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I’m no coward, Kalonzo hits back at Nasa coalition critics

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka yesterday said that he was not a coward for skipping last Tuesday’s “swearing-in” of Nasa leader Raila Odinga.

He insisted that he was ready for the “oath” as the people’s deputy president after Mr Raila Odinga who swore as the people’s president.

The no-show by him, and co-principals Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetang’ula, he said, was a strategy that had been planned earlier.

“I am not a coward. We do not want to give empty dates, and then we do not swear in. The commitment is there, and how I wish I could do it even now,” Mr Musyoka told journalists at the Wiper party headquarters in Lavington, Nairobi.

“Not swearing-in for me was our own strategy. Now, we are handling this matter as the summit, the principals. Things have moved, and we need to strategise.”

Messrs Musyoka, Mudavadi and Wetang’ula have been under attack from within the coalition, and from other critics, for skipping the Uhuru Park event that Nasa had beamed as “the biggest event the people have organised for themselves.”

But, in the end, it was only Mr Odinga who took the oath alone. Even after Mr Musyoka had said that the no-show was a strategy, some Nasa members still remained unconvinced.

On Tuesday, he added another twist to the story: Fear of arrest of Mr Odinga and the principals.

This, he said, while it looked impossible, they still prepared for it, anyway.

“We knew Raila was going to take an oath alone. We also knew they cannot arrest Raila. But we had planned that if they arrested Mr Odinga, we could deal with that situation, but not all of us behind bars,” Mr Musyoka argued.

Mr Musyoka said that given the accusations and counter-accusations in the coalition, Nasa will on Friday meet all its elected leaders to iron out issues post the Raila Odinga “oath”.

“Our opponents are not within Nasa. We are, more than ever before, committed to the unity of Nasa,” he said.

The former Vice-President reiterated his call for dialogue, but warned that the window for such talks was fast closing.

“I have washed my hands on the dialogue. I warned that if you start these talks after the swearing-in, it will be a conflict situation. But it must happen, eventually. We will have dialogue anyway. And if we do not talk about the 2017 elections, then there is no point to have 2022 elections,” he said.

Wiper chairman Kivutha Kibwana insisted that the party was in Nasa to stay.

“We are in Nasa to stay, and anything else to the contrary is fiction. We will meet, and we will iron out these small things that have come out in the open in moments of anger,” said Prof Kibwana, who is also the Makueni Governor.

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