Alliance talk ruffles political feathers ahead of plebiscite

Tuesday, April 13th, 2021 08:00 |
Senator James Orengo. Photo/PD/FILE

Eric Juma and Rawlings Otieno

Talk of emerging alliances gained traction over the weekend with leaders pulling in different directions depending on their support base.

A proposal that Opposition leader Raila Odinga should work on a union with Deputy President William Ruto has split his camp in the middle. And a caucus thought to have State House backing, One Kenya Alliance, is ruffling feathers in the Orange camp.

Siaya Senator James Orengo was first to dismiss the One Kenya Alliance, comprising of Amani National Congress leader Musalia Mudavadi, Kanu’s Gideon Moi, Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Ford Kenya’s Moses Wetangula, warning Kenyans would reject any individual or alliance imposed on them in 2022.

He said Kenyans will not be coerced to elect a particular president in 2022 as being advanced by some individuals in the government.  Orengo, a close ally of  Raila, dismissed the One Kenya Alliance, noting that they cannot cheat Kenyans that they are the ones who can transform this country.

First time

“Kenyans are the ones to decide who they want to lead them in 2022 and not a few individuals with vested interests,” said Orengo. 

Stated he: “We are keen and determined to sabotage any plots by the government through its crafters to impose leaders on Kenyans. We do not want Kenyans to be misled that a few people can sit somewhere and decide the future of this country.”

This is not the first time the Siaya senator is making controversial sentiments, as a month ago he directly linked Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho to the hurdles and frustrations the ODM party was facing in its quest to push the Building Bridges Initiative Bill through and sustain a rapport with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Orengo pointed out that the government officers have in the last three to four months been frustrating most of the projects and illegally attempting to engage in political activities.

“Whenever civil servants who are part of a cabal trying to chart the destiny of a nation for their interest there can never be any peace,” he said. 

Orengo, who was speaking during a fundraising at Nyagondo Catholic Church in Gem sub-county in Siaya, on Sunday, warned Kenyans to be very careful with some of those alliances. According to the Senate Minority Leader, the same people who brought Kenya to its knees during the Moi regime have regrouped and now pretend to be holier than thou and that they have answers to what is ailing the country.

“It would be a great shame if they are the ones who can take over the leadership of this country. Kenyans should be wary of  persons regrouping and forming alliances. The recent alliance is composed of persons who were in government during the late President Daniel Moi’s regime and they brought down institutions so they should not be trusted with the country’s leadership,” said Orengo.

Orengo’s warning comes amidst concerns that Raila is deliberately being sidelined and that his ‘Handshake’ partner is not keen on supporting his bid.

His sentiments came even as reports emerged that Raila and DP Ruto could be working on a formation of an alliance for the 2022 polls.

However, Ruto’s key allies have dismissed the reports, saying they have no business seeking to form a coalition with the former Premier for fear of breaking the United Democratic Alliance and the risk of losing Mt Kenya vote.

Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua, Ruto’s Mt Kenya region point-man dismissed reports that there was a Raila-Ruto alliance in the offing, stating  that they cannot work with the former Prime Minister.

“We are always meeting and we have no business working with Raila. We have no business engaging with him,” said Gachagua. Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga took to her social media platform, charging that Ruto does not intend to associate or form a coalition with the ODM leader.  “The repercussions of that remotely happening is an avalanche of mass haemorrhage of hustlers who believe in the leadership of DP, which will be occasioned by the advent of Raila. Lanes please,” she said.

But Raila’s ally and ODM chairman John Mbadi, charged that as a party they have not been keen on the formation of any alliance with anybody, including the DP.

Mbadi insisted the Orange party will only negotiate or form an alliance after the passage of BBI.

Own plan

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen also waded into the matter, saying the President should stick to his project with Raila as the Hustler Nation does not have space for him. 

“It will be a mistake of monumental proportion for President Uhuru Kenyatta to shortchange Raila Odinga when he knows that Daniel arap Moi shortchanged Him (Tinga) for his (Uhuru’s) sake. He must stand by his decision through BBI and support Raila in 2022. Hustlers already have their own plan.”

Orengo argued that the future of Kenya as a democratic nation rests on a decision made by the people of Kenya at the ballot and not at any boardroom.

He vowed to fight for democracy, insisting that the crafters of  an imposed government are doomed to fail.

ODM and Deputy President William Ruto have hit out at the One Kenya quartet, accusing them of forming tribal alliances instead of championing for a national party with an ideology to unite all Kenyans.

The Alliance is said to be propped up by Uhuru in a move to tame Ruto and Raila.

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