NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 17 – The Friends of Raila (FORA) lobby group has taken issue with the former Prime Minister Raila Odinga for opting to stay out of Parliament arguing that he cannot champion change from the outside.
FORA Secretary General Aloyce Obare told journalists on Wednesday that the resolution by the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) to front former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s return to Parliament while Odinga took a back seat, was not good enough for the interests of those who voted for the duo.
Obare argued that Odinga, who has turned down proposals for his return to Parliament, must make a comeback because he no longer represents personal interests but those of a larger movement.
“There have been claims and counter claims that Raila has indicated that he may not necessarily want to run for elective office. That is not our concern here; we are not addressing his personal interests.
“Raila Odinga is no longer an individual… he represents a movement in this country,” he countered.
Obare added that the former premier would be the best placed person to hold the Jubilee government to account and ensure that efforts to implement the Constitution are not derailed.
He particularly cited the ongoing impasse between the National and County governments claiming that it was a clear sign of an effort to derail devolution.
“This is a battle that will not be won by the faint hearted or by politicians whose conscience, patriotism or sense of national good are all up for negotiation or hire. It is a battle that requires Raila’s tested commitment,” he said.
The group also poked holes into the independence of the Judiciary, that of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission as well as the commitment of certain security agents in the country, with Obare maintaining that there was need for a strong opposition leader, who would keep the excesses of the Jubilee government in check.
He added that the Jubilee government had not yet won the hearts and confidence of those who did not vote for it.
“We are not convinced that the incoming government and its architects are fully committed to the full implementation of the new Constitution,” he claimed.
The Wiper arm of the CORD movement has reportedly been talking to Mwingi North and Mwingi Central MPs to convince them to resign so that Musyoka can participate in the subsequent by election.
Reports have also been rife indicating that the Wiper party will give whoever resigns Sh30 million.