Kenya’s PM Raila party divided over ODM Makadara rivalry
Nairobi (Alshahid) -The continuous wrangles and bitter rivalry in the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) played out before Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Monday as he moved to stem divisions threatening the party’s performance in the coming Nairobi’s Makadara by-election.
Mr Odinga implored upon ODM supporters in Makadara to respect him and the party by voting for Mr Ndolo.
One supporter of a faction led by Nairobi Deputy Mayor George Aladwa was injured as former MP Reuben Ndolo’s backers forced their way into a meeting presided over by Mr Odinga at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre.
The group accompanying Mr Ndolo brought down a door before entering the Amphitheatre.
PM Raila is the party leader of ODM whose fortunes are dwindling since it heavily relied on the tribal foundation which is quickly disintegrating.
Mr Aladwa’s supporters, predominantly from Luhya ethnic group, are unhappy with ODM’s headquarters move to give Mr Ndolo, from PM’s Luo tribe, direct nomination while there were several other members interested in the seat. They further complained that they had been sidelined in party matters.
Mr Odinga’s intervention and a plea by ODM’s executive director Janet Ongera, chairman Henry Kosgey, deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi and assistant minister Elizabeth Ongoro reached a fragile unity of the two camps.
Mr Odinga explained that Mr Ndolo was given direct nomination because he is the one who filed petition against Mr Wathika and that he had waited for more than two and half years for its conclusion.
“After the conclusion of the petition some now want nominations after just waiting in the wings,” Mr Odinga said.
He said even if one ODM player was bad, they should still wear same uniform and score at the right goal.
The PM appeased the warring factions by promising that the new constitution, created more seats for ODM supporters to contest in Nairobi in the next elections, including governor, deputy governor, Senate, women representative and Speaker of the county.
He added that the city would also get a number of new constituencies to be created by the boundaries commission.
In a resigned tone, Mr Aladwa said if Mr Odinga “has said I should back Ndolo, whom am I to refuse.”
“I respect you (Mr Odinga) and that is why I am here. I will hold a joint rally with Ndolo this week,” Mr Aladwa said.
Already ODM fortunes in Rift Valley have gone up in smoke as the Deputy party leader and Minister for Higher Education William Ruto has publicly declared that his populous Kalenjin community will no longer bank on the PM for political guidance as Ruto himself will run for presidency.