Monday, December 7, 2009



Prime Minister Raila Odinga acknowledges greetings from Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) supporters as he arrived at the Tononoka grounds, Mombasa, for a party rally on Sunday. Photo/GIDEON MAUNDU

Mombasa Kenya
December 6 2009

Prime Minister Raila Odinga held a highly successful rally at Mombasa’s Tononoka grounds on Sunday as he sought to fight back against a rebellion in the party.

There was an air of the campaigns at the rally attended by 15 ODM Cabinet ministers and more than 60 MPs at which there were more calls for the sacking of ministers who have risen against the party boss.

Agriculture minister William Ruto and Tourism minister Najib Balala have broken ranks with Mr Odinga and neither attended the rally held in Mr Balala’s Mvita constituency, nor the party’s National Executive Council meeting on Saturday.

Mr Ruto is a deputy party leader while Mr Balala sits on the Pentagon, the highest organ of ODM.

Sports minister Hellen Sambili also did not attend the meeting. Other absent Cabinet ministers, William Ntimama and Wycliffe Oparanya, sent apologies.

In his speech, Mr Odinga was conciliatory, and steered clear of calls to sack the ministers for “disrespecting” him and betraying ODM’s efforts to get to power.

Instead, he invited Mr Balala and Mr Ruto back to the party to try their luck for the presidency from within.

Other speakers, however, were fiery and suggested a round of countrywide rallies to fight Mr Ruto, using his past. They said he and his group ought to be sacked at a later stage.

Scuttle review

The Agriculture minister was accused of being anti-reform, allegedly because he sought to scuttle the review by supporting one centre of power in the new constitution.

Mr Odinga, on the other hand, was hailed as a “hero, reformist and statesman”.

In his speech, Mr Odinga said he was not ODM’s automatic candidate for 2012.

However, he said, if Mr Ruto and Mr Balala chose to leave the party, he would not be shaken or affected as he still had a strong team.

“I am sure ODM will win, we have many friends. Assistant ministers Kilemi Mwiria and Peter Kenneth were also in the group and only missed flights to attend the rally. Kenya should not fear, our team is strong,” he said.

Mr Odinga recognised the ministers present, terming them the winning team of 2012. They included deputy prime minister Musalia Mudavadi, Amason Kingi, James Orengo, Anyang’ Nyongo’, Paul Otuoma, Joseph Nyaga and Otieno Kajwang’.
Others were Franklin Bett, Mohammed Elmi, Sally Kosgei, Fred Gumo and Charity Ngilu. Kipkelion MP Magerer Langat, Kapenguria’s Julius Murgor, nominated MP Musa Sirma, Turkana MP Josphat Nanok and Kajiado Central’s Joseph Nkaissery were also present to show their loyalty to Mr Odinga.

Mr Bett and Mr Elmi, who two weeks ago attended a harambee for the ex-Mau settlers at which the PM was roundly criticised, appeared to be back in the Odinga fold. Mr Bett, Mr Kosgey and Dr Kosgei said Rift Valley, seen as Mr Ruto’s stronghold, supported ODM and Mr Odinga and residents had seen no reason to leave.

Mr Odinga said: “If you want to be president, Raila Odinga can understand. We should tolerate each other. Nobody can stop you. You might also need my vote to be President.”

He described ODM as the party of change which should remain intact to deliver its promises to Kenyans, including a new constitution. “Raila can never be cowed,” he said, adding attendance at the rally displayed the face of Kenya.

The PM described Mr Balala and Mr Ruto as having tripped, “but have not fallen”.

“I am telling them to stand up and continue with the journey as there’s danger where they are going,” he said.

He said he would continue to champion the rights of Kenyans, including the eviction of settlers from Mau Forest.

The kadhi courts will remain in the constitution, he said in an apparent attempt to reach out to Muslims. He also said a new noise law will not be implemented.

With the exception of Mr Bett and Mrs Ngilu, all Cabinet ministers called for the sacking of the rebels.

Mr Mudavadi, a rival of Mr Ruto for the second slot in ODM, warned that rebels could bring ODM and the PM down if Mr Odinga continued tolerating them.

