Raila: Uhuru Kenyatta firmly in Azimio

Raila Odinga celebrated his 78th birthday in Mombasa on Saturday. [Raila Twitter Handle ]

Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Alliance leader Raila Odinga says former President Uhuru Kenyatta was in the coalition party to stay and that constituent parties will be strengthened and positioned to win the next elections.

Raila termed as propaganda claims that there was a power struggle in Azimio that could lead to its collapse.

Raila who was accompanied by Mombasa governor Abdullswamad Nassir was speaking to journalists outside Mombasa's ACK Memorial Cathedral after attending a Sunday service.

"There is no power struggle in Azimio. Everything is done as per plan. He is in Azimio to stay. I was with Uhuru yesterday and I talked to him this morning. Uhuru is a member and part and parcel of Azimio leadership," Raila maintained.

The ODM leader said the Azimio leadership agreed to strengthen the coalition party and its constituent parties like ODM, Jubilee, Wiper and Kanu ahead of the next polls.

He maintained that ODM and Azimio leaders are united and the entities are strong.

On the chaos that preceded the announcement of presidential election results at Bomas of Kenya in august last year, Raila called for a thorough audit, saying the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati must explain to Kenyans where he got the figures that gave President William Ruto victory.

He said he wanted the audit to be carried out so that Kenyans know who really won the election.

"The audit will solve the problem in conducting elections and enable Kenyans to know who won the last election," Raila said.

He said the audit will unravel the divide in IEBC where Chebukati had two other commissioners on his side and vice chairperson Julian Cherera had three in her fold.

"It will resolve the question of three against four in IEBC," he added.

He dismissed claims that Azimio staged a coup at Bomas noting that Uhuru had always stated that he stood for free and fair elections.

"Uhuru had always insisted on a free and fair election. The government therefore could not stage a coup against itself. The coup was by one person Mr Chebukati," Raila said.

Raila lashed out at President Ruto claiming the constitutional amendments he was fronting through parliament were against the Constitution as they required exhaustive debate and interrogation by Kenyans themselves.

He said the amendment should begin with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) that President Ruto had opposed.

He insisted that the plan to introduce the office of the leader of the opposition must go through a referendum and parliament.

"The office of the opposition leader is anchored in the BBI and let's talk from there. This has to be extensively debated by the people of Kenya," he insisted.

Raila claimed that the office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary was amorphous without a portfolio and a replica of the one for the prime minister proposed in the BBI.

"(Musalia) Mudavadi should have a portfolio and assigned prime minister," he noted.

Meanwhile, Raila maintained that former outspoken Mombasa governor Hassan Joho was firmly in ODM.

He said Joho was absent because he was outside the country.

"Joho is still a very active member of ODM. He is not here because he is outside the country," he said.

Since the august 9 general election, Joho who is the ODM deputy party leader has taken a low profile and stayed away from the public limelight.

Joho has not been seen with Raila during his four visits after the polls sparking speculations about his position in ODM.