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Jalang'o finally returns to his roots after a heart-to-heart with Ruto

Lang'ata MP Phelix 'Jalang'o' Odiwuor bows to public pressure.

President William Ruto with Lang'ata MP Jalang'o at State House, Nairobi on July 4, 2023
  • Jalang'o surprised many by joining the growing number of Kenyans rejecting the bill
  • His decision to reject the bill was seen as a response to public pressure
  • His recent history includes a fallout with the opposition party, ODM, and its leader Raila Odinga

Lang'ata MP Phelix 'Jalang'o' Odiwuor has become a trending topic in Kenya following his unexpected stance on the Finance Bill 2024.

Known for his close relationship with President William Ruto, Jalang'o surprised many by joining the growing number of Kenyans rejecting the bill.

On Thursday afternoon, Jalang'o took to the floor of the House to make his position clear. He stated, "I reject the Finance Bill 2024. Immediately it touched on the common mwanainchi, I looked back and had to make this choice that I have made today. Most of you know that I am a friend to the President. I spoke to him and he knows very well that this is my stand."

This declaration came after he had been actively engaging with the bill's proceedings. Earlier, Jalang'o had posted on social media, "Day 1 of the Finance Bill Debate, keenly following the tabling of the bill with Hon. @peter_salasya. Voting will be next week Thursday and we will be there!"

In another post, he wrote, "Afternoon session Day 1, Dr and I dissecting the bill in detail. He says total rejection and not amendments. I am telling him let's hear the amendments and debate first."

Jalang'o's decision to reject the bill has caused an uproar, with many speculating that he has finally succumbed to public pressure.

His shift in stance is seen as a response to the overwhelming opposition from Kenyans who feel that the bill would adversely impact the common citizen.

His rejection of the bill signifies a significant shift in his political trajectory, especially given his recent history with the ruling party.

Jalang'o's stance on the Finance Bill comes a few years after his fallout with the opposition party, ODM, and its leader Raila Odinga.

Shortly after winning his seat in 2022, Jalang'o faced criticism for his perceived closeness to Kenya Kwanza and President William Ruto.

The tension escalated when President Ruto hosted Jalang'o and other ODM MPs at State House in Nairobi on September 13. This meeting fueled speculation about Jalang'o's political allegiance and loyalty to the opposition party.

This relationship led ODM to consider expelling him from the party along with other rebel politicians.

ODM's position was clear: lawmakers who switched sides and went against the party's position should go back to the ballot and seek a fresh mandate from the people, either as independent candidates or under a party that aligns with their current stance.

Despite these developments, Jalang'o later clarified that he remained on good terms with Raila Odinga. However, this assurance did little to change the perception of many Kenyans who viewed him with suspicion.

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