Babu Owino, Olekina, Mbadi launch onslaught on ODM over positions
A section of ODM MPs has launched an onslaught on the ODM party leadership over the recent distribution of parliamentary positions.
In what signals cracks in the once solid party, Embakasi East MP Paul Ongili alias Babu Owino on Thursday accused the party of betrayal.
In a post on social media, the outspoken legislator called out the Raila Odinga-led party over what he termed as betrayal and blackmail of the youth who have sacrificed a lot for the party for many years.
"ODM Party, so many youth and myself sacrificed a lot and used our resources in the party over the years, our pay is betrayal and blackmail. It is OK. Tomorrow is another day," Babu said in a tweet.
In a swift rejoinder, Narok Senator Ledama Olekina also weighed in on the issue saying it's time the youth in ODM demand for their rightful share of the plum jobs in the National Assembly and the Senate.
"It’s about time we demand what is ours. Enough of always being kept in arms way while others chill in their cribs and are rewarded with the lion's share of party positions," Olekina said.
It’s about time we demand what is ours. Enough of always being kept in arms way while others chill in their cribs and are rewarded with the lion share of party positions. https://t.co/b5sW9dFVOJ— Sen. Ledama Olekina (@ledamalekina) September 22, 2022
The strong remarks come amid discomfort in the party over the lineup unveiled by the Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition for various House positions.
The Raila-led coalition on Saturday fronted Ugunya MP Opiyo Wandayi as Majority Leader in the National Assembly, a decision that has sparked protests from a section of ODM MPs including the party chairman John Mbadi.
The nominated MP, who served as ODM Minority Leader in the 12th parliament, claims he was shortchanged by the party.
In a recent interview, Mbadi lamented that the decision to pick Wandayi for the job signified that he had failed in his leadership in the party and in his tenure as Minority Leader.
“Sometimes certain decision are made against certain people and we keep quiet and people start imagining that we are comfortable,” he said.
“I am not comfortable with this decision, the stature of the ODM chairman position must be respected. I can’t do the position of ODM chairman injustice by accepting that decision,” said Mbadi.
"If am the chairman in ODM and I lead the party outside then I don't understand why when I come to the house, I am being led by someone who is my junior in the party. No democracy has such an arrangement."
A section of the ODM MPs has also expressed reservations over the appointment of Suna East MP Junet Mohamed as the Majority Whip in the National Assembly. The MPs argue that Junet was among leaders who failed Raila in his bid to be Kenya's fifth president, and should not have therefore been given any position in the House.
The Azimio coalition on Saturday picked Kathiani MP Robert Mbui to deputise Wandayi.
In the list read by Wiper leader Kalonzo Muyoka, the coalition settled nominated MP Sabina Chege as Junet's deputy.
In the Senate, the coalition picked Kilifi Senator Stewart Madzayo as the coalition's Minority Leader with Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua as his deputy.
The coalition also picked Isiolo Senator Fatuma Dullo as the Minority Whip with Nairobi Senator Edwin Sifuna as her deputy.
Raila has convened a crisis meeting early next week to address the emerging fallout.