Nominated Member of Parliament (MP) John Mbadi has confirmed that he will resign from his position as the Chairman of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party.
In an exclusive interview with The Standard on Wednesday, February 8, Mbadi said he’s feeling disrespected by a section of key leaders in ODM, and that his stay at the helm of the party leadership is no longer tenable.
The legislator did not reveal when exactly he’ll tender his resignation, but said that his decision to quit is final.
“I have already made a decision regarding that matter,” Mbadi told The Standard in a phone interview.
Some ODM members have accused the former Suba South MP of abandoning Party leader Raila Odinga and failure to champion the party’s push in opposing President William Ruto’s decisions that ODM consider to be punitive and retrogressive.
At the same time, some ODM MPs have taken issue with Mbadi’s failure to attend political rallies convened by Odinga.
The former prime minister has recently held rallies in Kamukunji and Jacaranda Grounds in Nairobi, with several meetings scheduled to take place in Machakos, Kisumu among other counties.
Mbadi says the disrespect by a section of ODM leaders has pushed him to contemplate resignation.
“When it reaches the point where the holder of the position as important as the chairperson of a political party does not enjoy respect from some key members of the party, then the best thing to do is to give room for someone else to pick up from where I’d have left,” he said.
Confirming that he won’t rescind his decision to resign, the lawmaker said: “It’s the right time now for me to give way. I haven’t tendered my resignation yet, but I will do it. I will leave office.”
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Asked why he is delaying a decision which he can make as early as today, the parliamentarian, who has over 15 years’ experience in the National Assembly, said: “I don’t want to leave the office when there is no one [to occupy the chairperson’s seat]. As things are now, all my vice-chairpersons are out of office; they resigned. The deputies included Janet Ongera and Thomas Mwadeghu. They are no longer executing their functions. So, it would be irresponsible of me to jump out like I’m being chased away from the party.”
He added: “I don’t want to appear like I’m running away, like I’m being chased. That is far from it. I want to leave with decorum.”
Asked to respond on Embakasi East MP Babu Owino’s interest in the ODM chairmanship, Mbadi said: “I’m not bothered by who takes over from me. I leave that to the party to decide.”
The MP was, at the same time, asked to give his opinion on what he thinks about the visit to President William Ruto by a section of ODM MPs on Tuesday, February 7.
ODM branded the lawmakers, including Kisumu Senator Prof. Tom Ojienda and Lang’ata MP Phelix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o, traitors.
“I personally would not have gone [to meet President Ruto]. I don’t know what their (ODM MPs’) reasons were [for meeting the president]. What I fear is that we are giving mixed signals to our supporters. We need to be clear. That (issue of opposition MPs meeting the president) need to be discussed during the [Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya] parliamentary group meeting [slated for Thursday, February 9 in Machakos County]. If it won’t be discussed, it would be incumbent upon the party to deal with it.”