Support ODM or quit, Raila now warns rebels
Cord leader Raila Odinga Friday warned rebel politicians in ODM to choose between the party and a “failing Jubilee Government which is the most incompetent and arguably the most corrupt the country has ever known.”
He asked them to either toe the party line or face immediate expulsion from the party, adding: “You are either for us or against us. It can’t be both.”
Mr Odinga was particularly annoyed by some MPs who have been pushing ODM to cooperate with the ruling Jubilee coalition saying that was the only way to achieve development and capture power in 2017.
The Cord leader spoke at an ODM meeting in Oyugis, Homa Bay County, seen as part of a new strategy to stem growing dissent in the party. Most of the MPs perceived as rebels skipped the meeting held at Sikri Vocational Training Centre.
They included Dalmas Otieno, who was recently appointed President Uhuru Kenyatta’s special envoy to the Sudan peace talks, Kisumu central MP Ken Obura, David Ochieng (Ugenya), Augustino Neto (Ndhiwa) George Oner (Rangwe) and James Rege of Karachuonyo. Mr Neto was, however, said to be out of the country.
As Mr Odinga spoke, Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, who some ODM politicians are fashioning as an alternative to the former Prime Minister, hosted a highly publicised fund-raiser in nearby Homa Bay High School, where he asked supporters to back development policies while being loyal to ODM.
But Mr Odinga said: “Supporting the policies of a failing regime can never be a path to capturing power. It is therefore my position that you are either with us or with them.”
According to him, the government had lost sway in most parts of the country. “Never in Kenya’s history has the government’s edict held sway over less of the country than it does now. In over half the country, the government’s authority is almost worthless.”
Mr Odinga warned that the party would soldier on with a few committed followers and drew an allegory from the Bible: “To take over the promised land, Joshua was told to leave the many panicking soldiers in the camp and proceed with a fearless and committed few. The time has come for us, too, to take a stand, make a decision and draw the line.”
During the meeting, delegates confronted Kasipul Kabondo MP Silvance Osele, accusing him of being a mole. His arrival triggered a commotion as his security detail battled youths who accused him of being a traitor.
Mr Odinga calmed the youths who had approached the MP.
Mr Osele said he was a staunch ODM member and that he had come late because he had missed his flight in the morning. Other MPs who attended the meeting are Joseph Oyugi Magwanga (Kasipul), Mrs Millie Odhiambo (Mbita) and John Mbadi (Suba) .
At Homa Bay High school Dr Kidero said he supported progressive politics that brought development to the people. He added that his political enemies were fighting him because he had raised more than Sh200 million for various projects. He was with Mr Rege and Mr Oner.
CRACK THE WHIP
At another political rally at Agoro Sare High Schools, politicians led by Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang asked Mr Odinga to crack the whip on the rebels.
Nominated MP Oburu Oginga accused the media of being used by enemies of ODM to forment divisions within the party.
Homa Bay Town MP Peter Opondo Kaluma said he had sought permission from Mr Odinga to be away so as to attend the fundraiser where he also presented Mr Odinga’s contribution for Sh200,000.
He denied the existence of any political differences between Dr Kidero and the party leader.
“I know the relationship between Governor Kidero and our party leader. Dr Kidero has done so much for the party,” he said.