Raila cracks whip on Ababu Namwamba, ‘rebel’ MPs


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ODM leader Raila Odinga (left) and Ababu Namwamba (right) in a past event. [Photo/Courtesy]

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has given Budalang’i MP Ababu Namwamba and his Western counterparts a two-week ultimatum to toe the party line or leave.

The party leader Raila Odinga read a Riot Act to the ODM members from Western region during a Central Management Committee meeting at Orange House in Nairobi.

Odinga blasted the MPs for publicly raising their concerns about party affairs instead of following the due process within the party.

He also put Namwamba on the spot over his absence from party affairs including the anti-IEBC marches to the electoral body offices at Anniversary Towers in Nairobi and the public meetings held after the death of businessman Jacob Juma.

Reports indicate that attempts by Ababu team to forward their grievances directly to Raila were rejected.

The meeting was aimed at discussing and seeking resolutions to the outstanding issues that have created cracks between the Western MPs and a section of party officials.

Nine MPs led by vice chairman Paul Otuoma had last week complained of apparent isolation in the affairs of the party, in a press briefing held at Parliament buildings.

Their claims caused an uproar within the party with some members claiming that Ababu and his team had been bought to quit ODM for Jubilee, allegations that they have denied.

In the meeting with Raila and other ODM officials, Ababu and Otuoma were pressed to explain why they decided to air internal party issues in public instead of following due process.

Ababu was also accused of calling on ODM supporters to vote for individuals and not parties in the next elections with the ODM hierarchy saying this would impede the party’s efforts to have a six piece vote.

The ODM Secretary General, however, denied the allegations, though an audio clip played led him to change the story.

“The time of six piece votes is over. I will not just vote for you because you are in ODM even if I am the Secretary General of the party. I will only vote for those people who are development-drive,” Namwamba is heard as saying.

Namwamba further explained that his claims that his powers as SG had been reduced were made in reference to the party Constitution for Powers and Privileged of each leader.

The committee resolved to deal with the issues raised by Ababu and his team internally.

After the meeting Raila allowed Ababu to address the press regarding the details of the meeting, with the Budalangi MP saying the meeting had largely focused on the framework for dealing with emerging issues, with the main issues set to be discussed at a later date.

The ODM SG had said, in an interview with Citizen TV, that he would not quit the [arty adding that his move to raise vital issues affecting the party are aimed at making it better ahead of the 2017 elections.

He accused a section of ODM member of orchestrating a plan to remove him from the party adding that reports that he had been bought by Jubilee to cause wrangles were misplaced.

Raila had also publicly supported Ababu in a rally in Busia on Monday saying his move to air his grievances showed the presence of democracy in ODM.

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Story By Sam Ogina
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