NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s fortunes at the Coast have taken a turn for the worse after nominated MP Sheikh Mohammed Dor and other Muslim leaders accused him of betraying a Memorandum of Understanding he signed with them in the run up to the 2007 elections.
The leaders, who accompanied former Tourism Minister Najib Balala to a press briefing on Wednesday, accused the premier of disregarding the agreement he signed with the National Forum of Leaders of Muslim Organisations (NAMLEF).
Dor said that the betrayal would not be taken lightly terming Balala’s drop from the Cabinet as an attempt by the Prime Minister to create religious strife.
“Balala’s removal from office is contemptuous and it is something that we will carry with us to the next election; we will not forget. We are Kenyans and our leaders must be respected,” he said.
NAMLEF chairman Sheikh Abdullahi Abdi added that Odinga could not be trusted with the leadership of the country saying he was a dictator.
“I think Muslims were misled in the same way that Kenyans were misled. There was a perception that Raila was a reformer but the veneer of reforms has now been lifted,” he said.
“The true chemistry of this person has come out and what does it speak of? It speaks of a power hungry dictator who will stop at nothing to get power,” he charged.
Balala on the other hand maintained that he lost his cabinet post for standing by the truth, adding that the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) had no democracy.
He also challenged Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi to leave ODM or risk quashing his presidential ambitions.
“The price of being an independent minded person is that you get fired and if Mudavadi seriously wants to be the president of this country, I can guarantee you, he will not get it through ODM. Unfortunately if he decides to leave, he will get fired,” he quipped.
He added that ODM was a sinking ship that would crumble with Mudavadi’s exit. He also spoke highly of the Deputy Prime Minister saying he would make a good president.
“ODM is being held by Mudavadi and if he leaves it will collapse. He is a good leader who can make a good President but he needs to cut links with ODM,” he argued.
The former Tourism Minister also revealed that he was in the process of consulting like-minded political and religious leaders with a view of determining the best political party through which to vie in the next polls.
“It’s still too early to name the party but we already have a few choices that we are in talks with,” he said.
However speaking in Mombasa, Odinga said he had no option but to sack Balala as he had out rightly opposed the leadership in ODM.
The premier said he could not stomach Balala’s public attacks on the party and decided to relieve him of his duties.
Odinga further assured Mombasa leaders that they would soon get a ministerial post.
Dor had earlier noted that Balala’s drop had effectively stripped the coastal people of their last ministerial post.
“It is unfortunate that the ODM Chairman has thrown out the MOU we signed with him and he has even gone ahead to remove the last Minister we had as Muslims,” he argued.
Isiolo MP Abdul Bahari and Kamukunji’s Yusuf Hassan were also present.