By Martin Mutua
Memories of the secret Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) President Kibaki signed with seven senior politicians in October 2002, but ignored once in State House, is casting a long shadow over present-day alliance building.
It is the biggest headache for politicians as they try and forge agreements on pre-election partnerships to determine who gets what should they win the elections.
It is the story of three different MoUs that President Kibaki and top politicians signed that if it were implemented, would have redefined Kenya’s politics and probably even have had impact on the face of Kenya’s leadership as it is today.
According the three MoUs signed by the leaders at various stages, one stands out for its stipulation on which side would have gone with which posts, and the fact that it was so secret that most of those who knew it were its six signatories.
There were two sides to the deal. On the one hand was President Kibaki’s National Alliance of Kenya that included Kijana Wamalwa, Mrs Charity Ngilu and Mr Kipruto Kirwa.
On the other hand was Kenya’s current Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Liberal Democratic Party that included today’s Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, Prof George Saitoti and former Vice President Moody Awori.
If implemented, according to the secret deal alluded to by Kalonzo during Saitoti’s burial, via the revelation that he was to be the first Deputy Prime Minister, Wamalwa would have still been Kibaki’s Vice President as happened in 2003.
However, Ngilu who ended up as Health minister, and Kirwa, who was voted out in 2007 elections, would have been second and third DPMs on the NAK share of seats.
But as it turned out, Kibaki appointed both to Cabinet, only not to the positions they expected since he retained the VP post, but did not create the other portfolios the signatories anticipated. Ngilu got Health before switching over to Water, while Kirwa got the Agriculture ministry.
The other LDP or Rainbow Coalition members would have shared four seats with Raila slated to take over as the second Prime Minister, Kalonzo Second Vice President, Saitoti first DPM and Mr Moody Awori Senior Coordinating Minister. Though Awori was in Raila’s wing, Kibaki picked him as VP when Wamalwa died the same year.
Although the MoU was not explicit on what individuals would get, positions were allocated on party basis, and thereafter the two sides were to agree among themselves who was to get what. But after informal consultations, the agreement was reached on the names the incoming President was to work with.