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Richard Onyonka faults ODM for Wetang’ula Senate ouster

Wednesday March 21 2018

Richard Onyonka

Ford Kenya Deputy Chairman Richard Onyonka who has criticised ODM senators for removing Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula as the minority leader. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAGATI OBEBO
By MAGATI OBEBO
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A top Ford Kenya party official on Tuesday night joined in the criticism of Senate members of Nasa affiliate party ODM for bundling out his leader, Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula as the minority leader.

Party Deputy Chairman Richard Onyonka said he was angered by the turn of events which he said went against the spirit of unity that had been existing in the opposition.

“If ODM feels it has reached a point they are feeling they can make it on their own, they are cheating themselves,” Mr Onyonka said.

He said all coalition partners deserve respect and kicking out of the Ford Kenya leader from the influential seat marked a new political low in opposition politics.

ORENGO

At least 19 senators who attended Nasa's parliamentary group meeting in Nairobi on Tuesday voted to replace Mr Wetang'ula with Siaya Senator James Orengo.

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The Siaya lawmaker will be deputised by Kakamega Senator Cleopa Malala.

But Mr Onyonka said the incident has signalled further divisions that will puncture the opposition’s quest to ascend to the presidency in the coming elections.

“If we forge on this path, the Jubilee Party will saunter back to power and with resounding victory. A house divided by itself will not stand and this happening is an open indication that there are serious cracks that must be addressed if we are serious on winning,” said Mr Onyonka.

Following the latest development in the Senate, Mr Onyonka said the party will hold a national executive council meeting to discuss the matter.

“I think that is what we are going to do and will do soon as a party. We don’t want any coalition party to feel that it is an elbowing aside game as all of us approach the table,” said Mr Onyonka.

BLAMED RAILA

He was speaking Tuesday evening at Daraja Mbili Secondary in Kisii Town during a constituency education stakeholders’ forum attended by secondary school principals and primary school head teachers from Kitutu Chache South.

Mr Onyonka, a one-time a member of ODM before he defected to Ford Kenya, blamed opposition chief Raila Odinga and his lieutenants for wrecking the coalition.

“Mr Odinga should know now that Kenya needs an all-inclusive leadership. If they are going to sit and say ‘we don’t want any other partner’ they are cheating themselves,” he said.

Mr Onyonka said ODM on its own will not ascend to power.

Mr Odinga had written to the Senators, urging against replacing Mr Wetang’ula, but they defied him.