Opposition leader Raila Odinga (left) having a word with Kilifi Women Rep Aisha Jumwa (centre) as Funyula MP Paul Otuoma looks on. Dr Otuoma met Cord leader during his tour of Western Kenya on July 19, 2016. | PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
- Dr Otuoma raised fears that the ODM nominations in Busia County may not be free and fair given Mr Odinga’s long term association with current Governor Sospeter Ojamong.
- Dr Otuoma said he had met Mr Oparanya and Siaya Senator James Orengo and shared his concerns on the manner the party was being run.
- Dr Otuoma has maintained that he is in ODM to stay despite his protestations.
- On Saturday, Dr Otuoma criticised Mr Odinga for using the five-day tour to undermine his and Mr Namwamba’s leadership by parading their political opponents at the constituency level.
The leaders met at Oparanya’s rural residence but MP could not confirm.Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga held a meeting with Funyula MP Paul Otuoma on Tuesday night in a bid to stem the growing rebellion within the party in Western region.
The meeting, Sunday Nation learnt, was held at the rural residence of Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya at Emabole in Butere sub county.
In attendance were Mr Oparanya, Butere MP Andrew Toboso and Mr Oparanya’s Chief of Staff Nabii Nabwera.
“Yes, Dr Otuoma met the party leader on Tuesday night to discuss some of the issues he has been complaining about. They met at Mr Oparanya’s home on Tuesday night and he explained in great detail his grievances,” Mr Toboso confirmed.
He said Dr Otuoma raised fears that the ODM nominations in Busia County may not be free and fair given Mr Odinga’s long term association with current Governor Sospeter Ojamong.
“Raila assured Otuoma that the exercise will be free and fair. He told him the best he (Otuoma) could do was to campaign aggressively among the electorate to get the ticket if he carries the day,” Mr Toboso stated.
Dr Otuoma could not however categorically confirm or deny that he met Mr Odinga, only insisting that he had always yearned for an opportunity to meet Mr Odinga to express genuine grievances undermining the party in Western region.
“Tumesema kwamba siri za nyumbani hatupeleki barabarani (we have said that we don't wash our dirty linen in public),” said Dr Otuoma when reached.
“Everybody should be free to meet the party leader and raise any issue affecting the party. In fact the senior most ODM leader in Parliament Jakoyo Midiwo should be the one organising meetings with the party leader,” he added.
He however said he had previously met Mr Oparanya and Siaya Senator James Orengo and shared his concerns on the manner the party was being run.
The meeting came against the backdrop of growing rebellion within the ODM ranks which has seen Dr Otuoma and Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba resign from their positions as vice-chairman and secretary-general of the party respectively.
Whereas Dr Otuoma has maintained that he is in ODM to stay despite his protestations, Mr Namwamba has been taking every opportunity to invite politicians to ditch it going by the ongoings in the party.
On Friday, Mr Namwamba publicly called on Ford Kenya leader Moses Wetang’ula to ditch Cord after the latter said on a television show that Mr Odinga could not win the 2017 presidential race.
Mr Wetang’ula had claimed that Cord supporters were tired of voting for Mr Odinga only for his votes to be stolen. Both Dr Otuoma and Mr Namwamba were not part of Mr Odinga’s entourage to the region.
Speaking on Satuday, Dr Otuoma criticised Mr Odinga for using the five-day tour to undermine his and Mr Namwamba’s leadership by parading their political opponents at the constituency level.
“We thought he would use this opportunity to listen to the grievances of the local people, instead he went parading the so-called aspirants and replacing delegates allied to me and Mr Namwamba,” said the Funyula MP.
He took offence with Mr Odinga’s endorsement of Mr Ojamong’s candidature in the next General Election saying it only confirmed their worst fears that the ODM primaries would not be free and fair.