ODM leaders deny they were invited to the DP’s functions
They say Mr William Ruto chose to involve ‘former MPs without the people’s mandate’
The leaders say Deputy President had no significant development agenda for Migori or Homa Bay
Orange Democratic Movement party leaders yesterday said they did not attend Deputy President William Ruto’s functions in South Nyanza because they were not invited.
ODM National Chairman and Suba South MP John Mbadi said the DP’s office instead chose to involve “former MPs without the peoples’ mandate”.
“It should be clear that Ruto did not invite us, the leaders. The only message I got was from the county commissioner on Friday, when the visit was to be on Monday. So I don’t know at what point he thought about these visits. I think it was an afterthought,” Mr Mbadi told the Nation on Tuesday.
“The best thing would have been to have his office invite us. He could have first invited us, the elected leaders, for a meeting in Nairobi to discuss issues of concern to our people,” Mr Mbadi said, adding that, that would have helped them identify the pressing issues and right projects for the locals.
Mr Mbadi also accused the DP of “launching" ongoing projects, and those that probably won’t be implemented for lack of funds.
“His failure to have even one PS, CS, or even CAS from the line ministries of the projects he was launching accompany him shows that he was not concerned about development in Nyanza,” Mr Mbadi said.
Mr Mbadi’s remarks came as Jubilee-allied leaders, including ex MPs who attended Mr Ruto’s functions, labelled those who snubbed it enemies of development.
Former MPs James Rege (Karachuonyo), Martin Ogindo (Rangwe), Edick Anyanga (Nyatike) as well as Tom Alila and George Ayugi were among the Jubilee supporters who welcomed Mr Ruto. They described his visit as “a great success”.
Mr Rege and Green Congress Party leader Ogindo praised the residents of Homa Bay and Migori for welcoming the DP.
He Rege said the visit was an extension of the “handshake” to the grass roots.
“By commissioning projects in Homa Bay and Migori counties, he made the people feel truly in the government. This should be extended to Siaya and Kisumu,” Mr Rege said.
Meanwhile, Mr Ogindo said the people of Migori and Homa Bay had shown political tolerance and asked local leaders to embrace the same.
“Ruto supported some leaders here in the past election. He also has a right to look for votes in all parts of the country,” he said.
Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang’, who welcomed his Baringo counterpart Gideon Moi to the county a week ago, said they did not snub the DP.
“Snubbing is the wrong word. I am out of the country on official parliamentary business,” he said.
Homa Bay Town MP Opondo Kaluma said that as a leader, he welcomes the President and other leaders to visit the county.
However, he pointed out that he was neither informed about, nor invited to Mr Ruto’s functions.
Mr Kaluma said he was not invited because the DP was in the region for politics, and did not intend to deal with the real issues affecting the people of Homa Bay County.
“It is unfortunate that the DP only took photos at old projects and announced a mere Sh20 million for the Tom Mboya Level 4 Hospital in Rusinga,” Mr Kaluma said.
He added that the DP did not mention eradicating the water hyacinth, which as affected the local economy, improving local fish production through aquaculture, or releasing the Sh780 million budgeted for the Kabunde Airstrip, Homa Bay in 2013/14 to enable its completion.