Saturday, 15 September 2012

KANU Endorsement of Raila and the Kibaki Succession

That the independence party KANU has finally showed intentions of endorsing Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga for president in 2013 will be seen as representing a major political coup in the Kibaki succession game. When it comes, it will also throw the spanner into the works in so far as Rift Valley politics goes.

Interestingly, KANU was recently abandoned by Uhuru Kenyatta who opted to form the TNA and who has himself showed signs of willingness to work with ODM "after" the elections. Questions are now being raised as to whether Mudavadi's deparutre has suddenly made ODM and Raila an attractive political partner.

Ex-President Moi has remained steadfast in KANU and when Gideon Moi made this announcement while campaigning for the party's candidate in the Ndhiwa by-elections he could have been echoing the words of the elder statesman. The younger Moi also promised announcement would have to be ratified by the KANU NDC.

Political observers will recall how in 2002, President Moi suprised everyone by insisting on a greenhorn successor in Uhuru Kenyatta when the party was bursting with presidential talent having only months before mergred with National Development Party. Ten years down the line, KANU is now warming up to ODM which inherited most of the defectors from KANU in the Rift Valley and elsewhere.

As a party whose campaign is premised on reform, ODM must be seen to be reformist in the company it keeps. We wait to see the formal announcement of a pre-election deal between ODM and KANU a relationship that is already being tested by the Ndhiwa by-election where a number of unsuccessful ODM nominees have opted to support the KANU candidate rather than rally behind one of the own.

When Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto allied MPs of the 10th parliament rallied to make amendments to the Political Parties Act 2010 legitimising pre-election and post-election agreements none of them would have imagined that ODM would also be in similar frame for crafting alliances since their objective then was limited to building a united vehicle to defeat Raila Odinga in the 2013 general elections. Not only has the G-7 collapsed but a lot of water has passed under the bridge with the political landscape changing almost daily. Perhaps even more importantly, a preferred presidential successor has apparently been unveiled by the incumbent president much to the chagrin on Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto who at one time many assumed would be endorsed by President Kibaki as his natural successors. 

The next two months promises even more alignments and re-alignments.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Prime Minister's Weekend Programme Updated

The earlier announced Western Province Leaders' Forum scheduled for Saturday 15/09/2012 at the Golf Hotel in Kakamega town has been postponed and now the Prime Minister's diary for the weekend has been adjusted as follows;

Thursday 13/9/12

The Rt. Hon. Raila Odinga will be in Murang'a County for a series of rallies in Kangema Constituency.

Friday 14/9/12

The Prime Minister will be in Kajiado County to drum up the support for Eng. Peter Ole Mositet, the ODM candidate in the Monday 17th September by election in Kajiado North.

Saturday 15/9/12

The Prime Minister will be in Homabay County to join in the campaign trail for the ODM candidate in the Ndhiwa constituency by election scheduled for Monday 17/9/12. The ODM candidate in Ndhiwa is Mr. Agostinho Neto.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

South Rift MPs Now Affirm Commitment to ODM

It was widely reported a few days ago that ODM MPs from the South Rift the Hon Franklin Bett, Hon Magerer Langat, Hon Dr Joyce Laboso and the Hon Beatrice Kones  had resigned from Ad-hoc Committee on Mau Forest Complex evictees resettlement.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Roads Minister Franklin Bett and Energy Assistant Magerer Langat during a meeting with leaders of the people who were evicted from Mau Forest at the Premier's office

It turns out today that these were a distortion by media and while resentment does exist on the status of the yet to be settled evictees, the MPs have not resigned from any committee nor made plans to defect to any other party.

Earlier today, the four MPs led  representatives of over five thousand families that were evicted from Mau Forest three years ago into a meeting with Prime Minister Raila Odinga in his office in Nairobi. The MPs denied that they had resigned from the committee and warned politicians to keep off the issue of reseetlement of Mau evicteed and forthwith stop dragging the name of the Prime Minister into the matter. The meeting was organised by Lands Minister James Orengo, who was reported they had blamed for failing to disburse the Mau resettlement funds.

The MPs also publicly declared that they never had any plans to ditch ODM for any another political party.

Hon Langat had earlier condemned reports of plans to defect from ODM and instead blamed the stories on media fabrication and called them simply “mere speculation”, adding that his support and that of the Kipkelion people for the candidature of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who is also the ODM leader, was still intact.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga Tours Western Region This Weekend

Meeting with Mau Squatters Also Planned

The Orange Democratic Movement – ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga will this weekend tour Western Kenya region for a series of meetings and development activities.

During the tour, the Prime Minister will visit Homabay, Migori and Kakamega Counties. The following is the full itinerary of Eng. Odinga;

Friday 14/9/2012;
  1. 1. 9.00 AM - Prime Minister Raila Odinga will preside over the official launch of the construction of Lower Kuja irrigation Scheme in Nyatike Constituency in Migori County.
  2. 2.00PM – The PM will address a political/campaign rally at Ndhiwa Centre in Ndhiwa Constituency. The PM will be drumming up the support for the ODM candidate in the Ndhiwa Parliamentary by-election Mr. Augustinho Netto.
 Saturday 15/9/2012;
  1. 10.00 AM – The Prime Minister will attend the Western Leaders Forum at the Golf Hotel in Kakamega town. The meeting will be attended by the ODM party officials from all the four counties of Western i.e Kakamega, Vihiga, Busia and Bungoma.
Meeting with Mau Forest Evictees

Meanwhile,  news from Kuresoi indicate Prime Minister Raila Odinga is expected to meet leaders of families evicted from Mau forest over the delay of the resettlement program today, Tuesday (11th Sept 2012).

Raila’s move comes barely a week after a section of MPs from South Rift region resigned from the committee which he had formed of identifying land to resettle the evictees. The MPs also threatened unspecified political statement to express their displeasure on the handling of Mau Forest resettlement by the Ministry of Lands.

A brief statement from the PM’s spokesman Dennis Onyango confirmed that Raila will meet the delegation of the evictees at his Office of the Prime Minister along Harambee House Nairobi office to assure them that the resettlement program is on course.

The PM will meet the delegation of leaders of Mau evictees on Tuesday over the resettlement program. Meeting is being coordinated by Lands Minister James Orengo,” Onyango said.

Last week members of the committee chaired by Roads Minister Franklin Bett, Energy Assistant Minister Magerer Langat, his Home Affairs counterpart Beatrice Kones and Sotik MP Joyce Laboso announced their resignation from the committee.

The legislators quit from the committee arguing that the Government was taking too long to purchase parcels of land in the Nakuru County to resettle the evictees, yet the money for the purpose has been disbursed to the Ministry of Land.

On Saturday, the MPs led by Magerer while speaking at a church function in Bomet County blamed the PM’s office for dragging its feet in the implementation of the resettlement program.

The more than 5,000 families who were kicked out of the forest by the Government in 2009 to pave way for the rehabilitation of the country’s largest water tower, are camping in makeshifts camps by the road side at the edge of South Western Mau forest.