Details have emerged of a secret meeting convened by Raila Odinga at Orange House and a new dilemma facing the opposition chief in his deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The dilemma is as a result of concerns that the Building Bridges Initiative may fail to recommend a referendum in its final report, putting Raila in an awkward situation since part of the deal with Uhuru entailed finding a lasting solution to electoral injustice and violence that the country witnesses after almost every general election.
Nation further reports that Odinga’s camp is uneasy with leaks from within the BBI team indicating that President Kenyatta is not comfortable with a referendum towards the end of his final term in office and just before the next general election.
The publication reports that the reason for the change of heart by the president who had initially expressed a desire to bring an end to 'winner takes it all' situation in Kenyan elections is due to the disruptive nature of a referendum.
The high-octane campaigns that come up with a referendum could also eclipse attention from the Big 4 Agenda focusing on manufacturing, universal healthcare, food security and affordable housing that the head of State is keen on delivering.
Odinga’s handlers are on high-alert amidst suspicion that the deal could backfire on Odinga and concerns that President UhurKenyatta has been giving mixed signals.
A source privy to the details rvealed that the recent endorsement of McDonald Mariga for the Kibra parliamentary seat was a wake-up call to Odinga which saw him assemble his troupes at the new Orange house to plan.
“We do not want to be caught flat-footed. They say a week is a long time in politics, now what can we say about an election that is three years away? Many things shall have happened by then and we must stay on top of the game,” confirmed the source to Nation.
A team of technocrats has also been assemble to come up with a strategy should the handshake collapse.
Several MPs admitted that the endorsement came as a shocker and the party responded immediately
“Let’s see what happens in Kibra, although I expected Jubilee to support us on this. We must now mobilise our troops to come out in large numbers to vote for the ODM candidate, Imran (Okoth),” said Seme MP James Nyikal.
“Our assumption was that since there is cooperation with our party leader, a win for ODM in Parliament would still help advance Kenyatta’s interests in the House,” added another lawmaker.