ANC SHOULDN’T JOIN CORD, JUBILEE
While Cord is suffering from inertia in picking its 2017 candidate, Jubilee has to deal with overcrowding within its ranks, more like an overloaded bus with no more space to fit in
Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi is the politician of the moment: He is in great demand.
Lately, there have been overtures to have him join either Cord or the Jubilee Party. If Mudavadi joins Cord, he will probably link up with what is now being referred as the National Super Alliance (NASA) — an amalgamation of opposition parties who want to capture power in 2017.
However, my take is that Mudavadi should reject the Cord and Jubilee overtures and, instead, chart his own political course.
There are many problems in both Jubilee and Cord. The opposition coalition is currently in a stalemate over who its presidential flagbearer will be. The newly launched Jubilee Party, on the other hand, has a headache about how to fill its leadership positions.
Despite insistence by the Cord co-principals that the coalition is intact, the cracks from within are evident. The delay in naming their presidential candidate, less than a year to the 2017 election, only serves the suspicion that the coalition is in crisis.
Like any other democracy, Kenyans are eager to know who the opposition presidential candidate will be in good time for them to assess and interrogate him. To their disappointment, Cord is yet, or unable, to do this.
While the opposition is suffering from inertia in picking its 2017 candidate, Jubilee has to deal with overcrowding within its ranks, more like an overloaded bus with no more space to fit in. The merger of parties in September evidently threatens its unity.
But, luckily for Jubilee, the worry is not about the presidential flagbearer. That is sorted out all the way to 2022 and beyond.
What should worry Jubilee, however, is how to handle the imminent fallout during nominations. This is the malady that has afflicted ODM over the years.
So if Mudavadi will join Cord or the Jubilee Party, he must be ready to face these challenges. It will either be a hit or a miss.
The ANC leader must also be very wary about Kenyan politicians dishonouring power-sharing agreements.
This happened to him prior to the 2013 general election when, then as the UDF presidential candidate, he was lured into signing a pre-election MoU with a faction of the Jubilee Alliance.
In that deal, he was to be the presidential candidate. That agreement was not only blatantly violated but also saw him rebuked and denied the opportunity in a very hostile manner that bordered on infamy.
This also happened after the 2002 the general election, when President Mwai Kibaki rejected a 50-50 power sharing pre-election agreement with Raila Oginga upon assuming the presidency. In Kibaki’s wisdom, there was no need to share power.
Like his precedessor, President Daniel Moi, Kibaki opted for the continuation of an imperial presidency which Kenyans had rejected in that very election.
As things stand, Mudavadi’s ANC appears to be the emerging third force. But the party needs to be nurtured and strengthened.
This should be done outside any affiliation to either Cord or Jubilee. The ANC should, instead, take advantage of the fallout in the two leading political outfits. This is expected to happen as the party nominations near.
If Kenyan parties could be characterised in terms of their ideology, I would consider Cord as leftist, Jubilee rightist, and ANC left-of-centre. This is why the ANC should be on its own and find partners with similar political beliefs.
It obviously needs partners to get stronger and become more competitive.
However, that partnership should not be premised on Cord and Jubilee. Mudavadi should consider marrying his party with other emerging parties such as Kadu-Asili from the Coast and Chama Cha Mashinani from the Rift Valley. It should be a fresh start; a new beginning.