Ababu apologises to Baba over remarks
ODM leader Raila Odinga has moved to paper over cracks that have threatened to dismember his party after an alleged line-up of top officials that elbows out Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba was made public.
Raila yesterday held a closed-door meeting with the youthful lawmaker and some of his closest confidants and called for a ceasefire.
Namwamba’s bare-knuckle attack on Raila at the weekend was swiftly followed by a war of words between Luo Nyanza MPs and their counterparts from Western, threatening the push for a referendum in the former Prime Minister’s biggest strongholds.
Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo posted the following on her Facebook page as Ababu was mobilising Luhya MPs to address a press conference: “I have just met my brother Generali Ababu caucusing with a few MPs cheering him on mainly from Jubilee. I wonder the cause of excitement since Ababu’s stand has long been expected for a couple of reasons.
“It is normal that there be alignments and realignments before 2017. Should Ababu decide to leave, it would be unfortunate since he was a good soldier. Nonetheless as is often with politics, other Ababus will arise.
“I hope young politicians are listening. Strategic young politicians this is the time to rise. After he forms his new alliance ahead, if at all, we shall decide whether to unleash friendly fire or to form underground alliances! New Generali Millie.”
But speaking to the press, Raila dismissed a line-up that endorses Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o to continue in the powerful position of ODM secretary general, terming it “fictitious”.
Raila also said that after thorough discussions with Namwamba, it emerged the latter was misquoted by the media.
“The media came up with a fictitious list which we do not know about. As the party leader of ODM, I do not know of any list prepared of national officials. I can assure you,” Raila maintained.
“We want to affirm that the party remains very united. But our members sometimes have exchanges which are very open and democratic,” he said.
At the meeting in Raila’s Capital Hill Office were about 10 leaders, including Nyong’o, Nominated Senator Agnes Zani, Suna East MP Junet Mohammed and Sirisia MP John Waluke
Speaking at the weekend, Namwamba, who led one of the camps tin the ill-fated party elections early this year, said Raila should have organised internal party polls before calling for a referendum.
In an uncharacteristic attack on his party boss, Namwamba alleged there was a scheme to block him from the secretary general’s post when the men-in-black incident disrupted the elections on February 28 at Nairobi’s Sararicom Kasarani Sports Gymnasium.
“If you cannot trust Ababu Namwamba with the secretary generalship of a party because he doesn’t look trustworthy, because he comes from a different community, then how will you work with his community when you become President?” Ababu remarked.
But even as even as ODM blamed media for the division in the party, a series of events leading up to the press conference contradict the party’s stand that Namwamba did not make utterances against calls for a referendum.
A tweet by Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale, said he “advised” Namwamba, whom he referred to as “my kid brother General Ababu Namwamba”, not to oppose the referendum.
On Tuesday, a number of ODM legislators slammed Namwamba for his tirade against Raila, claiming that the Bundalang’i MP was an agent of external forces keen on destroying the Orange party.
In a new turn of events, Raila maintained yesterday that money was wired to private accounts during the 2013 transition period, indicating that President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto used State coffers in their campaigns.
Auditor General Edward Ouko has noted dubious transfers in the Presidency’s accounts in a recent audit report.