Every man for himself as G7 unity bid fades

Written By Michael Maunda on Monday, September 3, 2012 | 9:54 AM

Unmanageable political egos and pressure from ethnic supporters have combined to kill plans for a pre-election pact within the G7 Alliance.

Supporters of the group’s two main pillars, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta of TNA and Eldoret North MP William Ruto of URP, are now saying that it’s everyone for himself.

Their initial plan to counter Prime Minister Raila Odinga by forging a united front ahead of the General Election set for March 4, next year, appears to be disintegrating.

Only Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka still appears keen on pushing for a pre-election deal. The Wiper Democratic Party flag bearer is warning his colleagues that a post-election alliance could be too late.

His idea is shared by Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi, who is not in the G7, but is also on the anti-Raila platform.

The United Democratic Front aspirant is urging his colleagues to unite and secure victory in the first round rather than seek to come together in a run-off. He sees himself as the best-placed to win in the first round, but so do all the others.

Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa, who is the leader of New Ford Kenya, has been at pains to deny the widely help perception that he is positioning himself to be Mr Kenyatta’s running mate. 

Under the Political Parties Act, parties must submit copies of agreements and memoranda for political alliances to the registrar of political parties three months before the date of the elections.
Agriculture assistant minister Kareke Mbiuki and The National Alliance (TNA) chairman, Mr Johnson Sakaja, told the Nation their party was keen to win the elections on its own and only negotiate alliances after the first round.

Mr Mbiuki, a close ally of Mr Kenyatta, argued that TNA was not interested in opportunistic boardroom negotiations based on unmeasured political strengths.

“We in TNA have decided that negotiations should be based on tangible political value and not out of boardroom assumptions.

"We realised that the G7 Alliance wasn’t a serious political animal. It was merely a gimmick and a public relations strategy of some sort. In fact it is dead,” declared Mr Mbiuki.

Mr Sakaja said the Kenyatta party was determined to win the elections without relying on alliances, adding that the party would consider joint ventures later.

“We want to run as TNA at the first round. If we see we can be stronger through an alliance then we can do that in the second round.” Mr Ruto declined to comment on why the G7 Alliance is falling apart.

But his close ally in the United Republican Party, Belgut MP Charles Keter, said Mr Ruto was investing his energy in building his own party, describing the G7 Alliance as an amorphous outfit whose creation was based only on friendship.

“We have moved forward and we are discouraging any talks based on individuals. If we have to talk then we can only do so through party structures,” Mr Keter said.

He also denied that Mr Ruto and Mr Musyoka were headed for a pre-election deal. “We can only negotiate after seeing what each of us is bringing to the table,” said Mr Keter.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, who were previously unsure of their candidatures due to the International Criminal Court indictments, appeared to withdraw from the G7 after The Hague court set their cases for hearing after the elections.

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