Close

2022 POLITICS

ODM didn't urge Uhuru to endorse Raila as Tangatanga claims

In Summary

• It is true Raila is not corrupt and has not stolen from anyone as they rightly put it in their ranting, but the ODM leader has made it clear he does not want to engage in politics of 2022 now.

• Why are politicians in Team Tangatanga so much worried about 2022 at this point in time when President Kenyatta is looking for means and ways of leaving a good legacy.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga
Image: FILE

I have seen my friends from the other side running up and down helter-skelter spreading very bad propaganda that some ODM politicians urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to name Raila Odinga as his successor in 2022.

The disgruntled politicians from Tangatanga, whose team leader is Deputy President William Ruto, claim that last Friday, during the funeral of Mama Dorka Nyong’o, mother to Kisumu Governor and ODM founder secretary general Anyang’ Nyong’o at Ratta village in Seme, Kisumu county, ODM national chairman and Minority leader in the National Assembly John Mbadi and Senate Minority leader James Orengo passionately urged Uhuru, who was present to support, Raila, who was also present.

Nothing can be further from the truth. I was also present and sat two rows behind the President and Raila. Before going to the funeral, I had cleaned my ears and removed anything that could make it impossible for me to hear anything during the funeral of the great woman, who impacted positively on the lives of many. She championed for girl education and was also one of the founders of Mothers Union Organization in the Anglican Church of Kenya.

And so, the speeches were made. The eulogy was read. Songs were sang and the sermon made. It was a good and befitting send off for the lady who shied off from hitting a century in life, just by six months. May she RIP.

Now, since she was the mother of one of the greatest politicians in Kenya, politicians had the opportunity to address mourners who came to mourn with the Nyong’os and the people of Seme and Kisumu county as a whole.

In his speech, which was very clear, Mbadi spoke about the fight against corruption and why President Kenyatta should not relent in this war. He went on to say that Kenyans are tired of corrupt leaders and that corruption is killing the good name of our beloved country. He wound up his speech by urging Uhuru to ensure that when he retires in three years’ time, he leaves Kenya with a leader who is not tainted by corruption and one who will continue with the fight against the vice.

“Your Excellency, I know in three years’ time you will be calling it a day. I want you (and please don’t respond to me here) to think about and sleep over what I am going to tell you here”, he said.

“As you prepare to retire from office, please make sure you leave Kenya with a leader who is not tainted by corruption and other scandals. Leave us with a leader who will pick up from where you will have left in the fight against corruption”, he added to thunderous applause from the mourners.

On his part, Orengo echoed Mbadi’s sentiments. He said corruption was threatening to bring down the country and that Kenya needed a leader who will pick up from where Uhuru will have left when his time to retire from office comes.

“Mr President, you know I am usually a very talkative person. But for some reasons, for the past one and half years, you have successfully managed to shut my mouth up”, he said and went on, “This is in the spirit of handshake. We want you to work and that is why we have kept quiet, and please, as you leave here today and in honour of Mama Dorka, go and tell those in your party to also shut up so that you can have time to work”.

Now, having listened keenly as my training in journalism dictates, I did not hear any of the two speakers say they wanted President Kenyatta to name Raila as his successor in 2022. The speeches centred on the fight against corruption, unity of the nation and referendum. Nothing about 2022 endorsements.

However, in their own wisdom and panic, politicians allied to the Deputy President misconstrued speeches by the two politicians to mean that the two ODM politicians were urging the President to endorse Raila.

Indeed, it is true Raila is not corrupt and has not stolen from anyone as they rightly put it in their ranting, but the ODM leader has made it clear he does not want to engage in politics of 2022 now. What he wants is to give time to the President to work and deliver on his campaign promises and so should every other leader.

But alas, why are politicians in Team Tangatanga so much worried about 2022 at this point in time when President Kenyatta is looking for means and ways of leaving a good legacy for his 10 years in office?

It is time for Team Tangatanga to wake up and read the writing on the wall, “We are tired of politics day in, day out” so say Kenyans.

The writer is the Director of Communications, ODM Party.

Twitter: @Etalephilip