Kenya's Most Authoritative Political Newspaper

Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 14 December 2014

SCHEME TO HAVE OBURU STEP DOWN FOR RAILA IN PARLIAMENT

After attempts to inherit the office left vacant by fallen Otieno Kajwang flaundered, Cord leader Raila Odinga is faced with yet another political stumbling block to jump over.
Luo elders and MPs who were behind the move are now targeting Raila’s brother nominated MP Oburu Odinga to step down and resign for Raila.
Among the MPs who supported Raila’s candidature for the Homa Bay senatorial seat were Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Town), Omondi Anyanga (Nyatike), James Rege (Rachuonyo), Shakir Shabeer (Kisumu Town East) and Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda) among others.
This would not be the first time such a scenario is being witnessed in Kenyan political arena. Mark Too, former President Moi’s kitchen cabinet pointman  was forced to resign from his nominated seat in parliament to create vacancy for Uhuru Kenyatta. Too was the architect of the Kanu-NDP partnership but it seems his usefulness in Kanu was over and was made to hang his political boots.
Initially, the plan was to have Raila succeed the late Kajwang’, an idea Raila had secretly entertained but changed at the last minute after Kenyans expressed unkind sentiments some saying it portrayed Raila as power hungry and desperate.  
Sources say that although majority of the Odinga family supported the move, it was Raila’s wife, Ida, who stood her ground and told Raila to bin the idea. Ida is said to have told Raila that a number of Homa Bay politicians are not for the idea and they could gang up to humiliate him at the ballot.
Pressure is now piling on Oburu to resign to pave way for Raila to enter national assembly as a late reporter. Those pushing for this say that Oburu should take time off from politics to allow his brother get fully involved in national politics. Oburu has always been a sidekick of his younger brother.
It is being rumoured that should Oburu accept to step down for Raila, he will be the ODM automatic candidate for the Siaya gubernatorial seat in 2017. It is being whispered that there have been attempts by Siaya leaders to reconcile Oburu and his sworn political enemy William Oduol ahead of 2017 elections. The game plan is to have Oburu run for governor with Oduol as running his mate.
It is not only Raila who is working on modalities of returning to parliament. Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka is also said to be working on a plot to go back to parliament but his scheme is seen a bit brutish. Wiper is in court to revoke the nomination of MP Bishop Robert Mutemi who is disabled and replace him with Kalonzo.
Wiper operatives are said to be behind the court case filed seeking the ouster of Mutemi whose nomination, they say, was a mistake that Wiper seeks to revoke. Party sources say according to Wiper records, Mutemi has never been a member of Wiper since its formation. Mutemi says he will prove that he is a Wiper member and accuses Kalonzo of wanting the seat of a disabled. At one time even before the court case, Mutemi on getting wind a plot was underfoot to snatch his nomination and give it to Kalonzo told Kalonzo to have a leg cut so that he can become a deserving case because Mutemi was nominated to represent the physically disabled
For the minority leader in parliament, now that both Nyenze and Kalonzo are both Wiper MPs, it is not known if Nyenze will step down for his party leader.
Cord politicians have been arguing that by Raila and Kalonzo being outside parliament, things have failed to work out in both houses and that it’s time they participated actively in parliamentary affairs to ensure a robust opposition in both houses.
But one school of thought has it that it would appear as if Raila and Kalonzo are too desperate, should they accept the nominations. Whereas one camp is comfortable with the two leaders accepting the nomination, a group of MPs from Cord affiliates are not for the idea.