BY GODFREY WAMALWA
The National Supper Alliance is being touted as the game changer in Kenyan politics with pundits contending that it can dislodge Jubilee from power. This is however predicated on the assumption that it can work.
For it to work however, the NASA strategy is dependent on three key assumptions as follows;
First, is that its key proponents must agree on a total unity pact by four of them completely departing and sacrificing their ambitions and being magnanimous enough to back the most suited amongst them. The choice of candidate for flag bearer and unity behind him shall be very critical.
Secondly, they must craft and agree on an accommodative winning structure that will ensure each of them proximity to the high table when the business of eating the national cake commences.
Third and very fundamentally, each member in that structure must bring with him a significant ethnic vote basket that shall be heavy enough to tilt the scale in their favour and overturn the tyranny of numbers which is the bulwark of the current regime.
Now lets interrogate the probability of this NASA strategy actually working and delivering the presidency. Reality check 101.
First, for total unity to be achieved, sacrifices must be made and total compromises must be made. However the magnanimity of making these sacrifices in our politics has proven rare if non existent in Kenya.
The most complicating factor is the convergence of the ambitions of the top opposition leaders. 2017 is a twilight year for most of them and having invested their energies in successive elections and losing out all these times, they individually feel that 2017 presents their best and final chance. The first fundamental test for NASA shall therefore attaining this unity without any of them feeling aggrieved and bolting out eventually.
On the second challenge of crafting an accommodative structure, this is a promissory note because most of the positions like Prime Minister are not contemplated in our constitution and so it requires blind trust that a post election settlement shall be actualized which is very rare and has not happened before.
Equally, even if there is honor in this alliance, the process of actualizing this structure is complex, long and is not entirely in the hands of its key proponents because it may require a referendum that can be frustrated and defeated especially by an antagonized rival keen to settle scores.
On the third factor of the need for a coalition that brings in numbers enough to defeat the current Jubilee hegemony, the assumption is that new entrants into the alliance shall bring enough Presidential votes enough to the table.
In order to look at this, we must refer to the previous elections where Jubilee garnered 6.2 M votes, CORD 5.3 M and ANC under Musalia garnered 400K with the rest performing dismally and insignificantly.
NASA as currently envisioned shall then mean that we add Musalia’s votes to CORDs basket and this makes it 5.7M with GM of KANU having been part of ANC.
Now look at Jubilee and add Karuas and Peter Kenneth’s votes and they cross to 6.3 Million. Also consider that Jubilee strongholds have posted very good results in new voter registration and so as things stand, the tyranny of numbers still remains intact.
Now this puts to focus one man who shall make or break NASA, that man is none other than Senator Gideon Moi. If he sticks to NASA and manages to take with him at least half of the Kalenjin vote which is over 1Million votes, then he may be the NASA saviour.
But this shall be no mean feat, currently as things stand, the grip on the votes in the Rift where GM is expected to deliver to NASA is in the Jubilee basket and Senator Moi through his reliable proxies has variously indicated that his anti Ruto rebellion notwithstanding, when it comes to the Presidential vote, he supports President Kenyatta,
But now, consider the age old Moi and Kenyatta dynasties relationships and the fact that Moi the elder has a soft spot for President Uhuru plus the fact that Senator Moi has never defied his father.
Also, does Gideon have the guts to defy conventional wisdom by antagonizing the Central Kenya vote by short circuiting Uhuru Kenyatta’s second term knowing that he shall need them in the future unless his ambitions end with 2017?
Having interrogated these factors, may I submit that if NASA is to work, then it shall all boil down to these three factors and importantly, if Senator Gideon Moi decides to break all rules and rebels against the system that he has been beholden to,
If he boldly crafts his own path successfully, then he shall be the new Kingmaker in town of or even probably, the Prince who reigned as king if the other leaders see in him a worthy flag bearer.
However, it is highly improbable that all these pieces of the puzzle shall fit in together and if one fails, then NASA shall remain a utopian idea that can only hypothetically defeat Jubilee but in reality, is only a paper tiger that has neither the roar nor tigrity to cause a scare.