By Eric Ng’eno
What’s happening across the road? How many campaigns does NASA constitute? Are they coordinated, unidirectional, efficient efforts? I rather think not.
Consider this, You Honour,
Raila Odinga is campaigning for himself and ODM candidates throughout the country. Kalonzo Musyoka is Odinga’s running mate but campaigns exclusively for WIPER candidates. Musalia Mudavadi*is*Odinga’s chief campaigner but will this week commence rooting exclusively for ANC candidates. Moses Wetang’ula is the Ford-Kenya leader and a NASA principal but might lose his Senate seat to the Bungoma ODM candidate. Isaac Ruto( CCM, NASA principal) has told Bomet they don’t have to think about Raila if that’s preventing them from ‘seeing’ him.
Buoyed by opinion polls, gubernatorial candidates from NASA affiliates have ganged up against ODM’s Joho.
Boni Khalwale ( ANC, Kakamega)just called Wycliffe Oparanya ( ODM, Kakamega)a Jubilee mole. Eish. I can’t.
Higher up, Odinga has accused Mudavadi of masterminding the Goldenberg and cemetery scandals. On his part, Musyoka has highlighted his relative cleanliness by reminding Kenyans of Odinga’s responsibility for Triton, Maize and Kazi kwa Vijana scandals. Musyoka has also disowned arch-cartelist Jimi Wanjigi.
The chemistry at the top is toxic.
The campaign is riven by vicious internecine battle and wanton political fratricide.
Clever folk talk about ‘strategic fit’ whereby merging units generate tonnes of awesome through complementarities and spillovers from their various strengths so that the merger/coalition becomes more than just the sum of its parts. Not so NASA. NASA was formed on the shared delusion that each principal could somehow prevail on the rest to give up presidential candidature. This would be accomplished through leverage ( experience, freshness, safe pair of hands, Mr. Clean, versus unelectability, baggage, age, etc). NASA HAWA! sums up the plan quite nicely:get everyone in the room and exert your will. Anyone defecting would face the fate of Judas. None of the others had a back-up plan when Odinga told them to suck a lemon. Musalia isn’t a presidential candidate: he’s Odinga’s highly dispensable sidekick fighting for his life in Western. So NASA became mtego wa panya: waliomo na wasiokuwemo. Mudavadi’s plan worked perfectly. Except for the little matter of the bit where he was supposed to be the flagbearer. Yawa!
Wetang’ula is coming to terms with the possibility of unplanned retirement. Musyoka is tired, frustrated and resentful, and it shows. Isaac is mid-air in free-fall and his parachute isn’t budging.
Advisors, consultants,strategists and busybodies are not gelling. Each had Napoleonic territorial ambitions. Many are strange bedfellows. David Ndii (I desperately hope he’s consulting pro bono) is probably sending his invoices to Kwacha Group. Jimi Wanjigi who threatened John Githongo so bad he did a totally paranoid Assange from an Oxford dorm now has to advise Odinga and NASA together. I believe a hologram beamed from Mt. Fuji attends meetings on Githongo’s behalf, and that Jimi has thrown a stapler at it at least once, with surprising results.
Salim Lone jetted in and took over communications, strategy and most of all, the premier perk of being Odinga’s right-hand-man at the expense of a large constituency of wannabes, hustlers, sufferers, diehards and opportunists. Everyone is scrambling to sabotage and dislodge Lone and survive. It can be hard for a party with countless secretariats, HQs, manifestos, principals, factions and whatnot.
The long and short of this is that NASA is not a government in waiting. Not by a long shot. NASA is a continuously imploding, poorly-laid plan. NASA is a disaster waiting to happen.