Video:Raila moves to stem trouble in ODM
ODM Downplays Claims Of Internal Discord Over Party Positions.
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga has moved to stem differences that threatened to rip the party apart.
Wednesday he met Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba and other legislators over reports that the party planned to expel the MP due to his alleged association with the Jubilee coalition.
Sources at the three-hour meeting at Mr Odinga’s Capitol Hill offices in Nairobi said the Cord co-principal went to great lengths to deny the reports.
They said Mr Odinga described the Budalang’i MP as a “first team player” in the party.
Mr Namwamba is said to have confronted the ODM leader’s elder brother, Dr Oburu Oginga, over claims that he was on the payroll of the Jubilee coalition, forcing the latter to apologise for his utterances.
Dr Oginga had claimed that Mr Namwamba was using helicopters provided by Jubilee to traverse the country, undermining ODM.
MOLES IN ODM
At the meeting, Sirisia MP John Waluke, Kakamega Woman Representative Rachael Ameso and Shinyalu MP Silverse Anami, who are Mr Namwamba’s allies, are said to have accused Mr Odinga’s backers of wrecking the party by branding dissenting voices as “Jubilee moles”.
Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o, nominated MP Isaac Mwaura, Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, nominated Senator Agnes Zani, Mumias West MP Johnson Naicca and North Mugirango’s Charles Geni were at the meeting.
Mr Odinga told a news conference after the meeting that the purported rift in the party was the imagination of the media, which he said had misquoted Mr Namwamba’s remarks at a function in Kakamega County last weekend.
“Ababu did not say the things he is purported to have said. Those who reacted to the reports did not also say what they are purported to have said,” Mr Odinga stated.
Reports were that Mr Namwamba had been edged out of the party’s new leadership structure, which comprises Senators Otieno Kajwang’, Prof Nyong’o and Dr Zani as chairman, secretary-general and deputy secretary-general respectively.
“I am not aware of that fictitious list published in the media.” He threatened to take legal action against the Star, which published the list.
Mr Namwamba maintained a studious silence throughout the meeting, avoiding questions from journalists.
THREATEND TO QUIT ODM
Prior to meeting Mr Odinga, Mr Namwamba had met with six MPs from the former Western Province, who then held a press conference to defend him against accusations that he was working with the Jubilee coalition.
The Budalang’i MP did not attend the briefing.
The MPs, who included Mr Waluke, Ms Ameso, Mr Geni and Mr Anami attacked Mr Odinga’s close allies, whom they said, wanted Mr Namwamba out of the party.
They threatened to quit ODM if Mr Namwamba continued being treated with disrespect.
Mr Omulele said they had decided that Mr Namwamba would not be making any statement about the controversy.
Separately, former Westlands MP Fred Gumo has threatened to lead politicians from western Kenya out of ODM if the attacks on Mr Namwamba continued.
“We can say to hell with ODM if they want to make it a Luo Nyanza party and join an existing party or even form ours,” he said yesterday at a news conference at the Sarova Stanley Hotel in Nairobi.