Otuoma tells of ‘suffering’ in ODM as he decamps to Jubilee

Monday September 18 2017

Deputy President William Ruto (right) and former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma during a meeting at his home. Dr Otuoma declared his support for Jubilee and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid. PHOTO | REBECCA NDUKU | DPPS

Deputy President William Ruto (right) and former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma during a meeting at his home. Dr Otuoma declared his support for Jubilee and President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid. PHOTO | REBECCA NDUKU | DPPS 

By GAITANO PESSA
More by this Author

Former Funyula MP Paul Otuoma has decamped to the Jubilee Party, ending speculations about his next political move after he lost in the Busia governorship race.

Dr Otuoma declared the move at a political meeting in his homestead which was attended by Deputy President William Ruto and hundreds of Jubilee Party delegates from Busia County.

And as Mr Ruto pledged more goodies to the locals and intensified campaigns for the presidential elections set for next month, Dr Otuoma said his political life had been salvaged in Jubilee after months of suffering in ODM.

UNWANTED IN NASA

“Nasa did not want me. Raila will realise that he made a mistake by deciding to take sides in the Busia governorship contest,” he said.

He was referring to the bitter contest between him and Governor Sospeter Ojaamong of ODM, a party led by opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) principal Raila Odinga.

“Why is that the sovereign will of the people he (Raila) is always talking about never prevailed in Busia County?

“You cannot call yourself a national leader and behind closed doors you are dividing the same people supporting you,” said Dr Otuoma who lost to Governor Ojaamong in last month’s polls.

He was contesting as an independent candidate.

SUPPORT UHURU

Dr Otuoma officially announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election bid in the repeat poll.

He lost the ODM ticket to Mr Ojaamong during the party nominations amid fake news which claimed he had decamped to Jubilee.

In recent interviews, the former MP and a one-time ODM chairman complained that Mr Odinga had betrayed him when he allegedly interfered with the party’s nominations in May.

Dr Otuoma had in 2016, together with former Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba, announced he had quit ODM, before he rescinded his decision.

READY FOR POLL

On Monday, during the meeting at Dr Otuoma’s residence, Mr Ruto insisted that despite disagreeing with the Supreme Court ruling that nullified President Kenyatta’s win they are ready for the repeat election set for October 17.

“Who is he (Raila Odinga) to stop Kenyans from voting? The right to vote by Kenyans is not negotiable.

“He should be competing with his peers and leave the IEBC alone. They (Nasa) are aware that they cannot defeat Jubilee [and that’s] the reason they are running up and down threatening independent institutions,” said Mr Ruto.

The DP added that his visit was meant to consolidate the government’s commitment to work for the people of Busia without discrimination or party affiliations.

“I have come here to ask you to walk together with us in spearheading development agenda. The Kenyan constitution states that a president is elected to serve all Kenyans but not individuals. That is the reason I am here.

“The most important thing is that we value your friendship with the government and we need to continue trending [along] that line,” Mr Ruto said.

GOODIES FOR BUSIA

Among the goodies that the DP unleashed included the completion of the 120Km Manyasi-Ruambwa-Port Victoria, Malaba-Moding-Lwakhakha and Malaba-Adunguso-Busia roads.

Others include upgrading of Matayos-Sio Port-Port Victoria road, with work commencing in the next six months.

“Sigiri and Mulwanda bridges are on our radar at a cost of Sh400 million together with Mulwanda border post that will be constructed before the end of the year.

“We have already committed Sh100 million for Bumbe TTI, part of Sh500 million [for construction of] different college and technical institutes here in Busia,” Mr Ruto told residents.