Cord leader Raila Odinga has told governors and MPs planning to defect to Jubilee Party to do so now, saying that the coalition will not be shaken by threats. Mr Odinga said the planned defections would be inconsequential.
“We are not worried by the defections since there are many strong and credible candidates ready to contest the seats on Cord tickets and we are confident of winning,” said Mr Odinga.
He was addressing rallies at Makunga, Isiongo, Shinoi and Mukangu before heading to Navakholo constituency, where he was received by ODM supporters.
Mr Odinga was on the third day of his tour of western Kenya, which ends on Friday.
After the tour, he will travel to Mombasa for celebrations to mark 10 years since ODM was founded. It is the biggest party in the opposition coalition.
The party’s director of elections, Mr Junet Mohamed, on Wednesday said in a statement that the party would make “a ground-shaking political announcement” during the celebrations to be attended by 450 ward reps, 110 MPs, 18 senators and at least 10 governors.
The party has also invited aspirants for various seats as well as the public to the “10 at 10” celebrations. The event was organised to coincide with the launch of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s and Deputy President William Ruto’s Jubilee Party.
FLAG OFF 47 BUSES
In his statement, Mr Mohamed said there will be a series of road shows and that thousands of delegates from all over Kenya will assemble.
On Thursday, the deputy party leader, Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, is expected to flag off 47 buses branded with ODM colours. The buses will travel from Mombasa to each of the 47 counties to carry party delegates.
“Several party supporters have donated personal vehicles and will converge on Mombasa. These vehicles will be branded to comb the entire country mobilising and rallying the people around our 2017 agenda,” said Mr Mohamed.
In Kakamega, Mr Odinga said Jubilee was behind the problems facing the sugar industry. He accused the ruling coalition of protecting importers of cheap sugar.
Mr Odinga said Jubilee had made several pledges to address the sugar problems but had failed to deal fully with issue.
He denied claims by some MPs from the western region who have accused him of owing a local miller millions of shillings.
“The MPs making the claims are part of the scheme by Jubilee to kill the sugar industry and do not know what they are talking about since I have no debts at Mumias Sugar Company,” said Mr Odinga.