he was sworn-in as ‘the People’s President’, escalating post-election tensions.
To prove his claims, Raila on Monday, February 22, shared an edited video clip of his former political allies Musalia and Kalonzo explaining to the public how they abandoned him at the eleventh hour. The video, also published on Raila’s Twitter handle, has drawn nearly 150,000 views since it was posted over 10 hours ago.
In the video, Mudavadi tells the public that he had been trying to dissuade Raila from the mock swearing-in while Kalonzo cited state intimidation and withdrawal and change of his security team as the reason for missing the Uhuru Park mock swearing-in.
Raila’s video has since garnered 849 shares and nearly 7,000 comments just days after Mudavadi struck up a new-found alliance with Kalonzo, Wetangula and Kanu chairman Gideon Moi.
But it was not unexpected for any of Nasa’s co-principal to demand or feel a sense of entitlement for an endorsement from Raila, having stood with him in several presidential elections.
Kalonzo has stood with Raila, not once but twice, in presidential elections in which they lost to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto in 2013 and 2017 elections.
In his defense for abandoning Raila before the Uhuru Park affair, Kalonzo recently stated that he wasn’t going to allow himself to be part of an illegal exercise.
“I am a Senior Counsel. How would I have participated in a mock, illegal and unconstitutional oath? I want to respond to Raila Odinga. I do not need anybody’s endorsement. I only seek the endorsement of our Heavenly Father,” said Kalonzo.
Mudavadi, on the other hand, accused the ODM leader of being deceitful claiming that Raila’s goal all along was to force a ‘Handshake’ with the President.
On Sunday, Mudavadi said that Raila refused to participate in the repeat presidential election ordered by the Supreme Court because he had already negotiated the ‘handshake’ with Uhuru.
“But there is more cowardice to pull out of a repeat election, disguised as a protest of the pre-rigged outcome when in actual fact it is only because the act is part of a pre-arranged settlement for yourself,” Mudavadi said.