RAILA Odinga has abandoned his consultations over whether he should go for the Homa Bay senatorial seat.

Raila announced yesterday that he was not in the Homa Bay race because he wanted to concentrate on revamping ODM and keeping the national government in check.

“This offer has come at a time we have embarked on revamping our party, with eyes on keeping government adequately in check and on the next general election.

“The task of sustaining the momentum of change in the party and guiding the new leadership requires the full attention of the party leader and the entire team. I will, therefore, have to let down the elders of Homa Bay and the MPs who showed faith in me for the Senate seat.

“Please allow me to concentrate, on your behalf, on creating a party machine and a Cord partnership that can keep the government in check and advocate and promote the provision of services to the Kenyan people, and that can eventually take over power in two years’ time.This allows me to focus on the big picture for our party, coalition and country,” said Raila.

Although his elder brother Oburu Odinga, an ODM nominated MP, was among those pushing Raila to go for the seat left vacant by the late Otieno Kajwang’, his younger sister and Kisumu Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga joined several other family members in opposing the proposed bid.

“Raila, as the Cord leader, controls 24 counties and there is no way he can join the County Government as a Senator.

“We are his Governors, looking up to him as our leader, and there is absolutely no way he can work with us as equals,” said Ruth.

Sources close to Raila’s elder son Fidel Odinga also confided to the Star that he too was unhappy about the plans by his father to run for Homa Bay Senator.

One source said Fidel, who is touted to run for the Kibra Parliamentary seat in 2017, is not at all pleased about the proposal that his father replaces Kajwang’ as Homa Bay Senator.

Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero yesterday said he will not meddle in the political affairs of Homa Bay County.

Kidero told off member of the Luo Council of Elders’ Akech Chieng’, of Homa Bay County, who attended the meeting at Raila’s Opoda Farm in Bondo to discuss the former Prime Minister’s possible candidature.

“I am not interested in being drawn into politics of that nature, since, as the Nairobi Governor, I only travel out of the city on the meaningful and impactful agenda of political development that changes lives, when called upon to assist.

“The people of Homa Bay are sufficiently endowed, intellectually and politically, to chart a way forward on the direction the politics of Homa Bay should take. My opinion and that of non-residents of Homa Bay is not necessary, and certainly not needed. We must continue to respect the sovereignty of the people of Homa Bay and every county in exercising their political right to choose their leaders and representatives to occupy national or county offices,” Kidero said.

Mbeere North MP Charles Njagagua yesterday criticized Raila for trying to impose himself on Homa Bay County residents as Senator.

Njagagua said following Kajwang’s death, Raila has secretly been prodding his allies in the county to propose that he stand for the seat in the forthcoming by-election.

The MP argued that it was very unfair for a leader of Raila’s calibre to demean himself by trying to force himself on a place he did not belong to.

He said if Raila wanted to stand for the Senate he fits very well in Siaya, where his Bondo family comes from, but not in Homa Bay.

“It’s wrong for the Cord leader to impose himself on the people of Homa Bay, where my colleague lawyer, Otieno Kajwang’, was Senator,” said Njagagua.


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