By Samuel Ouma
National Super Alliance (NASA) leader Raila Odinga has downplayed claims that he betrayed his co-principals by signing pact deal with President Uhuru Kenyatta early this year following debacle 2017 presidential elections.
In an interview with one of the national television, the ODM party leader maintained he was not disappointed by Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi and Kalonzo Musyoka who chickened out of his swearing in as People’s President in January 30, 2018. Raila denied giving them a Nigeria Mobile number prior to his oath saying those were excuses.
“The fact is that those who wanted to come came; those who did not want to come did not come. Everyone knew that the meeting was going to happen. It was all over the media,” said Raila.
On claims by Ford Kenya Party leader Moses Wetangula that NASA coalition is moribund he said the Bungoma Senator is entitled to his opinions. He castigated Wetangula for propagating that he engineered his removal from the seat of Senate minority leader saying that was Senate’s decision and not him. He noted that he besought senators to spare him but his effort did not bear fruits.
Few weeks ago Wetangula said his party is not in NASA labeling Raila a betrayer and a party wrecker. He added that Raila cannot be trusted and vowed not to work with him again. He resolved to lead Anti-Raila campaign in Western region of the country which the NASA leader has enjoyed its massive support. He declared himself the official opposition leader claiming the ODM party leader has joined the government, remarks which he has denied. The former premier said the famous March 9 handshake was to deal with issues touching on devolution, inclusivity, poverty, divisive politics, unemployment and historical injustices.
“I am not in government; if I was in government I would have a specific title. I am outside government as a member of ODM and Nasa,”said the opposition chief.
He assured Kenyans that reforms will take time to be realized. He lauded the ongoing crackdown on graft saying it has started bearing fruits seeing that various government officials have been charged in court over corruption.
Raila who appeared to Media for the first time since handshake dismissed rumours that he barred deputy president William Ruto from being included in the dialogue. He said he only disagrees with Ruto’s early campaigns. The opposition chief termed early vote hunt, sometimes disguised as development tours and project launches is against the agreement he signed with Kenyatta.
He reiterated that he told his troupes to welcome the deputy president when he visits their areas for development, but should restrain from politics. He challenged his allies who have declared support for Ruto’s 2022 presidential bid to quit and seek fresh mandate from the electorates.
On claims that he disowned self-proclaimed National Resistance Movement General Miguna Miguna, Odinga distanced himself saying he tried to save him but he disrupted efforts.
“I want you to spare me that question because you know what I tried to do for Miguna and you know how he has treated me, the kind of things he has uttered against me. Please I don’t want to talk about Miguna,” he said.