The planned withdrawal of the member parties of the National Super Alliance (NASA) from the coalition in order to ratify another agreement within the framework of the One Kenya Alliance (OKA) has put at least 10 members of parliament in the parliamentary leadership and in powerful committees at risk.
Wiper, Amani National Congress and Ford-Kenya have announced their intention to withdraw from the Raila Odinga-led National Super Alliance, which will announce its death when the three pack up and leave to join OKA.
Kanu Independence Party will also have to divorce the Jubilee Coalition to join OKA, and its lawmakers, who hold various house posts, are likely to lose them.
Wiper, led by Kalonzo Musyoka, will likely be the biggest victim should it withdraw from NASA to join OKA.
Jobs at risk
Senate Minority Leader Mutula Kilonzo Jr., National Assembly Deputy Minority Leader Robert Mbui, and Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Deputy Chair Jesicah Mbalu are among the leaders whose jobs are at risk should their party turn their nasa- Ratify exit.
Vice-chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Enoch Wambua, and his road and transport counterpart, Sylvia Kasanga, would also suffer a similar fate.
Eseli Simiyu (Ford Kenya) and the Commissioner of the Parliamentary Services Commission (PSC) George Khaniri (ANC), the deputy minority whip of the National Assembly, are also faced with ax when their parties leave NASA.
On Sunday, a senior ODM official told the nation that if they followed through on threats to leave the coalition, their NASA partners must prepare to give up their positions.
“Nasa as a minority coalition in parliament is entitled to these minority seats, but should it be dissolved due to the withdrawal of the three parties – Wiper, ANC and Ford Kenya – the ODM, as the largest opposition party, will have no reason to take these seats,” said the Official seeking anonymity so as not to jeopardize ongoing talks between the ODM and the parties over a financial dispute.
In Kanu, Senate majority leader Samuel Poghisio, his party leader Gideon Moi and chairman of the delegated legislation committee of the National Assembly, William Kamket, will lose if they leave the anniversary coalition.
Mr. Moi chairs the Senate Information, Communications and Technology Committee, but his party has announced that it has no plans yet to withdraw from its coalition with Jubilee.
The Baringo Senator is also said to be a key ally of President Uhuru Kenyatta, the leader of the Jubilee Coalition, as well as Mr Odinga, so his withdrawal from the coalition may not be tenable.
“At the moment we are all planning for 2022 and shouldn’t think otherwise. In addition, our contract with Jubilee runs until 2022 and we can only reach another agreement if it becomes necessary,” said Kanu General Secretary Nick Salat, adding that the party is not ready to end their relationship with the government.
But an exit from NASA seems possible for Wiper. Vice Chairs Mutula Kilonzo Jr. and Victor Swanya said their party would obey their organs’ resolutions, regardless of the ramifications.
“The position I hold is a coalition position. If the coalition is dissolved, the positions will be reorganized according to parliamentary strength,” Kilonzo Jr. told the nation on Sunday.
He pointed out, however, that the spokesman may have to decide on this matter, but the ODM is not entitled to take up its positions, since without the coalition “positions are distributed across the board depending on party strengths”.
Mr Swanya told the nation that should Wiper’s National Executive Committee (NEC) approve its exit from NASA today (Monday), they will be willing to surrender any position the party has courtesy of the coalition occupies.
“We have a meeting of the NEC tomorrow (Monday) and a meeting of the PG (Parliamentary Group) on Tuesday (tomorrow) and as a party we have taken the costs into account and are ready to give up these positions with only one year left before the elections “said Swanya.
He said: “All good things have their price. We believe in the One Kenya Alliance and will do everything we can to join it. Our ODM brothers can only join us if Raila Odinga supports one of the main leaders of this new alliance.”
Ms. Mbalu also said she was ready to take the bullet if Wiper withdraws from the NASA coalition.
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“I am ready to lose this position should Wiper decide to leave NASA,” said the East MP from Kibwezi.
For Ford Kenya and Mr Wetang’ula, who himself was a victim of ODM control of NASA numbers when he lost his minority seat in the Senate, NASA’s death is a foregone conclusion.
“What remains of NASA is accountability issues and the explanation of where to bury it. What remains are accountability issues. ODM has a moral and legal duty to give us our share of the funds it receives. We did our calculations and we sent Raila how much ODM owed our parties, “said Mr Wetang’ula in Bungoma yesterday.
Despite being a member of Ford Kenya, Dr. Simiyu is likely to survive if leadership positions are reorganized as he is allied with a faction in the party allied with Mr Odinga, whose ODM party controls the minority wing of the two Houses.
Mr. Khaniri is also said to be preferred by Mr. Odinga’s camp and could survive the onslaught if his party leaves Nasa, as is Mr. Kilonzo Jnr.
Additional coverage from Brian Ojamaa