, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 4 – Cabinet Minister Najib Balala will not attend a rally in his Mvita constituency that has been organised by Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
Mr Balala told Capital News that he had other ministerial engagements in Pokot and the North Rift on Friday and Saturday that were planned long before the Mombasa rally. He is expected in Isiolo on Sunday.
“Furthermore, I was not involved in the planning of the rally despite the fact that it is being held in my constituency. I am a Cabinet Minister, an ODM pentagon member. Don’t you think it would have been courteous to involve me?” he asked.
He however said that Mr Odinga and his allies were free to hold a rally anywhere in the country including the well-known Tononoka grounds in Mvita.
Officials of the Orange Democratic Movement converge in Mombasa this weekend for a conference on the constitution which will culminate in the rally that has been organised by political foes of Mr Balala.
Earlier this week, 23 MPs who signalled their support for the PM in the ongoing row with Mr Balala, and Agriculture Minister William Ruto said the Mombasa retreat was purely to discuss the Constitution.
“Our meeting is about the Constitution and nothing else, Mwatate MP Calist Mwatela said and added that there was no ulterior motive in the public rally at Tononoka grounds. “Tononoka is in Kenya and is for use by Kenyans. We will be using it as Kenyans. Balala is our brother and we are working with him,” Mr Mwatela said.
He faulted public rows involving party MPs saying that there were laid down procedures for dealing with party disputes.
“We wish to ask party members who have issues with the party or its leadership, to use appropriate channels, including the PG (Parliamentary Group) and NEC (National Executive Committee) and not public rallies to put these issues on the table.”