ODM Chairman John Mbadi on Tuesday admitted that he was among allies and friends of the late Joyce Laboso who advised her to decamp from ODM and join the Jubilee coalition ahead of the 2013 general election.
I advised Joyce Laboso to join Jubilee - ODM Chairman John Mbadi says
It was a very difficult decision
Mbadi said he had formed a special bond with Laboso during the 10th parliament when they were both MPs elected on an ODM ticket.
From around 2009, majority of ODM MPs from the Rift Valley started defecting from the orange party in solidarity with the then Eldoret North MP William Ruto who had a fall out with Party Leader Raila Odinga.
Laboso, however, remained in ODM for the longest time and only defected in late 2012.
“When we served in the 10th parliament. Joyce, myself, Ababu Namwamba, Millie Odhiambo, Rachael Shebesh, and others, we formed what we called ODM Reloaded. It was a group of young ODM parliamentarians who worked to revamp the party,” he said.
The National Assembly leader said he had advised Laboso to shift to the Jubilee coalition which was dominating in Rift Valley and in Mt Kenya through URP and TNA respectively.
“I used to pass through her constituency while going to my rural home. I told her that the people were talking well of you but they are unlikely to vote for you if you remain in ODM. I advised her to move to URP because politics is local but it was really a tough decision for her,” Mbadi said while paying tribute to the deceased.
Laboso was re-elected in 2013 despite having defected a few months to the 2013 elections, and was shortly after promoted to become the first female Deputy Speaker in Kenya.
“Joyce did not hold grudges, there are decisions which I did not agree with her but once outside Parliament, we were good friends,” Mbadi added.
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