Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga on Sunday, March 7, postponed his planned rally at Kamukunji grounds in Kibra constituency, Nairobi, with reports indicating that he had received a phone call from President Uhuru Kenyatta over an alleged fallout.
The reports came after Raila’s confidant and political strategist James Orengo and Rarieda Member of Parliament Otiende Amollo claimed that there was a plot to sabotage the handshake and stop Raila’s plan to ascend to power.
The two had warned that ODM would back out of the handshake deal between Uhuru and Raila claiming that powerful individuals at the Office of the President were interfering with the nation’s politics.
One top official of ODM party told the Standard that the President had phoned Raila after the disturbing claims were made regarding handshake. It was reported that the two lawmakers; Orengo and Otiende had received Raila’s blessings before making their pronouncements.
The official, however, did not provide further details about the phone call, but it is believed that the two leaders agreed to focus on the bigger picture which is the 2020 Constitution Amendment Bill, and that Raila should calm his allies.
The ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna during an interview with Citizen TV on Monday, March 8, appeared to deny claims that the president might have called Raila – which resulted in him (Raila) failing to attend the Kamukunji rally.
“I don’t think the president would call Raila to put off a rally that is essentially a BBI rally. Of course we would not know the content of the call between the two gentlemen. But I am saying that Raila was at the coast for almost a week, and I don’t understand how the phone call would call off the rally,” Sifuna said.
Makadara MP who is also ODM party Nairobi branch chairman George Aladwa delivered Raila’s apologies at the rally and disclosed that the party had decided not to conduct party elections since some officials had decided to frustrate Raila’s presidential bid.
“I have a special message from Raila… because he was supposed to be here today and we were expecting him,” Aladwa said.
Member of Parliament for Soy, Caleb Kositany on Sunday, March 7, threw a jibe at the ODM party following their rant over a fallout with the Jubilee party.
“Do not take us back to the battle streets. If you feel that something has not gone right, do not mourn more than the Bereaved,” said Kositany who appeared to mock the ODM brigade.
The MP urged ODM and Jubilee parties to stick to peaceful negotiations ahead of the much anticipated 2022 general elections.