BY FRED MAKANA
Azimio La Umoja presidential hopeful Raila Odinga is assembling a political arsenal that is set to win him votes across the country going by a series of political events that have unfolded for the past one week.
President Uhuru Kenyatta- led Jubilee party on Friday signed a cooperation agreement with several fringe parties ahead of its February 26 National Delegates Conference in which the party will widen its scope in coalition making.
The ruling party signed coalition agreements with six parties among them the Party of National Unity, Pamoja African Alliance Party of Kenya, United Progressive Alliance (UPA) party, UPYA party and the Kenya Union Party.
The party leaders of the seven parties signed respective pre-election agreements with Jubilee during a party meeting that was held in KICC in readiness for their National Delegates Conference on Saturday.
The agenda of the KICC meeting included a review of the Party’s policies as well as an amendment and/or ratifying proposed changes to the Jubilee Party constitution to comply with current electoral laws.
The delegates also approved the party’s new seal, symbol, and flag.
“The objective of the cooperation agreement that PAA has signed today is to pave way for a structured dialogue process leading to the signing of a pre-election agreement. The cooperation agreement has therefore granted PAA an opportunity to take to the national negotiating table the three main issues that PAA advocates” said PAA in a statement.
According to Jubilee secretary general Raphael Tuju the signing of the agreements affirmed Jubilee Party’s commitment to be part of the process of building a strong coalition of the willing which among other objectives continue with the spirit of the handshake.
“We as a party are committed to bring about a sustainable resolution to issues like equitable resource allocation and representation going as close as possible to the principle of one-man/woman-one-vote,” Tuju said.
The recently approved Political Parties Act provides for the establishment of a coalition political party where individual parties join as corporate entities without losing their identities.
Later in the day, One Kenya Alliance coalition principals announced on the same day that they have agreed to work with the Jubilee party and Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement party ahead of the August 9 election.
In a joint statement read by Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, the OKA principals said they had also settled on a decision to forge a grand coalition, dubbed Azimio – One Kenya Alliance.
“ As the One Kenya Alliance we wish to inform Kenyans that we have officially initiated open and structured dialogue with like-minded political formations,” Kalonzo said.
Kalonzo, who was flanked by Cyrus Jirongo and Baringo Senator Gideon Moi, underscored that their coalition believes in an open, honest and structured dialogue whose basis is the promotion of national unity, ending the culture of corruption and impunity, and restoring the decency of living within the country’s borders.
Kalonzo at the same time acknowledged that in her absence, Martha Karua was also in agreement with the move as the talks were consultative.
To further demonstrate their commitment in the Azimio-OKA coalition the agreement is set to be deposited with the Registrar of Political Parties after they have signed it on Monday, February 28, 2022.
Kalonzo said despite entering into talks with Jubilee and ODM, they will still unveil their presidential flag bearer.
The OKA announcement comes a day after ODM nominated Raila Odinga as their preferred presidential flagbearer.
Raila will vie on an Azimio la Umoja coalition ticket. The Azimio la Umoja coalition is set to be officially launched on Saturday at Kasarani stadium.
Friday’s signing of the cooperation agreement brings to seven the parties with formal working terms with Jubilee, making the ruling party the single largest member of Azimio.
The move would hand Uhuru, the leader of Jubilee, immense influence to control and manage the Azimio coalition once it is formally unveiled on Saturday.
The party already has a cooperation agreement with Wiper and Kanu.