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Raila unveils plan to rebuild Orange party

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Raila+1211vODM leader Raila Odinga on Wednesday cited growing insecurity as one of the issues that prompted Opposition demands for talks with the government.

Mr Odinga said during a tour of Kibera slum upgrading project initiated by the Devolution Ministry, that the challenges facing Kenya — especially insecurity — showed that the Jubilee Government was paying for its errors of omission, having refused dialogue before the Cord alliance launched its campaign for a referendum.

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“The whole country is at risk from insecurity and that is why we proposed to sit down as Kenyans so as to dialogue on these issues,” he said.

Mr Odinga is expected to use his Nyanza visit on Friday to push for the consolidation of ODM support in the wake of growing rebellion from grouping allied to Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.

Dr Kidero is also expected to hold a rally in Migori on the same day as the ODM leader.

Mr Odinga, who faces a rebellion in his party, has started a series of talks aimed at mending fences with the rebel MPs.

On Wednesday, the party secretariat said that Mr Odinga will chair a meeting of all ODM leaders and delegates from Homa Bay, Migori, Siaya and Kisumu counties.

“This Friday, 14th November 2014, the party will hold the first of these meetings in Oyugis Township in Homa Bay County where all party officials from Homa Bay, Migori, Kisumu and Siaya counties have been invited,” said the statement from the ODM communication director, Mr Philip Etale.

The meetings will brief party members on progress by the Okoa Kenya team driving the referendum campaign, and the need for constitutional amendments.

Mr Etale said Mr Odinga would hold similar meetings in other parts of the country in coming weeks “to strengthen the party and consolidate its support at the grassroots level”.

On Wednesday in Kibera, the Cord leader said he had heard the message of youthful ODM politicians and promised that he would soon find a solution to their disenchantment.

Hawa vijana wamekohoa (the young men have spoken) but I will not dwell on the subject because today we came here to inspect development projects. We will soon tell you the way forward,” said Mr Odinga, who served as MP for Kibera between 1992 and 2013.

PARTY MANIFESTO

Although Mr Odinga took a reconciliatory approach, MPs Joash Olum (Lang’ata), James Wandayi (Unguja) and Nairobi ODM chairman George Aladwa warned rebel MPs against undermining the ODM leadership.

“Those elected on an ODM ticket, whether MPs or senators, should stick to the ODM party manifesto while in Parliament. Wananchi should be vigilant to watch out for leaders who are disloyal to the party and have wavering support so as to show them the red card in 2017,” said Mr Wandayi.

Mr Olum urged the party leadership to reconcile with the rebel leaders. “We should try to welcome the rebels to come back to the party, but should they fail to toe the party line, we will have no option but to show them the door.”

Mr Aladwa challenged the rebels to leave the party instead of piling pressure on the party leader.

An earlier communication sent out by the Homa Bay ODM branch ahead of Mr Odinga’s meeting on Friday had indicated that the talks would only involve delegates from the branch.

It also said the meeting would be held at the Homa Bay Farmers Training Centre. However, the venue was later shifted to Oyugis Township, 44 kilometres away.

Dr Kidero, who had been eyeing the post of Deputy Party Leader ahead of ODM’s botched February election, is scheduled to hold a harambee in aid of Homa Bay High School in Homa Bay Town on Friday.

The fundraiser is expected to be attended by a section of MPs and governors allied to him.

Dr Kidero confirmed that he will preside over the harambee to raise funds to reconstruct four dormitories that were recently burnt down.

“I will be with the area governor,” he said.

The Odinga-Kidero rivalry has split leaders in the four counties with some MPs, senators and governors gravitating towards the Nairobi governor.

In Homa Bay and Migori for instance, only Mr John Mbadi (Gwasi), Ms Millie Odhiambo (Mbita), Mr Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Mr Edick Anyanga (Nyatike), Mr Junet Mohammed (Suna East) and Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’ have remained behind Mr Odinga.

Those allied to Dr Kidero are Mr Dalmas Otieno (Rongo), Mr George Oner (Rangwe), Mr Jared K’Opiyo (Awendo), Mr Joseph Ndiege (Suna West), Migori Governor Okoth Obado and his Homa Bay counterpart, Mr Cyprian Awiti.

Last weekend, Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka publicly urged Dr Kidero to run for the presidency in 2017.

-nation.co.ke

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