Do Raila, Kalonzo want to be MPs?

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BY BERNARD MOMANYI

It appears to me that CORD luminaries Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka are very much interested to get into Parliament but are now using proxies to advance the agenda under the guise of ‘public demand’.

Listening to statements made by groups and individuals associated with them lately, I have come to the conclusion that the two leaders are simply the ones agitating for it, only that they don’t want to come out publicly.

Since this debate on them to go back to parliament started, we have seen mixed reactions from both, but there has been no clear commitment.

Recently, we saw Odinga announce publicly that he is satisfied pushing the opposition agenda from outside parliament but days later on Saturday, he told Nyanza religious leaders to give him time to ‘think about’ their push for his re-entry.

On his part, Musyoka has kept mum on the subject only criticising Kamba MPs who have publicly stated they will not quit in his favour.

Why can’t Odinga and Kalonzo come out publicly and say ‘yes, we want to go back to parliament’ if they are indeed keen on becoming MPs or Senators after losing to President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto in the March polls?

Their mandarins have equally been sending mixed signals.

While Ababu Namwamba says Odinga is way above junior posts like that of an MP, Johnson Muthama, the Machakos Senator, insists CORD will ‘die’ unless Odinga and Musyoka are in parliament.

Odinga’s friends under the FORA political outfit were the first to ask him to consider going back to parliament to strengthen the opposition in checking the Jubilee government.

It is time the two leaders—known to be wise as they have been—to come out and end this unnecessary anxiety growing amongst their supporters.

While watching BullsEye, the popular weekend satire on NTV by Emmanuel Juma, I saw footage of Musyoka at a political rally during the campaigns saying that he was prepared to go back home and rest if CORD lost the presidential bid.

For your information, I am not celebrating that CORD lost or Jubilee won, I am just wondering why it is taking Odinga and Musyoka too long to state their position and respond to their supporters and end the anxiety.

Initially, one could have argued that the CORD leaders were undecided or quiet because there were no MPs or Senators willing to step down for any of them or both.

But that scenario has changed after the Monday public declaration of Muthama’s willingness to quit for Kalonzo in the Senate. The Machakos Senator told journalists he has even crafted a resignation letter ready to be sent to the Speaker’s office—but not until Musyoka makes up his mind.

In Nyanza, Nyatike Member of Parliament Edick Anyanga too announced that he is ready to step down for the former PM if called upon to do so.

And just like Muthama, Anyanga is categorical that Odinga must come to the decision (of joining parliament) on his own and not bow to pressure from individuals or groups.

So now that Muthama and Anyanga are ready to step down, Odinga and Musyoka have no excuse of keeping their supporters anxious any more. Let them come out and state their willingness or unwillingness to go back to parliament.

(Bernard Momanyi is the News Editor, Capital FM)

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