Seth Onyango and Mercy Mwai @PeopleDailyKe
Opposition chief Raila Odinga has hit back at former Senate Leader of Minority Moses Wetang’ula after the latter accused him of orchestrating his ouster from the position.
Raila told Wetang’ula he was his own enemy and should therefore “carry own cross” after all his colleagues in the Senate rejected him in an unprecedented move.
his comes after Wetang’ula, who was ejected as the Minority leader in the Senate last month, was quoted in the media asserting the former Premier was behind his woes. But in a swift rejoinder, Raila dismissed his claims as baseless, saying he had tried in earnest to save him from ouster.
“We find the sentiments dishonest, frivolous and evasive. They are meant only to whip up emotions and sympathy over problems of the senator’s own making,” Odinga’s spokesperson Denis Onyango said. Onyango added that contrary to claims that Raila had engineered Wetang’ula’s ouster, he defended him against the wish of senators keen on stripping him the position.
“Wetang’ula knows the facts, and they are as follows: he was rejected by senators from all the Nasa parties, not only ODM. To date, none of Nasa senators has come out to support Wetang’ula.
That kind of rejection is unprecedented and pointed to a deep-rooted problem between him and his colleagues,” he said. Raila issued his statement hours after three MPs from Western region opposed the call for Luhya unity fronted by Wetang’ula and Musalia Mudavadi.
MPs John Waluke (Sirisia), Janet Nangambo (Trans Nzoia) and Fred Kapondi (Mt Elgon) dismissed the unity calls as personal, dishonest and selfish. They claimed the two were talking about the alleged unity just because they had been isolated by Raila.
On the other hand, Onyango blamed Wetang’ula’s woes on his not-so-cosy relations with other opposition senators whom he is accused of treating with contempt. “The problems came out clearly in a meeting called by Raila to broker understanding between the senator and his colleagues.
They accused Wetang’ula, in his presence, of being aloof, selfish, arrogant and having the tendency to impose decisions on them under the pretext they were directives from the Summit, which often was not the case,” he explained.
Onyango said as head of Nasa, Raila did all he could to save Wetang’ula’s minority leadership, including instructing the coalition’s CEO Norman Magaya to write to the Senate.
“The persistent efforts by Wetang’ula to avoid the facts and blame his problems on Raila, therefore, point to a personal vendetta and a refusal to face and deal with the truth,” he said.
Wetangula’s party is planning a merger with former Mudavadi’s Amani National Congress (ANC). This comes even as Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka, Devolution CS Eugene Wamalwa, and his Sports counterpart Rashid Echesa dismissed the proposal.
Nonetheless, Wetang’ula and Mudavadi appear keen to consolidate the Luhya vote ahead of 2022. Waluke, Nangambo and Kapondi said Mudavadi and Wetang’ula should be the last people to talk about Luhya unity as they had been in government as senior members and never did anything for their community.
They dismissed Wetang’ula, questioning his ability to lead the community after being “unable lead 28 senators”. Waluke said he and others in Jubilee had no time for tribal talk.
They stated that their support for the Jubilee has seen them get various seats including Senate Speaker, Deputy Chief Whip, two Cabinet secretary slots, three PSs and deputy head of Public Service. “We cannot talk about Luhya unity after every election.
We are in government and the planned merger only aims to divide the Mulembe nation that is already enjoying the fruits of being in government,” said Waluke.
Kapondi added: “We cannot jump out of the government to form something we don’t know.” Butere MP Tindi Mwale said those opposing the alleged unity talks would be in for a rude shock, as the political tide would be against them come 2022.
He said those in Jubilee were opposing the planned merger of ANC and Ford Kenya, fearing they would be rendered irrelevant in Western Kenya politics.