Muthama goes against Wiper to back Raila Odinga for presidency


Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama has backed former Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s bid to vie for the presidency in 2017, barely a week after the Wiper Party, of which Muthama is a member, endorsed party leader Kalonzo Musyoka for the contest.

Muthama was speaking yesterday at Asembo Village, Siaya County, during the burial of Raila aide Eliud Owalo’s father, Archbishop Gideon Owalo of Nomiya Church.

He challenged Nyanza residents to register as voters in large numbers to give Raila a headstart in his fourth stab at the country’s top sear.

“Some of you are saying they are tired because Raila has not resided in State House despite three attempts, but I want to urge you to soldier on because we want Raila to be the president in 2017,” Muthama said amidst cheers from the crowd.

The vocal senator is one of the key Wiper officials, and his remarks send mixed signals on whether the resolution of the party to back Kalonzo for the top job was unanimous. Some party members had previously backed Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua to take the mantle from Kalonzo.

Election date

Muthama played a leading role in formation of the 2013 pre-election agreement between Wiper and Raila’s Orange Democratic Movement, birthing the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD.

In his speech, the senator also maintained that the opposition coalition wanted the 2017 General Elections held in August (as stipulated in the Constitution), and not in December, as proposed by some MPs.

Muthama particularly lashed out at Ugenya MP David Ochieng’ (ODM), who has sponsored a Motion to have the election date extended to December.

“Ochieng’ must drop the Motion because it is not CORD’s wish to have the election date extended,” he said as he challenged ODM leaders to prevail upon the legislator to drop the motion.

Other ODM leaders who attended the event included senators James Orengo (Siaya), Moses Kajwang’ (Homa Bay), Governor Cornel Rasanga (Siaya)  and MPs TJ Kajwang ‘(Ruaraka), Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda), Oburu Oginga (Nominated), James Nyikal (Seme) and Christine Ombaka (Siaya Women’s Representative).

They emphasised the need for discipline within the Orange party “to enable Raila ascend to State House” in the next election.

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