Oparanya defence of Otiende widens rift in Raila’s party
The division in the Orange Democratic Movement widened yesterday with claims that the party’s top organs did not sanction Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo’s ouster from the National Assembly Justice and Legal Affairs Committee (JLAC).
Party deputy leader, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, appeared to contradict the move by his party, saying ODM leadership structures were not involved in the kicking out of Otiende.
“These kind of ousters are what will cause problems in ODM. As the party leadership, we did not discuss and agree on the action.
This was decided unilaterally in Parliament. Otiende Amollo is a fine gentleman. I know him and consider him a good person,” said Oparanya.
Oparanya spoke a day after senators allied to the National Super Alliance (Nasa) foiled an attempt to kick out Senate Leader of Minority James Orengo from the position.
Some 28 senators were expected to attend a meeting where Migori Senator Ochillo Ayacko was to replace Orengo.
But Ayacko, who is in Kisii County chairing sessions of the Senate Committee on County Public Accounts and Investments (CPAIC), is said to have declined the offer.
But ODM secretary general Edwin Sifuna yesterday told People Daily he was not aware of any meeting whose agenda was to remove Orengo.
“Media should keep off ODM. Stop fanning imaginary wars in the party. You are blowing this thing out of proportion.
I talk to Otiende and any other member every day. But I have been at home because I have been bereaved,” said Sifuna.
ODM Treasurer Timothy Bosire, who is a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC), said the matter should be let to rest.
“This matter is now water under the bridge. What has been done has been done. I don’t want to do a post-mortem.
Revisiting this issue will not serve any purpose, so let’s leave it at that,” said Bosire.
Amollo also dismissed reports that he had sent a text message to party leader Raila Odinga threatening to resign as vice-chair of JLAC.
While dismissing the claims, he challenged the media to ask party chairman John Mbadi, who made the claims, to show them the message that he purportedly sent the party leader.
He said Mbadi’s claims were designed to deflect attention from the issues he raised about the BBI Bill.
“I will not lend myself to this spin doctoring. It is true that as early as Sunday, I had known of the games and that’s why I tweeted about it.
The SMS and tweet theory is meant to spin the narrative,” Amollo told a TV morning talk show yesterday.
He challenged his political detractors to confront the issues that he had raised about the proposed changes to the Constitution.
He further said the Orange party leadership had not discussed the BBI controversy with him.
“I speak with my party leader nearly all the time and I have no issue with him. We are allowing him to recover fully.
Anyone trying to claim I have an issue with my party leader, I will not accept. No meeting has been called,” said Amollo.
Mbadi, who is also the National Assembly Leader of Minority, had on Wednesday claimed the Rarieda MP was removed from JLAC after he sent a text message to Raila threatening to resign as the committee’s vice chair and as MP.
“It is true that he sent a text to the party leader saying he could resign from JLAC and also resign as MP for Rarieda. Why all the hullabaloo about the changes?” posed Mbadi.
But Amollo rubbished the claims saying it was baffling how the motion of removal had changed into a resignation.
“If it is a resignation, it will be a communication from the Speaker. The party organs should meet and make a decision on what should be done. None of that happened.
The party never considered that issue. The Speaker never considered that issue,” he said.
He added: “This is an act of spin mastering to move the issue from what it is to where you want it to go.”