Raila plot to kick out Kalonzo MP from parliament post

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Brewing storm: Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo with Cord leader Raila Odinga and Minority Leader Francis Nyenze after a Sunday service at the Lutheran Church, Nairobi, on May 19.
Brewing storm: Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo with Cord leader Raila Odinga and Minority Leader Francis Nyenze after a Sunday service at the Lutheran Church, Nairobi, on May 19.

TROUBLE is brewing in Cord over a plot by allies of ODM leader Raila Odinga to strip Wiper’s Francis Nyenze of his National Assembly Minority Leader position.

ODM leaders are plotting radical changes both in and outside Parliament as part of reviving the party’s perceived dwindling fortunes.

ODM MPs accuse Nyenze of incompetence and poor leadership in pushing Cord’s agenda in the Jubilee majority-led House.

Nyenze, who faces a second ouster bid, is a key point man of Cord co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka and his sacking could spark uproar, especially in Ukambani, the former Vice President’s political home ground.

“Let anyone touch Nyenze and Wiper will walk out of Cord en masse,” Mbooni MP Kisoi Munyao warned yesterday, ahead of an ODM two-day retreat set for this weekend.

Any proposal to change Cord’s parliamentary leadership must be subjected to deliberations by all coalition partners, Munyao told the Star.

ODM MPs claim that Cord’s poor showing in Parliament could harm the opposition’s re-branding strategy for Raila’s fourth stab at the Presidency in 2017.

The former Premier is set to lead his ODM troops into private talks this Saturday through Sunday ahead of a retreat for the entire coalition later this month.

A section of ODM MPs who spoke to the Star on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter however renewed calls for a total overhaul of the entire opposition leadership in the National Assembly.

“The poor performance of Cord in Parliament is reflecting badly on ODM because we are the majority [inside the coalition],” said an MP.

This therefore means that Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo, Minority Whip Thomas Mwadeghu and his Deputy Chris Wamalwa could also be sent packing in the grand house cleaning.

“To me, targeting Nyenze will be unfair. The entire leadership has failed and if the axe were to fall, it should be on the entire leadership,” added another MP.

Wamalwa, an ally of Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula’s, broke ranks with the coalition leadership after he sponsored an amendment that could have sent home top the EACC secretariat and derailed the war on corruption.

Raila openly distanced Cord from the botched Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (Amendment) Bill that was later rejected by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Raila is an anti-graft crusader and the Wamalwa move to paralyse EACC was viewed in some quarters as ironical.

Jakoyo, a first cousin of Raila’s, is becoming increasingly isolated from the former Prime Minister’s inner circle, amid claims that he is a Jubilee mole.

Last year, Nyenze survived an ouster bid when ODM MPs claimed that he was only given the position in an acting capacity in the hope Kalonzo would return to Parliament.

“Nyenze was to hold that position in a caretaker capacity, with the promise that Kalonzo would be back in Parliament. But that is not the case,” Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo said then.

Cord is also facing a silent rebellion from within, with ODM reportedly protesting the political zoning for opposition member parties.

Among the zones vigorously disputed by Orange politicians, for instance, is the push by Wetang’ula that the Western region, where he hails from, be considered a Ford-Kenya zone.

At a strategy meeting with Raila, ODM Western MPs were emphatic that all their constituencies should be considered the Orange Party’s bedrock.

– the-star.co.ke

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