NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22 – The Member of Parliament for Nyatike constituency Edick Anyanga says he is willing to step down for former Prime Minister Raila Odinga if asked to.
The legislator who is affiliated to the Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) was categorical that no undue pressure was exerted on him or any other CORD affiliated MP by the coalition leaders to quit, for them to make a political cone-back.
“The former prime minister and vice president have never asked anybody to resign for them to come to Parliament. The former PM made it very clear that he would love to be doing his own things outside Parliament,” Anyanga explained.
“But personally as the MP for Nyatike I want the former PM and Kalonzo Musyoka to be in Parliament so they can fight from within and so if I am called upon to resign I’ll do so for them to come to Parliament. I’ll do that,” he declared.
Odinga came under pressure from a section of Kisumu county’s religious leaders on Saturday to plot his return to Parliament but the MPs elected on his party ticket, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) are divided on the matter with some saying it would be demeaning for a former premier to return to government as a legislator.
Kisumu Town East lawmaker Shakeel Shabbir is one of those who think Odinga would be better placed working to strengthen ODM. “Without direction, ODM as a party is floundering. We have had major problems with the infrastructure of the party and without the party we are nothing.”
Shabbir was however quick to add that like Anyanga, he is willing to forfeit his seat should Odinga decide he wants to return to Parliament on his own accord.
“Is it what he wants and desires? But there is no shortage, including myself. Many of us are willing to make way for him even in the Senate. But does he want that?”
Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama has already said he is willing to step down for Odinga’s coalition partner Kalonzo Musyoka should he be required to.
Muthama like Anyanga believes Musyoka and Odinga are better placed in Parliament or the CORD coalition risks becoming irrelevant. “From the experience I have, if you are not in an elective position in Kenyan politics it is extremely difficult to be recognised locally and internationally,” Muthama explained.
Sources within Musyoka’s Wiper Democratic Movement had indicated that no MP was willing to forfeit their seat in order to make room for the former Vice President in the legislature – allowing him to become the minority leader – and it remains to be seen if Anyanga and Muthama will make good on their promises.