Raila declines Uhuru’s job offer, vows to soldier on

Former PMRailaOdingasays he was not interested in any political seat.
[PHOTO: BENJAMIN SAKWA/STANDARD]
By Francis Ontomwa and Erick Lungai

KENYA: Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has turned down an offer by the Jubilee Government to work as an envoy saying his “plate was full”. 

Raila said his focus would be to strengthen his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) and urged those still sympathising with him for losing the presidency, to stop.

Speaking in Khwisero constituency on Saturday during the burial of Mama Ellena Andayi, 93, mother to area lawmaker Benjamin Andola, Raila said he was ready to soldier on despite losing the presidency, adding he would re-organise his house.

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Allays fears

“Do not tell me sorry for what happened, I do not wish to hear this. When a cooking stick breaks, do you stop preparing your meal? Certainly not! And that is why we want to state that we have enough work to do,” said Raila.

Bungoma Senator and CORD co-principal Moses Wetangula, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Ikolomani MP Bernard Shinali also attended the funeral.

Raila said CORD would not break, allaying fears of a falling out.  He told supporters he had met with President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto earlier in the day to discuss how the two wings would operate, adding he warned them against buying his team to their side.

“I met with the duo and we discussed how we shall operate. I cautioned them against buying my team and instead told them to work on one side and we work on the other. We have to have two teams, one the Opposition and their side,” he said.

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Future plans

Wetangula said their South Africa trip was refreshing and allowed them to brainstorm on their future.

He revisited the March elections alluding to the fact that numbers let them down and told residents to take voter registration seriously.

“Kakamega and Bungoma counties are the second and third most populous in the country, but look at our voter turnout in the March elections, it was appalling. It is a high time we realised leadership does not emanate from trees or rallies but from our voters cards,” he noted.

Mr Oparanya said the CORD team would form a strong opposition to check the Government, but said they would work towards uniting the country. While thanking the people of Western for voting for him, Raila said the Supreme Court ruling on the last polls was bitter pill to his side but they accepted the verdict to avoid plunging the country into chaos.

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“We all know what happened, but we want to say that is over, we did not want to bring bloodshed again and that is why we are looking ahead,” he said.  Wetangula warned against picking political rejects from Western for Cabinet slots saying this would not resonate with people’s wishes. He accused some leaders from Western of angling for appointments into the Cabinet saying they were selfish and had sold out the community.

“It is now crystal clear what we said was true, have you not seen the political projects we talked about before the polls, Kenyans are watching how the Cabinet will be incorporated,” he observed.

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CORD Uhuru Kenyatta Raila Odinga elections