- On Saturday, former Teso North MP Arthur Odera was among guests who attended a DAP-K party meeting.
- DAP-K is associated with Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.
Political realignments ahead of the August 9 General Elections are beginning to take shape.
On Saturday, former Teso North MP Arthur Odera, a key ally of Deputy President William Ruto in Western, was among guests who attended a meeting in which the leadership of the Democratic Action Party of Kenya started operations at the party’s Nairobi headquarters.
DAP-K is associated with Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa.
In a message on his official Twitter handle on Saturday, Wamalwa said he was delighted to visit the party headquarters and was pleased by the warm reception he received from party leader Wafula Wamunyinyi, Trans Nzoia Senator Michael Mbito and Odera among other party members.
Wamunyinyi is Kanduyi MP and has been at loggerheads with Senator Moses Wetang'ula over the leadership of Ford Kenya.
Odera attended the DAP-K meeting three days after hosting Ruto in Changara in Teso North constituency during the DP’s Wednesday tour of Busia. Ruto during the visit addressed rallies in all the seven subcounties.
By press time, there was no official communication from Odera over his membership at DAP-K.
Phone calls made by the Star to the former MP were not answered as the leader’s phone was constantly engaged. He also did not respond to a text message sent to him.
The former lawmaker only said on his Facebook page, "I held a meeting with DAP-K leadership this morning. Waziri Eugene Wamalwa, party leader Wafula Wamunyinyi, and Senator Mbito. Look out for a major announcement next week."
Wamunyinyi through his official press Facebook page shared pictures of him, Odera, Senator Mbito, Eugene and another guest outside the DAP-K party headquarters.
Odera has declared interest in recapturing the Teso North MP seat he lost to ANC’s Oku Kaunya in 2017.
He has been a close political associate of the DP since 2013 when he was first elected to represent Teso North in Parliament through Ruto’s URP party. URP then, had formed a coalition with Uhuru Kenyatta’s The National Alliance.
During Ruto’s last three visits to Teso North, Odera has played host to two of the DP’s tours.
On November 4 Ruto visited Teso North to fundraise for small-scale traders who he refers to as hustlers.
The DP gave out over Sh1 million to boda boda riders and vegetable sellers mainly comprising women in Angurai, Malaba and Kamolo.
During Ruto’s Wednesday visit to Teso North, Odera called on constituents to back the DP’s presidential candidature during the August polls.
“Our friend is here to seek support to become the President of the republic of Kenya,” Odera said in Changara where Ruto held his first rally.
“Tell those lazy leaders who have failed to deliver to stop panicking, we are back. Tell those who are full of propaganda that we are on the ground. Even those who steal votes should know that we are back.”
The Star has reliably been informed that the former MP will, in less than a week, declare his association with DAP-K.
If he makes it public that he has joined the new political outfit, Odera will leave Kaunya, IT expert Lawi Mamai, former Busia Roads chief executive Gregory Odeke and Education chief officer Dan Mogoria to battle it out for the ODM certificate during the Orange party’s nominations. The four are keen on vying for the Teso North MP seat on the party ticket.
Reports had indicated last month that Odera was warming up to ODM.
Kaunya during the Azimio la Umoja’s recent rally in Bukhungu, Kakamega declared that he was ready to work with Raila Odinga ahead of the August elections.
Kaunya was elected on Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC party ticket in 2017. Mudavadi has been reluctant to join forces with Raila.
Odera’s "departure" from UDA now leaves John Imoite as UDA’s sole MP hopeful for Teso North.
On October 23, when Ruto visited the constituency, Imoite said he was the best candidate for UDA in the constituency.
He argues he has helped build the party in Teso North from the time it was launched in January last year.
UDA officials in Teso North claim the party has so far registered over 7,000 members.
DAP-K is expected this week to notify members and the public on procedures for joining the party, how to seek the party’s ticket as well as the nomination processes.
-Edited by SKanyara