Budalang’i Member of Parliament Ababu Namwamba and Funyula Member of Parliament Dr Paul Otuoma have resigned from Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leadership. Namwamba was the ODM secretary general while Otuoma was the party vice chairman.
This comes after a political storm that was witnessed within ODM following a rift between vice chairman Paul Otuoma and secretary general Ababu Namwamba on one side and the party chairman John Mbadi and other ODM leaders from Nyanza region on the other. Otuoma and Namwamba had initially threatened to mobilize ODM MPs from Western Region to quit and find a new party, claiming they were being sidelined.
CORD leader Raila Odinga held a meeting recently with ODM MPs from Western region with an aim of solving wrangles within the party. Rebellion in ODM sparked by western Kenya MPs deepened after a lobby group dared Secretary General Ababu Namwamba to leave the party.
Namwamba promptly claimed the group was being used to divert attention from a “serious national matter” raised by the nine lawmakers from the region, adding that he would instead confront the one who had sent them. The group, dubbed ODM professionals and led by Nairobi lawyer Edwin Sifuna and ODM Nairobi branch chairman George Aladwa, told Namwamba he was free to defect, adding that the Luhya community was well represented in the party.
Mr Aladwa said there were a number of Luhya leaders and other able professionals who would take up his position immediately he leaves. “We are not here to beg people who have decided to bolt out because of their selfish reasons. There are enough people to succeed him if he decides to leave,” said Aladwa.
Mr Sifuna said the party had settled on young and vibrant politicians such as governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Wycliffe Oparanya (Kakamega) and Josephat Nanok (Turkana), as well as MPs Junet Mohamed (Suna East), Abdikadir Aden (Balambala) and Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba) to lead the party in various key positions.