Odinga whips MPs to back Uhuru deal

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Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta (L) greets opposition leader Raila Odinga of the National Super - Pic from BBC.com

NAIROBI. – ODM leader Raila Odinga has sought the support of his party MPs in endorsing last Friday’s meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Odinga urged the MPs not to be distracted by those positioning themselves for the 2022 General Election.

He told the party’s Parliamentary Group that the meeting held at the Office of the President at Harambee House last Friday was a consequence of the events of January 30 in which he was sworn in as the people’s president.

He urged them to take full advantage of the deal to ensure national dialogue takes root.

“You should support national dialogue because it is a product of our swearing in,” Odinga said during the meeting at Orange House yesterday.

And in what appeared to be a jibe aimed at his co-principals in the Nasa coalition, Odinga said: “It is the swearing-in that yielded the efforts towards national dialogue. Where were you on January 30 before you start asking us questions?”

He told the MPs that a change of tack was important if the party was to make maximum gain in future political contests.

“We are going nowhere if we engage in the kind of antagonism that we have been engaged in the last five years. We shall miss a lot and we may not be effective in our push for reforms because we shall be talking at each other instead of to each other.”

 Odinga spoke even as tension within Opposition spilt to the floor of the National Assembly when members of the Nasa affiliates fought over seats reserved for House leaders.

To show commitment for the meeting between President Kenyatta and Odinga, the party has drafted a motion seeking the support of the two Houses of Parliament to adopt a nine-point agenda the two leaders agreed on after their meeting last Friday.

The notice of the motion is expected to be issued in the National Assembly this morning, with Minority Leader John Mbadi set to move it once it comes for debate either later in the afternoon or tomorrow.

The ODM PG meeting comes just a day after Nasa’s highest decision-making organ, the Summit, met on Monday and agreed each party in the coalition should decide whether or not to cooperate with Jubilee.

Odinga told the MPs that he had also briefed his co-principals in the coalition who, he claimed, had agreed to support the push towards national dialogue.

However, this appeared to contradict the final statement issued by the Summit after the meeting in Stoni Athi Resort on Monday, with ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi saying the issues raised by Odinga were weighty and required the endorsement of all the affiliates of Nasa.

In the media briefing after the ODM PG Tuesday, the party asked Odinga to stay focused on the bigger picture and the struggle for a “better, just, inclusive and fair Kenya” and refuse to be distracted by those positioning themselves for the 2022 general election. – Dail Nation Kenya

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