Raila Laughs Off Crisis Talk As Ruto Hold More Rallies

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ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses a crowd in Ugunja on July 17, 2016. Mr Odinga said the party was stable despite the resignation of secretary-general Namwamba and national vice-chairman Paul Utuoma. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NMATION MEDIA GROUP
ODM leader Raila Odinga addresses a crowd in Ugunja on July 17, 2016. Mr Odinga said the party was stable despite the resignation of secretary-general Namwamba and national vice-chairman Paul Utuoma. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NMATION MEDIA GROUP

Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga says there is no crisis in his party in spite of the western rebellion spearheaded by Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba.

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The former Prime Minister, who is heading to western region today on a five-day tour, also sought to allay fears among supporters that the party was losing ground in its strongholds.

In Ugunja, Siaya County, on Sunday, Mr Odinga said the party was stable despite the resignation of secretary-general Namwamba and national vice-chairman Paul Utuoma.

He, instead accused the Jubilee coalition of spending huge amounts of money to poach opposition MPs.

“The Jubilee coalition is busy dishing out cash from sacks to MPs in a bid to woo voters in Cord zones. Jubilee can buy leaders but it cannot buy the enlightened electorate,” said Mr Odinga.

But Sunday, Deputy President William Ruto rubbished claims by opposition leaders that the Jubilee Coalition was spending millions of shillings to fund ODM rebellions in western Kenya and coast regions.

The DP, who on Saturday claimed credit for the rebellions, said those decamping from the Odinga-led coalition were doing so for their own good but not because they had been bought.

Mr Ruto termed talk of buying opposition members to join Jubilee as retrogressive.

Said Mr Odinga: “As a party, we are not in a crisis at all, these are normal things that will only make us even stronger as a party.”

Mr Odinga is scheduled to address 13 rallies in Kakamega, Busia and Vihiga in an effort to keep his grip on the western Kenya vote.

Mr Namwamba on Sunday denied claims that he had been bought to ditch ODM for Jubilee, saying he was priceless.

Mr Odinga also issued a 30-day ultimatum to the Select House Committee on the electoral commission to conclude its talks, failure to which the Opposition would resume countrywide protests.

“We shall not wait any longer for a new IEBC and this time, the protests will be more rigorous and run to the next General Elections,” said Mr Odinga.

He said Jubilee’s influence was waning even in its Rift Valley strongholds. He said that was evident in what he described as the heckling of Deputy President William Ruto in Baringo on Saturday.

PARTY WRANGLES
Other leaders who spoke at the rally, including Kajiado Central MP Elijah Memusi, asked ODM supporters to take Jubilee cash but vote for the Opposition.

“My people, I have looked beyond and seen the light at the end of the tunnel where we will follow to clinch the presidency,” said Mr Odinga.

He said the Jubilee coalition was scared of the Opposition’s momentum in the past few months.

The former premier said it was only Cord that has the will and ability to unseat Jubilee from power because the government had failed to honour the many promises it had made, including tablets for schools, stadia and fighting corruption.

In Kiambu Mr Ruto said: “I am hearing people saying that their members are being bought, by whom? Those saying so should know that markets where human beings used to be sold ended a long time ago.

“But again there are those who believe in the modern-day slavery whereby their concept is that you cannot talk to people unless you are authorised by someone,” said Mr Ruto, adding that the leaders were decamping from Cord due to issues within the coalition.

Mr Ruto spoke at a rally at Wangige Township in Kiambu after attending fund raisers at PCEA Uthiru and ACK Emmanuel at Kibiku in Kabete. He was with Governor William Kabogo, Senator Kimani Wamatangi and eight MPs.

nation.co.ke

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