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Oburu allays fears over claims to shortchange Raila

Monday, March 29th, 2021 00:00 | By
EALA MP Dr. Oburu Oginga at a past event. Photo/PD/file

Baraka Karama and Rawlings Otieno

East African Legislative Assembly (Eala) MP Dr Oburu Oginga has moved to allay fears among Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s supporters over claims that President Uhuru Kenyatta was plotting to shortchange him, even as it emerged that Deputy President William Ruto, in a phone conversation with Raila, checked on him and wished him quick recovery.

Oburu, the elder brother of Raila and spokesman of the Jaramogi family, said in that in the event that such a scenario presents itself, the Opposition chief would  have to make a decision.

He said Uhuru and Raila were focused on uniting Kenyans through the Building Bridges Initiative.

 “I do not think the President himself has betrayed or shortchanged him (Raila) as people may say. But in the event that there are any other developments then we shall cross that bridge when we get there,” he said.

Soft spot

Oburu’s sentiments come on the backdrop of claims that Uhuru is plotting to abandon Raila, with many saying he has a soft spot for the newly formed One Kenya Alliance dubbed the ‘Sacred Alliance’ that brings together Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Kalonzo Musyoka (Wiper) Gideon Moi (Kanu) and Moses Wetangula (Ford Kenya).

However, National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi (Suba South) has warned that shortchanging the Orange party was not a walk in the park.

“Who would think that shortchanging ODM is easy? If anyone thinks so then let him watch this space. We are not ‘Sisi kwa Sisi’ party but a serious movement in this country that cannot be shortchanged that easily,” said Mbadi.

Mbadi, who spoke to People Daily, revealed that Deputy President William, who on Thursday declared that he was ready to work with Raila, had actually phoned the ODM leader who is in isolation to wish him quick recovery.

Raila is currently in self-isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 two weeks ago to check on his health.

 “The Deputy President called our party leader to find out how he is doing and wished him quick recovery,” said Mbadi.

He, however, disclosed that both Ruto and Raila have not yet engaged in talks of formation of any political alliance.

Mbadi’s sentiments were echoed by ODM’s Political Affairs Secretary Opiyo Wandayi (Ugunja) that the new alliance would not be of any surprise.

“Both Raila and Ruto are Kenyans and I believe it will not be strange if they decide to work together,” said Wandayi.

United States International University lecturer Prof Macharia Munene, yesterday argued that the ‘Handshake’ gave both Uhuru and Raila room to breathe politically, but both remain wary of each other’s intentions.

“They had a temporary understanding that was overtaken by a changing political environment. Raila, repositioning himself for 2022, has to reclaim his fighting image for the underdogs, which Ruto has snatched away. Of necessity, he and his team question Uhuru’s policies,” said  Munene.

Backyard rebellions

He added: “Uhuru, besides the pandemic, has to worry about impressions of being beholden to Raila and a few other advisors as well as backyard rebellions. The pandemic has interfered with Uhuru’s dreams as he prepares to vacate office in 2022.”

Ruto has intimated there is no bad blood between him and Raila and that they share the same ideology of forming National political parties.

“People think that we are enemies with Raila yet we are not. We only differ in political ideologies but where I and he are reading from the same script is to have a party with a national outlook,” Ruto said.

ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna last week in a press statement hinted that Raila was working on a new political alliance and ruled out working with politicians trying to blackmail him in endorsing their presidential ambitions.

However, Ruto’s ardent ally Caleb Kositany (Soy) said they were considering various factors before forming any alliance.

“In politics, anything is possible, however, we must be very cautious as we attempt to make any move, especially with people we feel betrayed us before” Kositany said.

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