Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya has fired back at ODM secretary-general Ababu Namwamba during a speech in which he said his utterance only seeks to divide the coalition and that he is looking for a way to justify his failure in the party.
Namwamba’s remark that the Budalang’i MP and the Luhya community are undermined in the party which got under the governor’s skin also saw him calling the politician a malicious agent who is trying to distract the party.
According to Oparanya:
“I take great reservations to the utterances attributed to the party’s Secretary General Hon Ababu Namwamba to the effect that the Luhya community is being persecuted and undermined in ODM. Hon Namwamba’s utterances are dangerous to the extent that they seek to create non-existent divisions in the party along ethnic lines.“
Unleashing the scorching verbal onslaught against Namwamba on Wednesday, Oparanya said the Hon. has not been participating in the affairs of the coalition and is now turning attention to justify his failure as the secretary-general ahead of next year’s election.
“It is not a secret that the ODM Secretary-general has been missing in action and failing to provide leadership at critical moments,” he said.
Oparanya, who is also the deputy party leader, said the SG was not involved when the party arranged to welcome its leader Raila Odinga back into the country after a three-month sabbatical in the US last year.
It is no news that Namwamba who is ODM secretary-general unbelievably did not take part in Okoa Kenya pro-referendum campaign and didn’t join the anti-electoral commission protests seeking the removal of IEBC commissioners.
Refuting the Namwamba’s claim, the governor also assured his party’s supporters that the party remains strong in Western Kenya and beyond, and they shouldn’t worry over Hon Namwamba’s claims.
A section of ODM MPs from the former Western Province yesterday accused individuals in Raila’s inner circle of neglecting, sidelining and treating Namwamba very poorly.
In making the fiery statement, Oparanya stressed that the Luhya community is evenly represented in the party and will not be moved by his claims.
“The Luhya community is equally well represented and catered for in the party, holding key positions like that of Deputy Party Leader, Vice Chairman, Deputy Organizing Secretary and chairman of Disputes Tribunal, among others,” he said.
He roasted Namwamba for his careless utterances calling it an embarrassment to the community.
The deputy party leader added that Namwamba had let down the community and the party when he lost the powerful Public Accounts Committee “through reckless arrogance and selfishness.
Meanwhile Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga met MPs from western Kenya a day after they accused the party of frustrating them.
But the party’s National Chairman John Mbadi (Suba) said the leaders were not truthful in their claims.
Led by Silvance Anami, they included women reps Florence Mutua (Busia), Dorcas Kedogo (Vihiga), Godfrey Odanga (Matayos) and Raphael Otaalo (Lurambi).
They held talks with Raila for three hours at his Capitol Hill offices in Nairobi. But the absence of ODM Secretary General Ababu Namwamba and party vice chairperson Paul Otuoma, who spoke out harshly about the party’s leadership was noticed.
Speaking during the meeting, Mr Mbadi said Otuoma and Namwamba had not thrown up the issue during meetings knowing quite well that ODM leadership meets often to hold talks on the issues rocking the party.
Lashing out at the way the two made their challenges known, Mr. Mbadi said it was not necessary for the ODM secretary-general and others to use the media to draw the attention of the party.
This he says is because they sit in the highest decision-making organ of the party and are expected to follow the right channel of presenting grievances and not through the media.
Mr. Mbadi also described claims the ODM secretary-general as being purely outlandish lies and conspiracy attempts, claiming that the Western leaders were being used by their political opponents to bring confusion in the party.
He further slammed the remarks, alleging that the statements are filled with hypocritical and nutty lies, accusing them of seeking for a way to dump the ODM for the ruling party.
After the meeting, Mr Anami also hinted that the party leaders have decided that the party head will in the next month hold a meeting with all the ODM branch chairmen from Western and address their concerns.
Mbadi dismissed the claim that the coalition’s members are gearing towards removing Namwamba from the position of secretary-general. He said Namwamba was the official spokesperson of the party and nobody had denied him the chance to exercise his powers in the performance of his duties.
He also defended himself over the allegations that he went to open an ODM office in Khwisero without informing the area MP and other leaders, saying that he was invited by the area branch leader
It is alleged that Namwamba was planning to ditch the party and was looking for a substantial reason to back his plans.