Jubilee Party Secretary General Raphael Tuju has confirmed that the Jubilee and ODM parties have begun talks aimed at forming a coalition ahead of 2022 elections.
Coming just days after President Uhuru declared he would support a successor among his 2017 opponents, Tuju now says that two parties had been cooperating in and out of the August House and were looking for ways to formalize their alliance.
Tuju announced on Friday that a committee has been constituted and is tasked with developing the framework upon which the coalition will be built.
Jubilee and ODM have been working together since March 9, 2018 when the President and Mr Odinga struck a deal to resolve the political crisis following the disputed 2017 vote.
Jubilee and ODM officials have been holding meetings to seal a pre-election agreement, which among others details the picking of the presidential flag bearer and the sharing out of government positions.
Jubilee Secretary General Raphael Tuju, Vice-Chairman David Murathe, ODM Elections and Campaigns Director Junet Mohammed, National Assembly Deputy Majority Chief Whip Maoka Maore and ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna were holed up at a hotel in Kiambu for the talks Thursday.
“We (Jubilee) want to have active engagement with ODM as we head towards 2022 elections in terms of coming up with an alliance which is in the cards,” Tuju said
Tuju stated that the committee will submit its conclusions in 14 days, and that the political outfit is also open to negotiations with other parties interested in joining them.
“This is just one of the many meetings we have had and are working on ways of formalising the handshake into a broad-based coalition for the sake of 2022,” said Mr Tuju adding that “the President and Mr Odinga have been clear and focused on what is for the best for this country. That is why they have not been talking of 2022 even as they discuss the Building Bridges Initiative.”
The Suna East MP added that the Jubilee-ODM marriage has reached the point of “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part”.
Mr Murathe said Mr Kenyatta and Mr Odinga have agreed “to take the handshake to the next level in terms of engagement”.
President Kenyatta is said to have asked Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, his National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters, and other political leaders to join at a meeting with Ukambani leaders at State House earlier this week, implying that he could endorse them in 2022.
The story has sparked a political firestorm, with Deputy President William Ruto firing two Twitter salvos at President Kenyatta on Tuesday over his preferred presidential line-up for next year’s election
While Ruto did not mention Kenyatta by name, the DP questioned Kenyatta’s decision to purportedly support a successor who was not a member of the Jubilee Party.
Kalonzo and Raila traded barbs elsewhere, as though jockeying for President Kenyatta’s support.
Without mincing his words, Kalonzo in an interview with NTV said he would be “the most stupid person on earth” to endorse Mr. Odinga, who was his co-principal in the National Super Alliance (NASA), for the third consecutive time.
“For me, as of now, it is unthinkable that I, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, would support Raila Odinga for the third time…. I would be the most stupid fellow on earth to go and support — for the third time — a presidential candidate without a measure of reciprocity,” said Kalonzo.
The Wiper Party leader accused the Odinga-led ODM Party of betrayal and causing the fallout in the NASA coalition which brought together Mr. Odinga of ODM, Kalonzo (Wiper), Musalia Mudavadi (ANC) and Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya).
A day later, Raila hit back at his former running mate, saying he has not even declared any intention of seeking the country’s top seat in next year’s polls yet hence such declarations are null and void.
The former Prime Minister further told Kalonzo that, in any case, he has not sought his support as far as the 2022 election is concerned, adding that he (Kalonzo) should relax and wait for the right time as that is still not a priority for him at the moment.
“Sijatangaza mimi nataka kusimama urais, lakini wengine wanasema eti hawawezi kuniunga mkono, nimeuliza wewe uniunge mkono? Mimi sijatangaza, sasa wewe unaanza kutetemeka, unaanza kubwekabweka, subiri bwana mambo bado,” said Raila.
According to the ODM chief, his focus is still on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) which was stopped by the High Court that declared it unconstitutional prompting him to appeal the ruling.
“Sisi tunaangalia kwanza mambo ya BBI, mahakama ilipeleka BBI kwa half-time…reggae haijasimama, reggae imeenda kwa half-time,” he stated.