A top Orange Democratic Movement party official has dismissed Siaya Senator James Orengo’s claim that Mr Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta have entered into a deal over the 2022 poll.
National Assembly minority leader said the party has not entered any alliance, terming Mr Orengo’s sentiments an opinion and not the official party position.
“I want to set the record straight and make it categorical that ODM has not formed any alliance with any party or individual.
“Any contrary opinion should therefore be treated as personal,” Mr Mbadi said.
Addressing the press at his office at Parliament buildings in Nairobi yesterday, Mr Mbadi said the ‘handshake’ of march last year was not political and had nothing to do with the 2022 elections.
“It would be premature for anybody to say that we have entered into a political agreement with anybody. Maybe that is Orengo’s wish, which is not bad, but he should not confuse the people that it is the party position,” Mr Mbadi said.
The Suba South lawmaker pointed out that ODM had been consistent on premature talk about 2022 and would not go back on that position.
“As a party we have been discouraging other people from engaging in early campaigns for 2022 and cannot turn back and start doing the same thing,” Mr Mbadi said.
On Monday, during an interview with KTN, Mr Orengo said ODM was working behind the scenes with President Kenyatta to help Mr Odinga become the Head of State in 2022.
“ODM is going for political power, and when we are holding these meetings our eyes are set on 2022. The contestation for power is going to come from a formation with ODM in it and formation of Jubilee where Uhuru Kenyatta is playing a role,” Mr Orengo said. He added that he held a private meeting with Mr Kenyatta for four hours and was convinced that the President was committed to the war against corruption. Mr Mbadi also said as a party they were “done” with Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and that the lawmaker could only argue her case in court.
“We don’t want her in our party. DP (William) Ruto can take her if he wants. She has outlived her usefulness in the party,” Mr Mbadi said.
The ODM chairman said the olive branch party leader Odinga extended to Ms Jumwa was not anchored in the party’s laws.
“Our party leader was just being sympathetic with the member but we have exhausted all mechanisms on her expulsion and there is no turning back,” Mr Mbadi said.
Mr Orengo’s remarks, if true, would seem to confirm claims by allies of Dr Ruto that the handshake was meant to block the DP from ascending to power in 2022.
The DP’s allies have also accused President Kenyatta of using Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti to scuttle Dr Ruto’s ambition of becoming the next president.
Yesterday, Mr Mbadi said the handshake was not about politics, adding that it had a nine-point agenda that the building bridges team was handling. “Let us not miss the focus, the handshake was about inclusivity, which we would like to see beyond 2022,” Mr Mbadi said.