A section of Busia MCAs who visited DP William Ruto in Nairobi on July 31, 2016. /JANE CHEROTICH.
A section of Busia MCAs have defended their trip to DP William Ruto’s residence in Nairobi amid outrage by voters in their constituencies.
The MCAs who spoke on condition of anonymity said their meeting with Ruto on July 31 was purely to cultivate close working relations.
“We agreed to put political differences aside for the sake of development. The issue of party politics or inducement to defect did not emerge,” one source said.
“Many people are imagining we are about to defect to the yet-to-be formed Jubilee Party. That is a pipe dream which will not bear fruit,” another said.
The sources said Ruto urged MCAs who may not wish to defect to JP to form a strong party that is not tribal to challenge the ruling coalition in 2017.
The trip, according to the sources, was organised by Teso North MP Arthur Odera, who won the seat on a URP ticket.
The sources claimed Teso South MP Mary Emase caused a stir when she arrived fuming at not being informed or involved in the trip.
It forced the intervention of Ruto to cool the tempers of the MP who appeared infuriated by her non involvement.
The MCAs who made the trip include George Busera (Busibwabo Ward), Margaret Chale (Nominated), Dick Omukaga (Amukura East), Moses Ote (Angurai South) Stephen Ekapolon (Chakol North), Maurice Chetambe (Angurai North), Charles Wakhungu ( Bukhayo East), Vincent Obisa (Namboto Nambuku), Fred Musirimba (Bunyala North).
Others are Godfrey Odongo (Nambale), Levis Majale (Ageng’a Nanguba), Vincent Mwolo (Bunyala central), Joseph Oyula (Bukhayo Central), Gabriel Okelo (Marachi North), Gordy Mareba (Marachi Central), Rosemary Oduor (Nominated), Ernest Obola (Mayenje) and Garddy Jakaa (Bukhayo North./Walatsi).
Political tension started rising in the region after Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba and his Funyula counterpart Paul Otuoma resigned as ODM secretary general and vice chairman respectively.
The two cited betrayal and frustration by top party leaders . The resignations came as a blow to party leader Raila Odinga who is still fighting hard to sustain support in Western.
Busia county has in the past been considered a sure vote bloc for party under the opposition’s Cord coalition.
Raila led a five-day series of campaigns in the region during which he met ODM grassroots leaders in the three counties.
An Ipsos survey found that the rebellion that has marred Cord will not a significant negative impact on the polls set for August.