Kenya: The Wiper Democratic Movement has denied claims that Raila Odinga’s homecoming could overshadow Kalonzo Musyoka.
A section of MPs had reportedly demanded that the rally at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, must not address the 2017 elections for fear it would become a launching pad for Raila’s presidential bid.
CORD legislator Joe Mutambo said there were fears that “some people” could be planning to use the event to politically clip the Wiper leader.
“I will be honest with you, there are people who want to make this event look like an endorsement of Raila Odinga as our presidential candidate in 2017. It must be made clear that this is not an endorsement. This is not a demonstration or a political rally. It is a simple event to welcome one of us back home,” Mr Mutambo said.
“For the record,” the MP went on to say, “and this is not just my own thinking but that of many other MP’s and you can quote me because I know some people may fear to talk, I don’t fear. We have made it very clear that in 2017 we are supporting Kalonzo Musyoka for president and nobody else make no mistake. That is our position. But we have no problem welcoming back home the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.”
However, Wiper chairman David Musila accused the Jubilee coalition of engineering rumours.
“We are going to attend the rallies. I know there has been speculation that Wiper will skip the event. That is not coming from us. As far as I know, there are no issues and Kalonzo and Raila have no differences,” Mr Musila said.
He accused Jubilee of trying to downplay the former PM’s triumphant return to the country.
“CORD remained intact even when Raila was away. Kalonzo and Moses Wetang’ula have been in charge. There are no differences. We are united as we have always been,” said Musila.
Kalonzo was also facing resistance from within, with Mavoko MP Patrick Makau saying a section of leaders were ready to endorse Raila today.
“I think he (Kalonzo) would make better political relevance if he remains attached to Raila. We will endorse Raila because we think he has capacity to take this country where it needs to go.” But Makueni MP Daniel Maanzo differed with Mutambo.
“What I can tell you is that CORD is intact under our defacto leader of opposition Raila Odinga. The welcoming rally we are holding is meant to welcome back home our leader. It is not necessarily an endorsement event to determine who is going to be our presidential candidate in 2017,” he said.
Meanwhile, a section of Members of Parliament from western Kenya aligned to Jubilee have criticised CORD for calls for mass action against government.
The MPs who spoke to The Standard on Saturday yesterday termed the Opposition calls for demonstrations as irresponsible, uninformed and recipe for chaos and confusion in the country.
Vihiga MP Yusuf Chanzu said this was unjustified because it will only lead to loss of life and destruction of property rather than provide solutions to the existing problems.
He challenged the coalition to offer direction in Parliament and Senate and provide solutions to the government.
“The so called mass action will only bring chaos rather than solutions needed. What we need is checks and balances to the government. Mass action is not the solution to all the challenges we are facing as a country,” he said.
Teso South MP Mary Emase termed those calling for demonstrations as confused and said the country needs peace especially at this time the country is facing terror threats.
The URP legislator told the opposition it’s too early to condemn the government.
Matungu MP David Were dismissed the opposition’s calls for mass action and asked them to give the government a humble environment and time to work for Kenyans.
Mumias East MP Benjamin Washiali said the opposition is justified to check the government but insisted they should allow Jubilee leaders to finish their term without interference.