ODM members flirting with DP William Ruto and those harbouring presidential ambitions were reprimanded yesterday during a NEC-PG retreat in Mombasa.
Governors Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Hassan Joho (Mombasa) were told to hold their horses over the 2022 presidential race. The meeting was chaired by party leader Raila Odinga.
Raila told politicians to stop campaigns and focus on President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four agenda. The four are affordable housing, manufacturing, food security and universal healthcare.
“Time for campaigns has passed. Anyone who wants to talk about it should wait for 2022,” he said.
Joho and Oparanya were told not to undermine Raila, an indication the NASA leader might take another shot at the presidency.
Joho said the party will have a presidential candidate in 2022. Oparanya did not attend but sent his apologies.
“Oparanya should stop saying he will be President in 2022 until such a time when Raila gives direction on his stand,” Makadara MP George Aladwa said.
Kilifi North MP Ken Chonga demanded that MPs campaigning for Ruto be disciplined. He said they don’t understand their role.
MPs Aisha Jumwa (Malindi), Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Suleiman Dori (Msambweni), Ali Mbogo (Kisauni), Benjamin Tayari (Kinango) and Kwale Senator Issa Boy have been accused of failing to toe the party line.
Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi urged the party to sort out its internal issues swiftly. “A stitch in time saves nine,” he said.
“A family that does not eat together, can’t stay together. Meetings are encouraged as they reduce discomfort and squabbles.”
He called for openness and inclusion in party affairs.
Secretary general Edwin Sifuna said ODM is not in a crisis. He said nothing can send the party into panic.
Sifuna however warned that anyone endorsing or appearing to support a candidate from an opposing camp will be dealt with accordingly.