Tuesday, December 9, 2014 |
by- ISAAC ONGIRI
Cord leader Raila Odinga’s desire to tighten his grip on the opposition politics ahead of the 2017 presidential election was the reason behind his interest in the Homa Bay senatorial seat.
According to a Cord insider, Mr Suna East MP Junet Mohammed who is the Suna MP, Mr Odinga was convinced he could achieve a lot more by 2017 by playing politics from inside Parliament.
On Sunday Mr Odinga, who hosted hundreds of Luo elders at his Opoda home in Siaya, used the forum to explain the importance of his candidature for the seat despite opposition from some of the delegates in the meeting.
“Parliament would have given him a much bigger forum to reach out to hundreds of Kenyans from time to time. We also wanted him as the champion of devolution to play it from within the Senate so that he could be part of the team driving that agenda which is almost stalling,” Suna East MP Junet Mohammed said.
Mr Mohammed insisted Mr Odinga was asked by the people of Homa Bay County to vie for the seat, adding that the former PM had no interest in contesting the seat before that.
Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga, who was the first to suggest Mr Odinga candidature said he was looking at the bigger picture when he made the proposal.
“It is unfortunate that some decided to look at this thing narrowly. Mr Odinga as a player would be much more useful inside the pitch than from outside. You cannot rest an active team captain without injuries in the reserves bench while expecting to score goals,” he said.
SCHEMERS OF HIS DOWNFALL
On Sunday, Mr Odinga was said to have explained his intention to vie to the elders and MPs who visited him at his Bondo home.
“He was very keen on this matter. He took time to explain the value of his candidature and by the time he finished, all those opposed to the idea changed had their minds,” a delegate at the Opoda meeting said.
Earlier some family members led by one of Mr Odinga’s uncles vehemently opposed the idea and criticised those pushing for his senatorial bid as schemers of his downfall.
Mr Raila’s older brother Nominated MP Oburu Oginga is the only family member who passionately supported the idea, which drew opposition even from the PM’s own nuclear family.
The opposition also came from some of Mr Odinga’s own political advisors, forcing him to sideline some of them as he pursued the agenda.
DISMISSED THOSE OPPOSED
Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga dismissed those opposed to the idea as having shot down a well-intended move aimed at “his own political participation in the 2017”, adding, “people became unnecessarily emotional about this matter”.
After Mr Odinga dropped out of the race on Monday, Mr Mohammed who is the ODM director of elections, has now called a meeting to discuss the Homa Bay nomination today.
Former National Assembly deputy Speaker Farah Maalim said Mr Odinga’s presence in the Senate would have given the opposition an edge in holding the government to account. He said the absence of Mr Odinga and former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka from Parliament had weakened the opposition.
“The country is in a serious state of insecurity because the Jubilee government has failed to deliver while the opposition is unable to hold the government accountable. The lack of seasoned politicians in Parliament should be blamed for this,” he said on phone.
He faulted the former PM for caving in to negative voices against his candidature, saying, a leader has to step forward when he is needed by his people at whatever level.
“Mr John McCain of the US, Mr Gordon Brown of the UK and Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu have all done it, why not Raila? If he is scared of running in his back yard, then he should as well forget running for any other seat in 2017,” he said.
The family of former Senator Otieno Kajwang’ declared yesterday that they will support Mr Moses Kajwang’ to contest for the seat.