February 23rd 2018

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Otuoma: Luyia unity bid a cover for leaders' lack of vision

"The big question we should ask ourselves is how we make Western relevant in national politics. Talks by CORD co-principals Moses Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka for Raila to relinquish his presidential bid to either of them and he remains a kingmaker have no basis."

By Tobbie WekesaFriday, 07 Oct 2016 19:53 EAT

Hon Otuoma with Busia governor Sospeter Ojaamong at a past function.

Funyula MP Paul Otuoma has dismissed the unity bid being fronted by some leaders from western Kenya saying the motive of  such bids is to cover for selfish politicians seeking to be in the serving government when their supporters were in the opposition. He dismissed the notion that such politicians were exploring a strategy to form the next government.

Speaking during a talk show on Radio Citizen, Mr Otuoma, who returned to the ODM fold recently after resigning from the position of vice chairman, said that instead of fronting for unity, leaders should look at the political interests of  western region residents.

"The big question we should ask ourselves is how we make Western politically relevant in national politics instead of waiting to be in the next government. Talks by CORD co-principals Moses Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka for Raila to relinquish his presidential bid to either of them and he remains a kingmaker have no basis," he said.

Mr Otuoma said ODM was the dominant party in the country with majority Members of Parliament and Governors compared to Wiper and Ford Kenya. "Instead of wanting the seat given to them on a silver platter through boardroom agreements, such leaders should look at political interests of members," he said.

He said talks on who is the best candidate to carry CORD's baton against President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2017 presidential contest is not only misleading but is setting the stage to cripple the coalition. "The best way forward out of this quagmire was to negotiate on pre- or post-election agreements. The 2013 unresolved issues are confusing the coalition members," he said and called for an end to such confusion.

However, Mr Otuoma dismissed fears that CORD was approaching a split saying it was normal for the coalition's affiliate parties to make their political mileage by their own. He said he will battle with current Busia governor Sospeter Ojaamong in the ODM party primaries and exuded confidence of carrying the day.

He clarified that he is yet to resume his seat as the ODM party vice-chairman but was ready to defend the party and propel its agenda with equal measure as before as the party leadership had resolved the concerns he had raised alongside Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba.

"ODM is now on track. The concerns we had raised as Western legislators have been addressed by the party leadership," he said. He said Mr Namwamba had his own reasons for joining the Labour Party of Kenya. "I wish him all the best. I doubt whether a person can be a member of two parties," he said.

The writer is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press

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