, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – The Orange Democratic Movement Party Leader Raila Odinga has disowned a leaked list of new party officials which omitted the name of Budalangi MP Ababu Namwamba from the position of the Secretary General.
Odinga told a news conference attended by Namwamba that there is no rift in the party and that the Budalangi MP is still in it.
“The media has created this confusion by coming up with a fictitious list of party officials – the list which we don’t know about – I am the party leader of ODM and I am not privy to any list prepared of national officials,” said the ODM leader.
Media reports had said outspoken Homa Bay Senator Otieno Kajwang’ had been proposed as the party’s new national chairman while Kisumu Senator Anyang’ Nyong’o would continue serving in the powerful position of Secretary General, with Agnes Zani as his deputy.
The Budalangi’ MP is reported to have denied claims that he attacked the ODM leader and the party leadership at an event in Kakamega last week.
“After thorough discussions, we have established that Honourable Namwamba did not say the things he is purported to have said and those who reacted didn’t quite say the things they are alleged to have said,” Odinga told reporters.
The two leaders held a closed-door meeting before addressing the media.
Namwamba however did not speak to the media and later refused to field questions from journalists who tried to press him for a comment as he left CORD offices in Upper Hill.
The former premier assured that the party will soon convene another delegate’s conference to conclude party polls which were disrupted on February 28.
“We, as you know had issues with our elections in February this year and consultations have continued within the party as to how to resolve that issue once and for all. This year we are to complete the elections of the main party officials and this we will do very shortly,” he said.
The omission of Namwamba’s name in the ‘leaked’ list sparked debate among members of the party with a section of ODM lawmakers and former Westlands MP Fred Gumo cautioning Odinga of mass exodus by members from the Coast and Western regions.
The MPs led by Luanda MP Chris Omulele rejected the ‘leaked’ list and demanded fresh party polls following the botched February polls.
“My brother, Ababu has restated many times and even today, that he is in ODM by choice and that he is in ODM to stay,” Omulele told a news conference held at Parliament Buildings.
“These allegations that Ababu is not faithful to the party in our opinion was just politics that are meant to besmirch the name of our brother.”