Azimio and ODM will be intact, Raila now assures

Azimio la Umoja leader Raila Odinga addresses supporters in Akala, Siaya County. [Emmanuel Wanson, Standard]

Azimio One Kenya Alliance leader Raila Odinga has downplayed claims that the opposition could be on the verge of collapse over his ambitions for the Africa Union Commission chairperson position.

According to Raila, Azimio and ODM will remain intact and will continue to carry the dream of the opposition as they had envisioned.

This happened as the ODM leader poked holes in the establishment of the provincial administration system and claimed that they were not recognized by the Constitution.

speaking in the Akala market in Siaya on Friday, he announced plans to continue with his efforts to strengthen the opposition.

“Our dream is still alive. Let no one dupe you that I am going away. ODM and Azimio will continue,” he said.

As part of an effort to strengthen ODM, Raila said that he will lead a mass membership drive in the North Eastern region next week.

"We must come out in large numbers and register as members of ODM. This is the only way to make our party strong," he said.

Unlike the past where the ODM leader went bare-knuckle in his attacks against President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza, his tone has changed and is more accommodating.

he claimed that they would work jointly with President Ruto to implement the recommendations of the National Dialogue Committee report.

This includes the reconstitution of the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

He spoke as six MPs affiliated with Kenya Kwanza said that the appointment of Raila Odinga to the Africa Union Commission (AUC) would mark the end of opposition.

the legislators said the move would pave the way for the re-election of President William Ruto without hitch come 2027.

"In this case, Ruto's re-election would be a walkover that will bring all communities together in his government,” said Machakos Town MP, Caleb Mule at the launch of Mutituni market built under the Economic Stimulus Programme.

Others at the event were MPs Mukunji Gitonga (Manyatta), Johana Ng'eno (Emurrua Dikirr), Jane Kagiri (Woman Rep. Laikipia), Fabians Kyule (Kangundo) and Joshua Mwalyo (Masinga).

Kagiri asked Kalonzo to join Ruto's Government since without Raila, the opposition will not be vibrant

In Siaya, Raila also asked the national government to decentralize functions such as the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) and Kenya Rural Roads Authority (KeRRA).

"These infrastructural functions existed during the unitary system of government, but with devolution, I urge the national government to hand over these functions to counties to make it easier," he said.

Raila, who emphasized the need to strengthen devolution, said monies going to the counties should be disbursed according to the current budget.

"Our MPs should not allow the last audited budgets to be used to disburse funds to counties because this is causing a lot of delays in disbursement of funds," he stated, adding that funds approved by Parliament should be disbursed to county governments for purposes of enabling the functionality of the devolved units.

He further observed that many bills are being developed and taken to Parliament to claw back on devolution.

Governor James Orengo, who also decried attempts by some forces to frustrate devolution, said they are not able to do a lot of projects due to delayed disbursement of funds by the National Treasury.

[Additional reporting by Victor Nzuma]

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