George Kebaso and Anthony Mwangi @PeopleDailyKe
Members of Parliament from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) yesterday called on their party leader Raila Odinga to disengage with his National Super Alliance (Nasa) co-principals if they continue to develop cold feet over the unity pact between him and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
At the same time, ODM legislators in both the National Assembly and the Senate resolved they would from now on work in harmony with their Jubilee counterparts in Parliament. This was confirmed by the party’s national chairman John Mbadi at Orange House.
“Watch, from this afternoon in Parliament,” he replied when he was asked whether the new unity between Raila and Uhuru translates to unity between then and Jubilee in Parliament. The legislators were attending an ODM Parliamentary Group meeting at Orange House that was chaired by Raila. He did not address journalists during a media conference that was only addressed by the Party Minority Whip in the National Assembly Junet Mohamed and Senator James Orengo.
And in Parliament, there was drama when two members of the Wiper Democratic Movement and Amani National Congress (ANC) parties attempted to take over the seats set aside for the Leader of Minority and the Whip, claiming to have taken over after the ODM party joined the majority side.
Patrick Makau (Mavoko MP) and Vihiga Woman Rep Beatrice Adagala took over the seats set aside for minority leader John Mbadi and that of Junet (the minority whip). Makau claimed Wiper, headed by Kalonzo Musyoka and ANC of Musalia Mudavadi, were set to take over as “the official opposition”, claiming ODM had joined the government following the meeting between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila last Friday.
Speaker Justin Muturi, however, ordered the duo to vacate the seats or face the consequences meted on members found to be disorderly. Makau declined to oblige prompting Muturi to order him thrown out by the Sergeant at Arms.
Meanwhile, the United Nations has welcomed President Uhuru’s and Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s March 9 reconciliation after months of political uncertainty and bitter standoff. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres reiterated the agency’s commitment to support the bid to unite Kenyans.
“I reiterate the United Nation’s support to continue working with the Government and people of Kenya for efforts towards consolidating peace, stability and development in the country,” he said.
The ODM PG unanimously resolved to support the dialogue initiated by their party leader and Uhuru. “The PG encouraged Raila to stay focused on the big picture and the struggle for a better, just, inclusive and fair Kenya,” the statement carrying resolutions of the meeting and read by Junet, said. The legislators also told Raila to refuse to be distracted by those positioning themselves for 2022 presidential race from the Nasa coalition.
Nasa co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi and Moses Wetangula have cried foul after they were left out of the meeting between the two leaders on Friday, March 9. But after they mt rail at Stoni Athi resort on Monday, the appeared to mellow and asked for time to brief respective party leadership on what the Nasa leader had explained about the deal.
The ODM PG urged their party leader to grab the opportunity and push for justice for those who suffered government crackdown before and after August 8 general election and before the October 26 presidential poll repeat vote.
“The Members encouraged the party leader to use this engagement to seek justice for the victims of election-related violence as a way to finding lasting reconciliation and unity of the nation,” the statement read.
The legislators who were meeting for the first time this year also resolved to revitalise the party ahead of 2022. A meeting of the National Governing Council (NGC) was scheduled for later.