In Summary
  • Other Nasa leaders pressed Mr Odinga to explain why he kept them in the dark over his meeting with the President.

  • They said they only learnt of it via the media and demanded a blow-by-blow account of what transpired at Harambee House.

  • It is understood that Mr Odinga also apologised to his colleagues over the manner in which he had handled the issue.

Opposition leader Raila Odinga was Monday pressed to explain his dalliance with President Uhuru Kenyatta during a tense meeting with leaders of the National Super Alliance coalition on the outskirts of Nairobi.

Even though details of the meeting remained scanty, sources privy to the discussions told the Daily Nation that Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka, Ford-Kenya’s Moses Wetang’ula, and Amani National Congress’ Musalia Mudavadi pressed Mr Odinga, who is also leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, to explain why he kept them in the dark over his meeting with the President.

DEMAND EXPLANATION

They said they only learnt of it via the media and demanded a blow-by-blow account of what transpired at Harambee House on Friday last week.

But Mr Odinga defended his move, saying it was the best option given the challenges facing the Opposition in recent days.

The former Prime Minister, it is understood, also apologised to his colleagues over the manner in which he had handled the issue.

However, he expressed concern that, with diminishing chances that they could force a new round of free, fair and credible elections, joining hands with Jubilee Party was the only viable way to safeguard their political legitimacy.

ELECTORAL REFORMS

Intimating that he may not be running again for the Presidency, he said working together with President Kenyatta would give him the chance to forge electoral reforms between now and 2022, which would be to the advantage of his three colleagues who harbour State House ambitions.

“He felt that talking directly to the President was the most practical thing to do, given the circumstances,” said a source, who described the meeting as initially “tense” and devoid of the pleasantries that have characterised previous Nasa get-togethers.

The co-principals were asked to surrender their mobile phones to their aides before the meeting started, which could be a sign of the growing mistrust within the coalition since Friday’s events.

Mr Odinga assured his co-principals that President Kenyatta has demonstrated willingness to work with the Opposition and will not renege on his promise.

Working with Jubilee, he added, would in fact be beneficial to Nasa.

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