Gachagua, MPs berate Raila for expelling rebels

Azimio Leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua during the Africa Climate Summit at the KICC, Nairobi. [Silas Otieno, Standard]

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has hit out at the ODM leader Raila Odinga over the expulsion of party rebels.

The Deputy President said The Azimio la Umja-One Kenya Coalition leader was not democratic.

Gachagua claimed he instructed the Kenya Kwanza team involved in the bipartisan talks with Azimio led by Senate Leader of Majority Aaron Cheruiyot and National Assembly's Leader of Majority Kimani Inchungwa to withdraw.

"How can the Kenyan government sit at the negotiation table when, at the same time, the President collaborates with Orange Democratic Movement leaders, and Raila expels them?" said Gachagua.

The opposition party took a stern stance on Wednesday, cracking down on members seen to be collaborating with President William Ruto's administration.

But speaking during the funeral of Vincent Mutai, the son of Kipkelion East MP Joseph Cherorot in Masaita, Kericho, Gachagua reiterated that ODM's action showed Raila was pursuing self interests.

He further criticised Raila’s inconsistency by questioning why Members of Parliament seeking development alongside President Ruto are being punished.

"Raila doesn't see any mistake when he meets with the President. Even the other day, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka came to State House at night and he hasn't been expelled from the Azimio coalition,” said Gachagua.

Kericho Governor Erick Mutai agreed with the Deputy President's stance against dialogue between the government and the opposition.

"We must distance ourselves from the opposition's machinations and blackmail. They must learn to accept the outcomes of a General Election. What they should do now is wait and contest in the next election because our country is a democracy,” he said.

Kipkelion West MP Hillary Koskei also hit out at Rila, labeling him a political hypocrite.

“It's high time for the government to put the brakes on Raila’s political maneuvers, given his desire to engage in dialogue with the Kenya Kwanza government while expelling Orange Democratic leaders who had already taken that path,” he said.

John Mwirigi, the Igembe South MP, expressed solidarity with the expelled ODM members, calling for Kenya Kwanza to abandon the ongoing bipartisan talks.

“Raila is using these negotiations for selfish reasons. His party members should not be punished for seeking access to the President.”