, NAKURU, Kenya, Oct 29 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has appealed to all ODM Members of Parliament who have left for other parties due to differences with him to rejoin the party and form a formidable team to win the next election.
Saying the apparent differences especially with Members of Parliament from the Kalenjin community were instigated and propagated by those who did not wish the party well, Odinga asked for forgiveness from anyone he could have wronged while executing his duties as the Prime Minister.
“Human is to err, and if I have offended anyone in the cause of my duties as Prime Minister, I ask for forgiveness. Let us look forward and continue to work together as before.”
Odinga was speaking at Ngata farm in Nakuru county where he held consultative talks with leaders from the Kalenjin community.
Noting that some of the reported differences with members of the community could have arisen from cases facing four Kenyans including Eldoret North MP and URP party leader William Ruto at the ICC over post-election violence, Odinga reiterated that he had no powers over the Hague process.
“Even if I had the powers would I have taken Mr Ruto and Mr Kosgey (Industrialization Minister who was acquitted) to the Hague when they were my foot soldiers?” he posed.
Odinga however stated that ODM was willing to give evidence at the ICC if asked to prove the innocence of Ruto and expressed optimism that the truth shall set him free.
He admitted that they had held talks with Ruto regarding an arrangement that could make them work together to win the presidency of the country and added that the talks were still ongoing and that he had made representations to him(Ruto) which he was still awaiting response.
The PM also touched on the Mau issue saying his role was only to implement government directives that had been endorsed by the Cabinet. “My role therefore was to only implement Cabinet decisions that some of those now blaming me were privy to,” he added.
On the issue of not bailing out ODM youth who had been arrested for demonstrating against the results of the bungled 2007 election, Odinga explained that he raised the issue in the Cabinet and the Attorney General was instructed to produce the list of those arrested. “Many of the youth were released after my intervention, it is therefore unfair to blame me for abandoning them in jail.” he said.
Leaders who spoke at the function endorsed Prime Minister Raila Odinga for the presidency of the country and mandated him to continue engaging with the Eldoret North MP and URP party leader to find a way of both of them agreeing to run on a single party ticket in the coming general election.
The leaders said the two leaders should find a solution to the issues that tore them apart and by extension the Kalenjin community from ODM, and find a convergence point with a view to forging a common ground to face the election together.
Speaker after speaker who were drawn from Nakuru, Baringo, Kericho, Bomet and Narok counties pointed out that the issues that caused a rift between the community and the Prime Minister were not big enough to alienate them from the Prime Minister and the Orange party.
Noting that a majority of residents of the Rift Valley still supported ODM, the leaders said URP was formed so that communities in the Rift Valley could also have a party they could call their own.
Emphasizing that they will not gamble with their lives by voting for people simply because they belonged to a party that was popular in the region, the leaders said they will persuade the electorate in the area to vote for a president who had leadership qualities that could take the Rift Valley and the country at large to the next level.
They noted that the Rift Valley was the most affected by the post election violence, and stated that Kenyans would not want to go that direction again. They called for fairness in the allocation of resources and job placements in the region and the country at large saying the feeling that some communities had been left out was the cause of the frequent clashes between different communities residing in the area.
The meeting was attended by Ministers Henry Kosgey, Musa Sirma, James Orengo, Paul Otuoma and Assistant Ministers Beatrice Kones and Magerer Langat and MP Wilson Litole.