WHY NASA IS A GAME CHANGER
The Jubilee Party should anticipate and prepare for a united opposition under the National Super Alliance. And it must recall Uhuru beat Raila with less than a million votes in 2013
Ahead of the 2002 general election, there was a flurry of activity among opposition politicians as they toyed with the idea of fielding a single candidate against Kanu. In the previous two elections, President Daniel Moi was handed the presidency by a divided opposition. In that particular election, however, Moi was not running and had, instead, endorsed Uhuru Kenyatta. This resulted in a walkout from Kanu by its newest partner, the Liberal Party of Kenya, led by Raila Odinga. The late George Saitoti, the then Vice President, also left because he felt betrayed by the endorsement of Uhuru and the appointment as VP of Musalia Mudavadi.
Two months before the election, Raila pulled a card that surprised many, including some of his colleagues in the opposition, when he declared “Kibaki Tosha!”. Mwai Kibaki became the Narc presidential candidate and went on to defeat Uhuru.
Fourteen years later, we appear to be in the same position that gave birth to Narc. There has been an assumption that Uhuru stands a clear chance to be reelected, and Raila is the only viable rival.
While this appears to be the case, the Jubilee Party should anticipate and prepare for a united opposition under the proposed National Super Alliance beat Raila with less than a million votes in 2013.
What’s more, the win in 2013 was just about 80,000 votes above the 50+1 vote mark. Without these votes, we would have had a run-off, in which Raila and other candidates, including Mudavadi, would have joined forces.
The key proponent of the NASA alliance is ANC’s leader Mudavadi, who got slightly below half-a-million votes in the last general election.
If his NASA idea becomes a reality, the opposition will form a force that will easily give Uhuru and and Deputy President William Ruto a run for their money.
All indications are those in the opposition know that apart from holding state power, the Jubilee Party has endeared itself to Kenyans, especially in the rural areas, through various development projects. Therefore, the primary focus of this NASA outfit is not to win but to lose, and ensure Jubilee does not win in round one.
This alliance can achieve this objective either by going to the election as a united front or by splitting into individual parties, each of them fielding its candidates. They will, however, be united by a common purpose — to deny Jubilee victory in the first round. This is dangerous for Jubilee and Uhuru because it is a viable chance to win by forcing a runoff, and uniting in the rerun.
As I have written before, those in Jubilee seem more focused on who will compete with the Deputy President in 2022, instead of focussing on 2017.
On the other side, the opposition appears focussed and moving full steam towards the 2017 general election to deny Jubilee outright victory. In the past weeks, Jubilee and its supporters have shifted their focus to the announcement by Peter Kenneth that he will be supporting President Uhuru’s reelection instead of welcoming PK and his supporters to the Jubilee fold.
Some are preoccupied with how this will affect Ruto’s presidential bid in 2022
This preoccupation with 2022, and the assumption that Uhuru has already won the 2017 election, is what is likely to cost Jubilee.
Attention must be on ensuring all Jubilee supporters are registered as voters and that they come out to vote.
So to my fellow Jubilee members, and as I have opined here before, the 2017 election win is not in the bag yet. There is a lot that needs to be done to ensure that.
Complacency and voter apathy, coupled with a united opposition can make us lose the presidency and the majority seats in the National and County assemblies.
We need a change of tack, to restrategise, re energise our base and immediately start an effective “Get out the vote” campaign.
We cannot allow NASA to pull another Narc stunt, making Uhuru a one-term President.
THIS ALLIANCE WILL FORCE A RERUN AS A UNITED FRONT OR BY SPLITTING INTO PARTIES AND EACH OF THEM FIELDING ITS CANDIDATES. THEY WILL BE UNITED TO DENY JUBILEE VICTORY IN THE FIRST ROUND