Raila endorses Mbadi to take on Omondi in war on ODM rebels

ODM leader Raila Odinga lifts the hand of National Chairman John Mbadi during a delegates meeting in a hotel in Suba South Constituency. [James Omoro, Standard]

ODM leader Raila Odinga has renewed attacks on MPs perceived to be party rebels in the Nyanza region. 

Speaking during a tour of Suba South constituency, Sunday, Raila criticised area MP Caroli Omondi and other ODM rebels for working with the Kenya Kwanza government. 

He accused Omondi of working with President William Ruto without his consent as the party leader. 

"One day, Awendo MP Walter Owino told me that they were in the State House, but the discussion that was going on was against me. Suddenly, I heard that Omondi decided to work with Ruto without consulting me," Raila said. 

The ODM rebel MPs are Omondi (Suba South), Mark Nyamita (Ururi), Paul About (Rongo), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Gideon Ochanda (Bondo) and Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda.  

During the tour of Suba South constituency, Raila met ODM delegates and addressed political rallies in Sindo and Magunga towns. 

In the gatherings, he campaigned for the ODM National chairman, John Mbadi, to take over as Suba South MP come the 2027 General Election. 

Mbadi is currently serving as a Nominated MP in the National Assembly. 

Raila rallied residents to vote for the ODM National chairman saying political temperatures in Suba South had forced him to cancel his foreign trips to seek support for his African Union Commission chairman position. 

"I was supposed to travel outside the country, but Mbadi told me there are some issues in Suba South. That is why I am here to address them today," he said. 

He described Mbadi as a bright and loyal leader. 

“Today, I stand here to endorse Mbadi as your next MP. I want you to support him," the ODM leader said. 

Raila said the Nominated MP had demonstrated loyalty to the party since he began serving as Gwassi MP in 2007 before the constituency was renamed Suba South. 

"I saw Mbadi as a sharp politician and appointed him an assistant minister in my office when I was the Prime Minister of this country," he said. 

ODM deputy leader Wickliffe Oparanya said: "We want you to elect leaders who cannot betray us. We don't want elected leaders who betray us."

Mbadi assured that he will serve the people of Suba South diligently if he is re-elected. 

"I am ready for a serious political duel to ensure I recapture my seat. This is a constituency I served for 15 years, and I need my seat back to continue with the development projects I started," he said. 

Raila urged residents to register as ODM members in large numbers. 

"I want you to register for ODM membership to make the party stronger," he said. 

Homa Bay Governor Gladys Wanga and her Siaya counterpart James Orengo urged residents to register enmass as ODM members. 

Wanga called on Nyanza residents to remain steadfast behind Raila and shun people who want to persuade them to join other political parties. 

"Our unity as Luo and Suba communities is key. Let us continue to be firm behind Raila," she said.  

The Homa Bay governor reiterated that it is through unity that the region will win the presidency in future.

Raila's move is likely to renew political rivalry between Mbadi and Omondi. 

The Nominated MP was eyeing the Homa Bay governorship in the 2022 General Election, but he withdrew from the race after Wanga secured the ODM party ticket.