NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – Ousted Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Vice Chairperson Josphat Nanok has told off his former party boss Raila Odinga whom he has now openly accused of orchestrating his removal from the Orange Party.
Nanok who hosted Odinga in Turkana for the annual Tobong‘u Lore festival accused the former Prime Minister of sideling the region post-March 9, 2018 political truce with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
“We all were on the journey to Canaan and arrived at River Jordan, but we lost the antelope we were hunting to the Jubilee Party. But even as we tried and finally caught a hare, we never got a share of it,” he said.
Nanok was ejected from ODM in June after declaring support for Deputy President William Ruto’s presidential ambitions protested.
The Turkana Governor faulted Odinga for distributing benefits accrued from March 9 handshake with Kenyatta among his close allies in his Nyanza turf, the western and coastal region.
“We discovered that the hare was distributed in Nyanza and a bit of the meat was shared in Western and the Coast. Here in Turkana where we fought so hard for the party, we have nothing to show. If this is what had me ejected from the party, then so be it!” he charged.
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago who also spoke at the event accused Odinga’s lieutenants of propagating deceitful politics.
“We want leaders to be truthful. We support the handshake, but people must not come with a hidden agenda,” Mandago said even as he lashed out at National Assembly Minority Whip Junet Mohamed.
Taking to the podium after Nanok, Odinga dismissed assertions by his former party deputy saying he had ensured the national government allocates funds for development of roads and water resources in Turkana.
“No one kicked Nanok out of the party, if he wants top come back he is free to do so,” Odinga responded.
The African Union High Representative for Infrastructure Development said the March 9 peace agreement that deescalated political tensions following his parallel inauguration as “People’s President” on January 30, 2018.
“We agreed with Kenyatta that we must come together and resolve challenges derailing the country and that is how we came up with the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) taskforce,” he said.
Odinga dismissed claims by Governor Mandago that the taskforce which concluded public hearings on August 9 did not collect views from all Kenyans saying the team visited every county in search for views from embers of the public.
“I honestly don’t know where Mandago had spent the night when BBI visited Eldoret,” he jokingly said.
The 12-member BBI team gazetted in May last year is expected to submit a report to Kenyatta and Odinga by September 30.
The Senator Yusuf Haji-led has faced fierce criticism from lawmakers allied to DP Ruto, exposing a sharp schism in the governing Jubilee Party.
Rival formations have since emerged with a predominately male Kieleweke and Tanga Tanga political groups going at each other’s throats.
Women leaders have also formed rival groups with the pro-handshake Team Embrace facing off against Inua Mama Jenga Taifa allied to Ruto and the Tanga Tanga faction in the Jubilee Party.
The confusion has not spared the party’s top officials. Founding Party Vice Chairperson David Murathe quit in January citing irreconcilable differences with Ruto who he has maintained cannot run for presidency in 2022 having served as Deputy President for two terms.
Article 142 (2) of the Constitution (2010) however only limits the term of the President.
“A person shall not hold office as President for more than two terms,” it reads.
Announcing his resignation in January, Murathe vowed to move to the Supreme Court where he said he’d seek an interpretation of Article 142 (2) which he insists limits a Deputy President having served two five-year terms from contesting for the presidency.
Ruto has denied reports of a widening rift between him and President Kenyatta as propaganda sponsored by his opponents.
Political analysts have cited Ruto’s silence on BBI’s constitutional review process and sustained attacks by his lieutenants on an imminent review of the country’s supreme law as the clearest signal of a looming showdown between the once High Education Minister who shot to prominence after leading a campaign against the 2010 constitutional referendum.
Ruto has been on record saying he would not back any referendum seeking to expand the national executive to include the position of a Prime Minister.
He has instead proposed the institutionalization of the Opposition in Parliament.
“The real problem is that we’ve people who participate in elections and they have only one outcome which is not how democrats operate. If you go to an election and you’re only expecting to win then you have a problem,” he said during a public lecture at the Royal Institute of International Affairs – Chatham House – in London on February 8.
“When you go to an election, the options are you win, or you don’t win. The real challenge is that we’ve people who don’t believe in democracy participating in democratic elections,” the DP expounded.