Minister threatens to ditch Raila team
Posted Thursday, September 6 2012 at 22:00
- Politician criticises PM and Orengo over failure to resettle families evicted from the Mau
Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s campaign on Thursday hit political turbulence after an assistant minister threatened to “reconsider his partnership” with the PM.
This comes as Mr Odinga’s top campaign manager, Mr James Ongwae, resigned to vie for the Kisii County governor’s seat in the coming polls.
Energy assistant minister Magerer Langat turned his dagger on the PM and accused him of neglecting the Mau evictees.
He criticised Mr Odinga over failure to implement resettlement plans for the affected families.
“I am communicating directly to the PM and telling him that our support is not for nothing. If we are going to be ignored, then we are going to review our partnership with ODM,” said Mr Langat.
He disclosed that four South Rift MPs who stuck with the PM after the rest decamped to join William Ruto’s United Republican Party would make a major pronouncement at a function in Bomet on Saturday.
The Kipkelion MP, a key member of the ODM Reloaded team, blamed Lands minister James Orengo for failing to resettle hundreds of families evicted from the Mau despite allocation of funds by the government for the programme.
“When bombs fall in Nairobi, the PM is always the first at the scene, but two years after helpless people were evicted from the forest he is yet to come there to see their camps. I am sending a clear message to him and Orengo that it is not going to be business as usual,” Mr Langat told the Nation.
His Sotik counterpart, Dr Joyce Laboso, confirmed she had resigned from a committee spearheading the resettlement of Mau forest evictees to protest against sluggishness by the government in handling the programme.
Asked whether she planned to quit ODM, Dr Laboso said: “When we go back to the Kipsigis and the people in the South Rift, how do we tell them to vote for the PM? This is my big question for now.”
In response, Gwasi MP John Mbadi said: “He (Mr Langat) knows the complexity of acquiring land through a legitimate government process and he can not blame the PM or the Lands minister for it. We know he is planning to quit to salvage his backyard,” said Mr Mbadi.
All South Rift MPs meet on Saturday at Tegat Catholic Church where, according to Mr Langat, a major announcement will be made.