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You only look for me when in trouble, James Orengo tells his critics

By Olivia Odhiambo | May 23rd 2021
Siaya Senator James Orengo. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Senate Minority Leader James Orengo has hit out at his critics in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), saying they only seek his help during crisis.

Orengo, who is said to be among lawyers approached by ODM leader Raila Odinga to challenge the stoppage of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) initiative by the High Court, said leaders only turned to him "when things are thick".

The Siaya Senator has been at loggerheads with some ODM top brass over the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020. He voted in favour of the Bill.

He has been a key strategist of Raila and was his lawyer during presidential election petitions. However, succession politics in ODM and the fight for political positions in Nyanza in 2022, are said to have caused a wedge.

On Saturday, Orengo who spoke during a burial of former South East Alego MCA Joshua Osuri in Alego Usonga sub-county in Siaya, accused unnamed politicians in ODM of abandoning the party leader Raila, during his times of need or crisis moments.

Orengo claimed some ODM leaders were riding on the party successes without knowing how they came about. "When the party is in turmoil everyone looks for me asking for my whereabouts, but during other days they undermine my capability," said Orengo.

"I remember after 2017 General Election during the swearing in of Raila at Uhuru Park only a handful of us were at the forefront. I can only recall our 'chief justice' that day Ruaraka MP TJ Kajwang. When we want people who are strong and can fight for the party they are nowhere to be seen," he said.

He told his critics to focus on delivering the presidency to Raila. "It does not matter what we all want now, our focus should be on the presidency... Ambitions can appear easy but getting what one wants is never easy."

He added: "Even just fighting for devolution was not a walk in the park."

He asked all Kenyans to prepare for a referendum before the year ends.

ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna asked cabinet secretaries with 2022 political ambitions to resign. Referring to the recent Bonchari by-election, he accused unnamed CSs of using their powers to frustrate the 'handshake' and the ODM party.


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