Raila speaks on troubles in NASA

Mr Odinga has replaced Ababu Namwamba as ODM's Secretary General, nearly a year after he resigned.

Speaking during the National Delegates Meeting at ODM offices in Nairobi, Mr Odinga maintained that Nasa was not disintegrating, terming the ongoing incidences in the coalition, are mere ‘sibling rivalry.’

"I hear people saying wiper is fighting with ODM, ANC, Wiper, Ford Kenya ... tuko katika ile nyumba ya kienyeji ambapo kuna nyumba mingi. Wakati mwingine wabunge huvurutana ... hiyo siyo kuonyesha Nasa inasambaratika,” Raila told delegates in the meeting.

Loosely translated: “We are in the traditional set up with many houses; parliamentarians sometimes wrangle ... that doesn't mean Nasa is crumbling."

Raila added: "Hata pale unapoishi na bibi sio furaha kila siku. Hayo ni maisha na yanaonyesha demokrasia (Even with wives, happiness is not the case every day. Such is life ... it shows democracy)."

The sentiments by Mr Odinga comes in amid rising threats to axe three other principals - Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka – for failing to attend the mock swearing-in ceremony on January 30 at Uhuru Park, Nairobi.

Tough times

While Mr Raila acknowledged that the coalition's unity was tested during "one of the toughest elections in Kenya's history", he maintained that there is not fall out in the nearly one year-old coalition.

Cracks widened in Nasa after Kalonzo, Musalia and Wetang’ula skipped Raila's swearing-in on January 30 after weeks of charging the supporters.

"I thank our partners for a battle well fought. In our case, we made history by living past 2013 and expanding into Nasa to fight into 2017 and beyond," he said seemingly descending from the earlier quest for a fresh election in August 2018.

He added: "The elections tested our capacity beyond limits as a party, coalition and a nation. All over the world coalitions are formed either to win elections or to form government.”

He has, however, castigated the persistent attack on both the judiciary and the media, terming the new move by Jubilee administrative retrogressive.

"What has gone on since August 8 - the crackdown on media, the Judiciary and Nasa leaders - has left no doubt that dictatorship is raising its head in Kenya.

“The robber must never be allowed to get away with it,” he said.

He added: "Jubilee is offering an old country as something new. The times are tough and uncertain. Tides are rough and high but we agree that there is no turning back. That is why we had to assemble and reboot sooner than later."

Namwamba replaced

Mr Odinga’s party used the meeting to make changes in the leadership of the party, in which former Budalangi MP (who since decamped to Jubilee) was replaced by city lawyer Edwin Sifuna as the Secretary General.

Mr Sifuna will be deputised by Agnes Zani, who has been serving as the Secretary General in acting capacity, since the resignation of Namwamba in July, 2017, after a fall out with Raila.

“After consulting the Banyala elders who advised me to resign and ditch the party, and from your decision as the electorate of Budalang’i and former ODM delegates, I am giving in to your wish of resigning as the party secretary general,” he said after a meeting of party delegates and elders from his constituency.

“Before I vied for this position, I consulted my friend Raila Odinga and asked him if he thought I could make a good secretary general. He looked me in the eye and told me I am the best person in the party to succeed Prof Anyang Nyong'o. He told me 'to go for it general',” said Mr Namwamba.


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