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Monday, May 29, 2017

Ababu Namwamba explains why Labour Party will back Uhuru

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba during a past visit to the constituency. /FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta with Budalang'i MP Ababu Namwamba during a past visit to the constituency. /FILE

Ababu Namwamba has said he will back the President's re-election bid as he has addressed the concerns of his Budalang'i constituents.

The MP and Labour Party of Kenya leader said this on Monday citing President Uhuru Kenyatta's initiative to construct a bridge across River Nzoia.

"I can now confidently walk in Budalang'i and tell my constituents that Uhuru has listened to their concerns and addressed them," Ababu said during an interview on Citizen TV.

"We are witnesses to the President’s services and demeanor…he came to Budalang'i and condoled with the families of those who died after a boat capsized and promised the bridge which he has delivered."

Ababu, who was once Opposition leader Raila Odinga's shining star, said his people have every reason to support the President.

"If that is not performance, tell me what performance is," said the MP who quit his ODM secretary general position saying Raila had frustrated him.

The LPK boss said previous administrations failed to honour the promise of putting up the crucial bridge despite an avalanche of pleas from the people.

He said the President will officially open the bridge in two months.

Read: Ababu Namwamba says LPK will work with Uhuru

Ababu said the Labour party's aspirants’ assembly and the women and youths' congresses petitioned the NEC to consider supporting Uhuru's re-election.

"The NEC accepted the petition. They will convene the national delegates conference in April when the petition will be considered for approval," said the MP.

Ababu said their decision will be based on the fact that Uhuru is the best among those who will seek the top seat in the August 8 general election.

"Our partnership is not with Jubilee as a party. It is only to the extent of supporting the re-election of President Uhuru Kenyatta," he said. "LPK will field aspirants for all other elective positions except the presidency."

The legislator denied claims of power tussles in the party, saying David Makali was removed from the secretary general position for the sake of the party's best interests.

Ababu said the party was not being intolerant to internal dissent by punishing Makali and that there was no disorder.

"When you think you are in a party which [does not consider your best interests], you walk out as I did with ODM," he said. "As the party leader, I must be persuaded by what is in the best interest of LPK."

Read: David Makali quits Ababu's Labour Party of Kenya

The MP said he was writing a memoir on his political journey and that a few chapters will cover his experiences and encounters in the Orange party.

"It will be an expose about my journey and a lot of things are going to be highlighted in that book," he said, adding that his attempts to restructure ODM were thwarted by anti-change forces within the party.

Ababu dismissed ODM's national elections board as a corrupt platform and said those leading the party have held it hostage.

He said the corruption claims that flew around when he was chair of the Public Accounts Committee were orchestrated move by the party to see his removal from the position.

"ODM is a party that manufactured a scandal against me through Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga. The sole intention was to remove me as PAC chairman so that they could bring in their preferred person," he said.

"Yes, I can sit here and say with confidence that the party betrayed me...treated me badly. But the beauty of it all is that all that is in the past," he said.

Ababu further tore into ODM saying its founders have "taken flight" because party leaders have lost track of being faithful and walking the talk.

"You read mere lip services, mistrust and insincerity...there is a lot of insincerity and dishonesty that borders on fraud," he said.

Asked how he would describe Opposition bigwigs including Raila, he said: "I know a lot about Raila… I am not interested in Raila now. I know enough to not be part of that formation. I am not part of that formation… I am okay and happy with Labour party."

He accused Opposition leaders of practising politics of dishonesty, insincerity, and mistrust.

Read: Ababu Namwamba breaks long silence, speaks of 'very frustrating' ODM post

Also read: Ababu, Mvurya among 10 rebels expelled from ODM


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