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Raila allies to Uhuru: Put your house in order

By Kepher Otieno | January 17th 2021 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Siaya Senator James Orengo with Gem Mp Elisha Odhiambo during the burial of Prof. Absalom Otieno in Gem Siaya county. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has been challenged to crack the whip on dissenters within his Jubilee administration.

Siaya Senator James Orengo told President Kenyatta to stop tolerating dissidents in his administration.

"Even us in the opposition find it difficult to deal with a divided house in Jubilee. And this is the reason we beseech the President to take charge and put his house in order," Orengo said yesterday in Gem constituency during the funeral of the late Prof Absalom Otieno.

The senator said ODM members were loyal to the government of the day, “but if some people don't want the cooperation between opposition and the ruling coalition to thrive, then they better retrace the history of a bickering opposition and its ripple effects on the economy and democracy.”

Reconciliation path

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"Some people in Jubilee assume where Kenya has come from before the Handshake when it was on the precipice and ODM leader Raila Odinga and President Kenyatta chose the path to reconciliation for the common good of Kenya. This is what gave birth to Building Bridges Initiative," he said.

Orengo's sentiments come a week after the president hit out at critics, telling them not to lecture him on how to govern. The president spoke at the funeral of ANC party leader Musalia Mudavadi's mother in Vihiga County just days after Senate Majority Whip Irung'u Kang'ata, in a letter to the Head of State, warned BBI was unpopular in Mt Kenya region and urged the president to take charge of campaigns for the initiative.

The opposition feels the letter was aimed at undermining BBI discourse and efforts championed by President Kenyatta and Raila and wants those rattling their course tamed.

Orengo also asked Deputy President Willian Ruto to stop undermining the president.

Deputy President William Ruto [DPPS]

He said Ruto’s frequent outbursts against the establishment showed he was disgruntled and dared him to resign from government.

"What is the rationale of rocking the boat from within. History reminds us that when founding vice-president Jaramogi Oginga Odinga was dissatisfied with President Jomo Kenyatta's administration, he resigned and went to the opposition where he launched his tirade against the government," he said.

Orengo questioned why Ruto should continue his assault on the Head of State and his own government and urged him to resign ‘in good faith.’

"Ruto is ceaselessly behaving as an outsider in the government and has consistently defied his boss. He is also sending mixed signals to the government functionaries and Kenyans," he said.

Orengo questioned why some Jubilee renegades were trying to undermine efforts to ensure national unity and  growing the economy.

"We have been loyal to the Prince... the president, but that should not be mistaken for meekness as some people would want to construe in the ensuing BBI discourse," Orengo said.

He also said Kenya's debt had gone through the roof because of excessive borrowing. Currently, the National Treasury projects that total public debt will rise to Sh9 trillion by June 2024.

“Kenya is approaching the situation like the one of Greece that was overwhelmed by high debt portfolios, and this time round in the Senate, we shall block any Bill seeking to borrow,” Orengo said.

Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo, Siaya Woman Representative Christine Ombaka and former MP Joe Donde said more borrowing will trigger high-interest repayment.

The leaders also appealed to the Mt Kenya region to back Raila for the presidency in 2022.

President Uhuru Kenyatta James Orengo Jubilee Party
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