Raila Odinga’s Azimio, which is fomenting a rebellion against the government, is seemingly having a taste of its own medicine after some of its members shifted allegiance to President William Ruto.
Consequently, Azimio has called a two-day Parliamentary Group retreat, from today, to stem the growing rebellion in its ranks.
The meeting, to be held in Machakos County, is expected to set the agenda for Parliament expected to resume next Tuesday.
The unease in the opposition became apparent yesterday when some ODM legislators met the president at State House, Nairobi, at a time Raila has intensified attacks on Ruto’s administration in recent rallies.
The leaders who met the president and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua are Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda and MPs Shakeel Shabir (Kisumu Town East), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Paul Abuor (Rongo) John Owino (Awendo) and Felix Odiwuor (Langata). While acknowledging the meeting with the Nyanza MPs, the Head of State on his official Twitter handle said leaders must join hands, foster coexistence and work together in confronting the challenges facing our country.
“They must endeavour to lead by example and serve the interest of the people. This is a sure route to a more united and developed Kenya. At State House, Nairobi, held a consultative meeting with MPs from Nyanza following a recent visit to the region,” he tweeted.
Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o said the leaders went to State House without the blessings of ODM.
“I am not surprised that an amalgam of self seeking MPs went to State House today (yesterday) without the blessing of our progressive party - the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). After all, in a revolutionary situation such as the one currently staring us in the face in Kenya it is helpful for the ODM leadership to remember Lenin’s warning. In a revolutionary situation, V I Lenin wrote: Better fewer but better,” said Prof Nyong’o.
Three months ago, the Azimio leadership began rallies to push for “reclamation of its victory in order to provide the leadership Kenyans want”.
The leaders claimed that their rivals were out to woo their members instead of addressing critical issues such as high cost of living and corruption.
“We know that in the quest for legitimate leadership, there are those who will fall by the wayside, and some will be compromised, but the movement remains unstoppable, this is a people’s movement aimed at defending the Constitution of the land,” said on Azimio leader.
The ODM leadership warned that history would judge harshly leaders who accept handouts to scuttle the activities of Azimio and called on Kenyans to ignore such selfish leaders.
Some Jubilee leaders have also decided to work with the government and have been avoiding public rallies addressed by Raila that have been deemed to be anti-government.
During a rally at Jacaranda grounds in Nairobi two weeks ago, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka said they were keenly watching leaders who were elected on the tickets of Azimio affiliate parties’ but were keeping off their meetings.
National Assembly Minority Leader Opiyo Wandayi told The Standard that the purpose of the Azimio PG is to take stock of the gains and losses made since last year’s elections and to chart the way forward, especially with Parliament resuming sittings.