ODM old guard to stay, MPs say

Two MPs have told off their colleagues who are calling for old guard in the Orange Democratic Movement to step aside.

Suna East MP Junet Mohamed and Suba’s John Mbadi said the so called old guard were elected to party positions, the Senate or the National Assembly and could not be discriminated upon due to their age.

“Those calling for the removal of the old guard should tell us their true agenda instead of hiding on the issue. Some of them yet to even make a maiden speech in Parliament and are busy trying to divide the party using age factor,” Mr Mohamed said.

Five MPs had accused senior politicians of misleading former Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is the ODM leader and asked them to pave the way as the party prepares for 2017 General Election.

MPs Jared Opiyo, George Oner, Agostinho Neto, Ken Okoth and Silvance Osele said youthful ODM MPs were the true face of transformational leadership required in the party.

Mr Mohamed told the disgruntled MPs to present views through ODM channels instead of seeking cheap publicity in the media and during funerals “if they are serious of wanting to bring change in party.”

“You cannot force yourself to advise Raila. Raila must solicit for your advice. If he has not, you should stop using that to divide the party. Some of the MPs calling themselves youthful could be interested in killing ODM and Cord as a whole,” Mr Mohamed said.

Mr Mohamed further told Mr Opiyo who is the Awendo MP to keep off ODM matters as he was elected on a Ford-Kenya ticket.

“Just because he is from Nyanza which is an ODM stronghold does not give him license to interfere with ODM matters. He should stick to his party affairs. We don’t want other parties’ members including Ford-Kenya to interfere in ODM matters. If they are in Cord family, they should stick to the coalition affairs,” Mr Mohamed said.

Mr Mohamed defended senior ODM politicians saying “they are not going anywhere as they enjoy the support of voters who elected them and are the ones who have brought the party this far”.

Mr Mbadi said the MPs pushing for the removal of the old guards need to define their agenda, tell what age has to do with leadership and what wrong the senior politicians had done to warrant their removal.

“Currently as leaders in the country we have enough issues that we need to address ranging from insecurity, the killer brews, the mess in national budget following over borrowing, the proposed payment of Anglo Leasing contracts, corruption and increased cost of living,” Mr Mbadi said.

He added: “We have so many issues to address other than local matters like funeral politics. I think the Mps are directing their attention to wrong things.”

The row over ODM leadership has threatened to split the party MPs in Nyanza.

Mr Odinga is currently in a two months visit to the United States of America.

-nation.co.ke

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