NAIROBI Kenya, Mar 9 – The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has picked a replacement to Eliud Owalo who headed the Raila Odinga presidential secretariat until last week when he quit in a huff, citing frustration from a camp within the party.
In a statement on Sunday, Odinga’s spokesman Dennis Onyango said the former Prime Minister had no problem with Owalo’s exit and dismissed reports claiming the former aide would resume work soon.
“Odinga has since settled on the person replacing Mr Owalo at the CORD coordinating secretariat, which will be communicated to the coalition partners in due course,” Onyango said in reference to the Coalition for Reform in Democracy.
“Owalo therefore has no role either in the ODM secretariat or CORD Secretariat on behalf of Mr Odinga, as he is quoted saying in sections of the media.”
Owalo who was the campaign manager for the ex-PM said he had left due to persistent attacks by Odinga’s cousin, Jakoyo Midiwo, who is the Gem Member of Parliament.
The party however says he is, “welcome to remain an active member of ODM and the CORD coalition.”
On March 4, Owalo sent a letter to Odinga, informing him of his withdrawal of services to CORD.
“As you are aware, I have in the recent past faced persistent but unwarranted attacks from your cousin Jakoyo Midiwo; informed primarily by what I believe is his desire of unlimited and unfettered political space around you,” a letter addressed to Odinga read.
Owalo went on to say that he had persevered two years of selfish pursuits by individuals around the former premier.
“Whereas I have over the past two years had to endure a lot of similar backstabbing innuendos and political intrigues from political busy bodies who are in ruthless and aggressive pursuit of their own political aggrandizement irrespective of your own political future; I cannot reconcile my conscience with the latest attacks from Jakoyo who is in my considered opinion and belief has no technical capacity to advise me on anything,” Owalo said.
Though he described his decision as painful, Owalo said this would give Midiwo and his ilk the political room they so desire around Odinga.