Resign and seek fresh election, Raila tells Jalang'o, other rebel ODM MPs

Raila Odinga addressing roadside gathering at Imara Daima in Nairobi County on Thursday, March 30, 2023. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya leader Raila Odinga on Thursday, March 30 asked rebel ODM lawmakers to resign and seek fresh election.

Odinga spoke at Imara Daima in Embakasi South Constituency in Nairobi, where he was leading anti-President William Ruto protests.

He also extended the warning to other Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya legislators from affiliate parties such as Jubilee.

He asked the rebel parliamentarians to either return to Azimio, or resign from their elective seats and seek fresh mandate from the electorate.

Odinga accused President Ruto of attempting to weaken the opposition by “buying off” Azimio MPs.

“Ruto should stop buying leaders from Azimio Coalition. The persons he is targeting were elected on Azimio ticket, and should therefore remain within Azimio. If the Azimio MPs want a way out of the coalition, then they should resign and go back to the people to seek fresh election. We don’t want political prostitution,” Odinga said in his speech.

In February this year, several ODM and Jubilee MPs and senators pledged to work with President Ruto in delivering development for their constituents.

The rebel Azimio legislators include Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), Phelix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o (Lang’ata), Paul Abuor (Rongo), John Owino (Awendo) and Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda.

Lawmakers from Jubilee Party, who pledged to work with Ruto, were EALA MP Kanini Kega, Nominated MP Sabina Chege, Irene Njoki (Bahati), Zachary Kwenya Thuku (Kinangop), Shadrach Mwiti (South Imenti), Mark Mwenje (Embakasi West), Amos Mwago (Starehe), Dan Karitho (Igembe Central), Stanley Muthama (Lamu West) and Joseph Githuku (Lamu Senator).

In his Thursday address at Imara Daima, Odinga said he won’t relent on his pursuit to have President William Ruto’s administration address their grievances, including lowering the cost of living.

“Whether you send us a million policemen, we won’t give up. We are focused on what we want,” he said.

Some of the leaders who accompanied Odinga to Imara Daima were Wiper Party Leader Kalonzo Musyoka, NARC-Kenya Party Leader Martha Karua, former Defence CS Eugene Wamalwa, former Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni, Embakasi East MP Babu Owino and Narok Senator Ledama Olekina.