Standoff in Azimio as Kalonzo changes tune

I will not accept any deviation from what had been agreed upon-ODM Secretary-general Edwin Sifuna

Raila Odinga addressing Azimio elected leaders during the Parliamentary Group meeting at Stoni Athi Resort on September 16, 2022

Azimio la Umoja coalition leader Raila Odinga was yesterday forced to postpone the unveiling the names of the coalition’s house leadership members after a standoff with Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.

Reports indicate that Azimio la Umoja affiliate parties failed to reach an agreement with Wiper leader, Kalonzo Musyoka insisting that the position of the Senate Minority should be given to a member of his party.

A section of ODM lawmakers took a contrary position, insisting that there was an agreement that the constituent party with majority members in both the Senate and the National Assembly produce the whip in both houses with other coalition affiliate parties producing the deputies.

This was the subject of a heated debate during the coalition’s retreat on Sep 16 at Stoni Athi Resort in Machakos that saw the coalition postpone the announcement of the names to Monday.

Saturday Nation quoted ODM Secretary-General, Edwin Sifuna protesting Wiper’s move to lay claim on the Senate Minority whip, insisting that he will not accept such an arrangement.

Wiper now wants Senate whip, yet the agreement was that the largest party in the coalition gets leader and whip in both Houses and the other parties take up the deputy slot.

“Discussions are ongoing, but I will not accept any deviation from what had been agreed upon. It is just logical that the leader and whip come from ODM because of our numbers.” Sifuna said.

Sifuna who is the Nairobi Senator had earlier been proposed to take up Senate Minority whip.

Raila appeals for unity in Azimio

Odinga appealed for unity within the coalition, noting that divisions especially in Parliament could disadvantage Azimio as the coalition has the numbers to drive the agenda in parliament and hold the government accountable.

This meeting (retreat) was decided on by the leadership to bring our members together so that they can bond and come out as one unit going to Parliament, and to look after the interest of our movement.

If you do not bond and become united, you are going to be ruled the entire of this Parliament, yet you have the numbers to be able to be the rulers of this House.” Odinga said.

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