ODM MPs warn Uhuru over pre-condition for Raila's pension

ODM members of parliament Tom Kanjwang (Mbita), Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi and Homabay Gladys Wanga when they addressed the press on retirement benefits of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka. They said it was against the constitution to deny the two their retirement benefits. ON 18/05/15 [PHOTO/JENIPHER WACHIE/STANDARD]

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) legislators have warned President Uhuru Kenyatta for refusing to sign into law a bill granting former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka a retirement package.

Six ODM MPs said the President should not blackmail the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leaders to keep off active politics to benefit from what Parliament had accorded them.

The legislators, led by Ugunja MP Opiyo Wandayi, said Raila cannot retire from politics since Kenyans still require him to checkmate the Jubilee administration, which they said had failed in so many ways.

The Ugunja MP, who was accompanied by Tom Kajwang (Ruaraka), James Nyikal (Seme), Dennitah Ghatti (Migori), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and Mary Otara (Kisii), spoke at a Press conference at Parliament Buildings.

Access perks

Kajwang said CORD would explore all means under the law to ensure Raila and Kalonzo access their pensions.

"We shall fight on the floor of the House, in the court room, in the court of public opinion... to ensure the two leaders get the pension because it is their right," he said.

Ms Wanga accused the Jubilee administration of being "vindictive" towards the two leaders and said even MPs who previously served two terms and lost their seats were earning pension benefits.

"Some of them were re-elected and have returned to active politics. Quitting politics was never a precondition for them to earn their benefits," she said.

The opposition MPs further told off their Jubilee counterparts, who on Sunday told both Raila and Kalonzo to forget their pension until they quit politics.

The MPs said Jubilee was desperate to get Raila out of politics, warning Kenya risks reverting to fully-fledged dictatorship the moment the CORD leader leaves.

"Raila is the catalyst for action and change in the country. He is the conscience and soul of this nation. Nothing moves until Raila has moved," the MPs added in their statement.

The MPs said Jubilee leaders want Raila to retire because he makes them feel small and guilty.

"Raila is reminding Jubilee of what President-elect Mohammed Buhari did to Goodluck Jonathan in Nigeria."

Nyikal said retirement pension is part of a Government policy and demanded Jubilee explains what the Government means by asking the two leaders to quit politics before getting the benefits.

"There are many MPs who served in government, retired and got elected. They are still enjoying their full retirement benefits," he said.

The Jubilee MPs, led by Starahe's Maina Kamanda, asked Raila to follow the example of retired presidents Daniel arap Moi and Mwai Kibaki and retire from politics in order to enjoy the perks.