We are sorry, ODM leaders tell Raila

Raila signs on a portrait of him during a past tour of Kakamega. [Photo/Benjamin Wafula]

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders from Karachuonyo have apologised to party leader Raila Odinga following the defection of area MP James Kwanya Rege.

Rege confirmed his defection from ODM to Jubilee on Saturday during the launch of the new party raising a storm in his constituency.

“We are very sorry as ODM officials and the entire fraternity to party leader Raila Odinga for the betrayal of our rogue MP James Gordon Kwanya Rege,” read a statement signed by ODM Karachuonyo chair Teddy Ogolla and his Secretary Francis Ogolla.

“Consequently we call on the ODM hierarchy to organise and facilitate a by-election for Karanchuonyo so that we can have a representative in parliament.”

Mr Rege is among a number of ODM legislators who have defected to the newly-launched Jubilee Party.

Others are Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya, the county’s women representative Zainab Chidzuga, Kilifi North MP Gideon Mungaro, John Waluke (Sirisia), Salid Idd Mustafa (Kilifi South) among others.

Raila has however downplayed the significance of the defections saying ODM would not be shaken by Jubilee’s apparent use of “money” to buy legislators.

“For those who have left us and gone to Jubilee, we tell them bye. ODM will solider on and will be a force to reckon with in the run up to the 2017 elections,” said Raila during ODM 10th anniversary celebration in Mombasa on Saturday.

Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo has also made light of the defections saying most of those who have left the party would not make it back to the National Assembly.

“Statistics show that only 24 per cent of MPs make it back to Parliament so the likes of (John) Waluke and Ababu (Namwamba) are in the 76 per cent who will not be reelected,” said Midiwo.

“We have nothing to lose when an MP defects to another party. I don’t think anyone who has left us was with us in the first place.”

Unlike Waluke, Namwamba has however denied claims that he is destined for Jubilee saying his decision to quit ODM was necessitated by the need to form a Third Force alliance that would bring together the Luhya community ahead of the next elections.


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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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