Cord leaders deny cracks in coalition
ODM leader Raila Odinga and his Wiper Democratic Party counterpart, Mr Kalonzo Musyoka, separately downplayed reports of disagreements following the launch of Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula’s presidential bid last weekend and which was marred by violence.
Mr Odinga chaired an ODM National Executive Council meeting, to discuss next year’s poll. He said the party was working out how to reposition itself following political developments that could trigger new realignments.
The meeting was held at Maanzoni Lodge in Machakos County and focused on internal panic arising from Mr Wetangula’s rally in Kakamega Town, which Mr Odinga did not attend.
His failure to attend, sparked speculation that the coalition was deeply divided. Mr Odinga denied that the coalition was struggling to maintain unity as the 2017 the elections loom. He told party officials that all was well.
“The events that transpired over the weekend are regrettable and should not have happened. I have talked to my two colleagues and we consider this matter resolved,” he said.
He said he skipped the Kakamega rally because of tension between local leaders ahead of the meeting.
“We really tried to reconcile the local leadership so that they could work together before we could attend the meeting,” he said.
He had met Mr Musyoka and Mr Wetangula on Tuesday to discuss emerging internal tension and fresh suspicions. “We have discussed how to conduct credible nominations in the coming elections,” Mr Odinga said.
“We must have a credible electoral process under a transparent and a non-partisan commission,” he said at the meeting. Party Secretary-General Ababu Namwamba and the chairman, Mr John Mbadi were present.
ODM also announced that it had dissolved the party’s national elections board chaired by East African Legislative Assembly MP Judy Pareno. Mr Namwamba said they had started internal reforms and that a new board would soon be put in place.
At the Wiper meeting in Nairobi, Mr Kalonzo told supporters that Cord was intact and that there was no cause for alarm.
He talked of a truce between the three co-principals after the Tuesday meeting in which Mr Odinga apologised for skipping the Kakamega meeting.
“It became clear that events conspired in a certain manner that the prime minister had to leave at the time he left for which he was very very sorry to our brother Wetang’ula and myself,” said Mr Musyoka.
Wiper secretary-general Omar Hassan said the coalition was preparing for the 2017 elections.
Mr Odinga objected to Kenya withdrawing from the International Criminal Court. However, he said he was happy that charges against Deputy President William Ruto and Joshua Sang were dropped on Tuesday.