I wish you well, Raila tells Mudavadi
Written by Isura Christopher and Frankline Bwire
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Prime Minister Raila Odinga (R) with his Deputy Musalia Mudavadi at a past function before Mudavadi quit ODM.
A day after Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi quit ODM; Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said he wishes him well in his presidential ambition.
Mr. Raila acknowledged that Mudavadi had been a ‘diligent student’ and that they had a cordial working relationship in ODM.
“I wish him all the best wherever he has gone, he has been a good student and we hope to meet with him in the field,” said Raila.
Mudavadi officially ditched ODM on Wednesday for United Democratic Forum Party (UDFP) and resigned as the ODM Deputy Leader and also resigned as the Local Government minister.
Mudavadi said he was leaving ODM because he had been blocked to seek the presidency after the party failed to amend its Constitution especially a clause that gives the PM automatic candidacy on the party’s ticket.
However, while he addressed Journalists at the JKIA today (Thursday) morning after jetting in from his USA trip, Raila dismissed Mudavadi’s claims that the party was reluctant to amend the party constitution terming it as mere propaganda.
Raila said that according to the political parties’ act, if any party wishes to amend its constitution the party has to give a notice to the registrar for publication of the notice in the Kenyan gazette.
“We are waiting for a letter from the registrar to amend the clause,” he said.
Raila has said that they had agreed with Mudavadi that they will go and campaign and come for party nominations which they both agreed to support the winner at the end of it all.
“Mudavadi asked the party to amend the constitution so as to have an equal opportunity for both of them to compete for the presidential candidate seat,” Raila noted.
The PM also cautioned other members of the party who are tired and wish to leave the party to do so for the door is open for them to leave.
“I remain very confident that in the coming elections, Kenyans will choose between reforms and the status quo. Kenya will choose hope and unity over fear and more divisions, am confident ODM will win the elections,” he said.
On Mudavadi’S failure to resign as Deputy Premier and MP for Sabatia, Raila has said that according to the law, if one changes from one party to another, he or she is supposed to reclaim the seat in a by election.
He reminded Kenyans that he once pulled out of Ford Kenya and had to go through an election to be reelected back as an MP.
Raila says that he is not going to decide on the fate of Mudavadi but ODM members will seat and decide on his fate as both the MP for Sabatia and Deputy Premier.
Elsewhere in Busia County, Mudavadi’s decision to quit ODM continues to elicit mixed reactions among leaders in Busia County with some declining to comment over the move.
Several leaders believe Mudavadi’s move is his democratic right as a citizen of this country and a personal decision that should not be criticized.
Busia Mayor Imelda Obwana said it is a big challenge to Western residents to unite and rally their support behind Mudavadi if at all the region wants to win the top seat.
She said Western region has a large stake in the country’s leadership if residents remain together and vote as a block.
“The residents should now come together as one family by forgetting our political differences if they want the presidency,” said Obwana, speaking to journalists in Busia town.
She also cautioned him against portraying himself as a Luhya leader but instead seek for support from other parts of the country.
Walatsi civic leader Jack Wambulwa said they are eagerly waiting to see if the Eldoret North legislator William Ruto and deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta will support the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Eugene Wamalwa in his presidential bid, because it is likely going to give direction.
“Though competition between Mudavadi and Eugene Wamalwa might divide votes in the region, the G7’s declaration will determine the next direction,” he said.
Speaking to West FM on phone, Wambulwa implored the residents to embrace peace as the country heads towards the General Election and shun tribalism.
A section of ODM supporters maintained that Mudavadi’s move was ill timed and would cost him in his political ambitions of being the next president.
“It seems that Mudavadi has forgotten what happened to him in 2002. He could have remained with Raila Odinga in the party,” said Patrick Gomba, Marachi West Civic leader.
However the Busia County Council Chairman Charles Olemu ran way from journalists fearing to comment over Mudavadi’s move.