“In a war, even friendly fire kills. Our PM is not a fool,” Mr Mudavadi said.

Mr Orengo said he agreed with Mrs Ngilu that in the Bible Jesus left 99 sheep to go and look for one was lost, “what happens when a sheep has turned into a goat?”

Mr Otuoma said the rebels were infected with a typhoid of politics and Mr Gumo swore that the renegades would not be allowed to continue fighting Mr Odinga from within. The dissenting leaders were variously described by speakers as “greedy, tribalists, tainted and unfit to lead the country”.

“It is a grouping of former YK92 crooks who now pretend to champions of human rights,” Mr Gumo said.

Prior to the Tononoka rally, Mr Odinga had breakfast meeting with ODM MPs and other Coast leaders.

On Saturday evening, Mr Odinga paraded the Coast MPs and Mombasa Mayor Ahmed Mohdar as his pointmen in the province as he seeks to consolidate his support in the region.

ODM won 13 out the 21 parliamentary seats in Coast Province in the last general elections.

Mr Elmi announced that another ODM ally will be held in Wajir soon.

Mr Kajwang’ said ODM was still the most popular party in the country, Mr Odinga most popular leader and that his team was the popular Cabinet for 2012 elections.

Prof Nyong’o said although the Ruto group was youthful, it lacked wisdom and was not youthful in heart and thinking.

“In 1992 they were in Youth for Kanu when I and the likes of Imanyara, Jaramogi Oginga Odinga, Mr Odinga, Mr Orengo and Mr Muite were fighting for democracy. Jaramogi was old but youthful in heart,” he said.
ubmitted by Moorni
Posted December 07, 2009 04:12 AM

PM Raila Odinga’s speech felt short of my expectation many Kenya alike, ‘’we are not scared of anybody…” toned Raila, was he loosing his party and political grip and appealing to the nation to take-up arms against the rebels , scared of what? Queried Mr. Osare nakinson, German based activist, I hope he wants to stamp-out such like feature political rewards of likeof Ruto’s Kalonzo-elements axis rewards he warns

Submitted by powerabuse
Posted December 07, 2009 03:38 AM

Ruto can go, but Najib Balala needs to come back to ODM. Balala may be widening his political grave. He led a good amount of support from Coast province to ODM. Ruto is after presidency, what is Balala after??? Balala come back to ODM and seek forgiveness before its too late. You will be rewarded.

Submitted by kiriakukk
Posted December 07, 2009 01:55 AM

While I agree with Raila's strategy to remain in the campaign mode as we approach 2012, he needs to move past Moi's tactics of encouraging psycophany. Instead he should be laying out his vision clearly to Kenyans who are sick and tired of the Rift Valley's schemes of evil. Raila must furiously guard his nationalistic and pragmatic approach to politics.

Submitted by Thabari
Posted December 07, 2009 01:00 AM

Raila sounds like a person who'd like to lead by decree. How can he disobey the law by decreeing that the new noise law will not be implemented? How can he guarantee the Kadhi courts would remain in the constitution? The other day he complained that parliamentary watchdog committees are hampering civil servants. You've been warned: where there is smoke....

Submitted by mainathuo
Posted December 07, 2009 12:09 AM

Politics!! politics!!! Now noise law will not be implemented for the sake political expediency. Too bad in Kenya where politics overrides all logic and sobriety.

Submitted by weda
Posted December 07, 2009 12:07 AM

While I am not taking sides in this fiasco of Mau Forest and its political implications, I strongly believe the Ruto-Uhuru aliance is the ghost in the form of YK92. What this group did to this economy with their jirongo notes still haunt us. If a sheep turn into a goat just give it time. he will change into a sheep.

Submitted by Pende
Posted December 06, 2009 11:26 PM

ODM Cabinet ministers and MPs should read Karume’s article and initiate Kihikas` like initiate and the earlier the better. If Ruto "God forbid" happened to become the President, ooh my goodness, Kenya would be plunged into another deeper hole for years to come. We should remember Ruto is Moi`s making and these guys are ambitious and greedy like hell. There is evidence about that and no doubt some of these self styled politicians have been using the image of fighting for the poor to enrich themselves.I believe the man is on the ICC list.Kihika was right.