BY RAILA ODINGA
Following the announcement of the election for the Senatorial seat for Homa Bay County and the appeals that have been made to me in regard to that seat, I wish to make the following statement because it has generated much public interest in the last few days.
A few days ago, a few of our MPs, driven by what they felt was in the best interest of the party, petitioned me through the media to run for the position of Senator for Homa Bay County.
This followed the untimely death of our very able and much loved leader, the late Senator Otieno Kajwang’.
Let me once more take this opportunity to console our members and the people of Homa Bay on Senator Kajwang’s death.
There has been a massive soul searching, anger and anguish since Hon Kajwang’ left.
That could explain the reactions and the various attempts to fill the slot.
There is an African proverb that says ‘The mighty tree falls and the little birds scatter in the bush’ Kajwang’s death left our party faithful scattered.
Driven by the same anguish and urge to recover, a delegation of elders from Homa Bay visited me in my rural home last Sunday basically to reiterate the earlier petition by the MPs that I run for the county’s Senate seat.
At the end of our meeting yesterday, the elders gave me three days to weigh their proposal and respond to them.
Considering that the IEBC has given parties a very short period of up to 19th to come up with candidates for the seat, time is really not on our side.
We do not have the luxury of weeks or months to come up with a candidate.
I therefore decided to give this matter a quick thought and also to consult with others on this critical matter and respond.
I wish to thank the people of Homa Bay most sincerely for the thought of having me as their senator.
It was a great honour and an expression of confidence in my leadership and vision for the country.
This offer has come at a time we have embarked on revamping our party with eyes on keeping government adequately in check and on the next general election.
The task of sustaining the momentum of change in the party and guiding the new leadership requires full attention of the party leader and the entire team.
I will, therefore, have to let down the elders of Homa Bay and the MPs who showed faith in me for the Senate seat.
Please allow me concentrate, on your behalf, on creating a party machine and a CORD coalition partnership that can keep the government in check and advocate and promote the provision of services to the Kenyan people and that can eventually take over power in two years’ time.
This allows me to focus on the big picture for our party, coalition and country.
In the meantime, I am tasking our new party Executive to immediately embark on identifying a suitable candidate to carry the party’s flag in the February 2015 election.
We need a process that is inclusive, peaceful and respectful of the ideals and stature of the late Kajwang’, in line with constitution of our party.