Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga has pardoned Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina and ordered the party’s Senate leadership to halt his removal from the powerful County Public Accounts and Investments Committee.
Mr Odinga issued the directive after a breakfast meeting with the senator and elders from the Maasai community at his Nairobi home on Tuesday.
A dispatch from Mr Odinga’s communication team indicated that the meeting took place at the request of the Maasai elders.
“The senator apologised to the party leader for going against his instructions on the leadership of the committee chairmanship,” the statement said.
Signs that Mr Olekina was warming up to the party leadership were evident on Friday during the removal of Tharaka-Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki as deputy Speaker.
“My party leader Raila Odinga should not listen to pessimists. I am very loyal to my party ODM,” he said as he supported Prof Kindiki’s removal on account of being disloyal to his party.
Mr Ole Kina had defied the party position and refused to support Kisii Senator Sam Ongeri as the chairman of the committee, choosing instead to gang up with senators allied to Deputy President William Ruto to clinch the seat.
The party’s Senate leadership did not just reject his election, but went a step further to remove him from the committee.
Angry with the decision, the senator filed an application in the High Court challenging his removal from the committee. The court had temporarily halted his removal pending the hearing and determination of the case. He gave an undertaking to withdraw the case and surrender the seat.
The Nation has learnt that the rapprochement between the leaders is part of the wider Mr Odinga/President Uhuru Kenyatta plan to manage the 2022 succession.
Mr Ole Kina is a seen as a key pillar in attempts by the two leaders to get to the soul of the Maasai community ahead of the General Election.
Sources say the senator is being rehabilitated to take over as minority whip in the Senate in the hope that he will help take the Maasai vote away from the DP.
He is one of the few leaders that both the President and Mr Odinga are hoisting as regional kingpins.
Under this arrangement, the current holder, Mutula Kilonzo Jr, will take over the vacant office of deputy Speaker.