- Coalition to meet to agree on new dates for forum that would be acceptable to all stakeholders, says Musalia Mudavadi.
- Officially, top Nasa leaders cited the involvement of the coalition’s women MPs in the just ended Kenya Women Parliamentary Association in Naivasha as the reason for the postponement of the retreat
- Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi said the Opposition coalition would meet to agree on new dates acceptable to all the stakeholders.
The National Super Alliance (Nasa) called off a retreat planned for this weekend to give room for negotiations aimed at bringing Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu’s Narc party on board, Nation has learnt.
The postponement of the retreat, which was tentatively scheduled for Maanzoni resort in Machakos County, was at the request of Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka who is keen to have Ms Ngilu fully participate in Nasa activities.
Specifically, Mr Musyoka requested fellow Nasa principals Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula to give him time to consult and secure Ms Ngilu’s consent to have Narc members incorporated in the People’s Assemblies, the Opposition coalition’s new vehicle for initiating political change in the country.
“The retreat was called off on Kalonzo’s request, a very sincere one for that matter, so that he could consult and seek Ngilu’s consent to have members of her Narc party participate in the People’s Assemblies,” said a member of the Nasa team charged with rolling out the assemblies countrywide.
“Kalonzo is keen to consolidate the entire Ukambani behind Nasa and the People’s Assemblies and it was only proper that Ngilu and her party are fully involved in our activities,” he went on.
Officially, top Nasa leaders cited the involvement of the coalition’s women MPs in the just ended Kenya Women Parliamentary Association (Kewopa) in Naivasha as the reason for the postponement of the retreat.
Minority whip in the National Assembly Junet Mohamed told the Nation that besides the Kewopa retreat, the planned induction retreats for parliamentary committees scheduled for next week had also contributed to the retreat’s postponement.
“The retreat has been postponed, we have a message notifying us (MPs) of the same. The reason why it was postponed is because this week, there is the women parliamentary association, Kewopa, retreat in Naivasha and next week, all the parliamentary committees will be attending induction courses on the management of committees at various places. The courses will start on January 20th or thereabouts and take a whole week,” said the Suna East MP.
Nasa co-principal Musalia Mudavadi said the Opposition coalition would meet to agree on new dates acceptable to all the stakeholders.
“We postponed the retreat. We will meet and reschedule it to a date when everybody is comfortable. The agenda is very broad so we will have to agree on the specific agenda,” he said.
According to Kitui Senator Enock Wambua, the new dates for the retreat were yet to be confirmed.
“I know there are plans for a Nasa retreat although the dates have not been confirmed yet,” he stated.
There had been speculation that the retreat had been called off following grumbling by Mr Musyoka’s Wiper party over the distribution of the leadership of various parliamentary committees.
On Wednesday, the party re-ignited the Nasa disagreements over leadership positions in parliamentary committees after it demanded a reversal to what it said was the originally agreed on line-up.
In a meeting chaired by Mr Musyoka at the party headquarters in Nairobi, Wiper said it was dissatisfied with how it was treated in the sharing of the slots.
“It is not a light matter. Our members have expressed strong sentiments that when Kalonzo was away, the committee positions were not shared as agreed,” Wiper party chairman, Prof Kivutha Kibwana, told journalists: “We will be looking for a reversal to the original agreements.”