To stabilize his Nyanza backyard, ODM leader Raila Odinga has moved to dismantle his rivals in the Orengo team. This move threatens to tear the ODM party apart.
On Tuesday, ODM cracked the whip on Rarieda MP Otiende Amolo. Otiende lost his seat as vice-chair of the influential Justice and Legal Affairs Committee in what people believe was a warning to James Orengo.
The Rarieda MP and Siaya Senator James Orengo share the same sentiments regarding the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI). Both of them raised questions about the Bill and are pushing for amendments, an issue that seems to have annoyed Raila.
Otiende Amolo alleged that the additional 70 constituencies that BBI proposes are unconstitutional. Several lawmakers who supported him and Orengo have since changed tune as Raila started cracking the whip.
There are speculations that ODM also plans to oust Orengo as the Senate majority leader. However, no ODM official has confirmed the same.
Timothy Bosire, the ODM Treasure, expressed shock upon hearing about Otiende’s removal.
“It cannot be true.ODM does not do that. That is not true. We don’t victimize people for their opinions. I also disagree with them from time to time. It is healthy that way,” Mr Bosire said.
“We are not robots; we are a social democracy. I don’t expect anybody to make that move,” he added.
Shortly after Mr Bosire made this statement, John Mbadi, the ODM national chairman, formally announced Otiende’s removal from his position.
Wafula Buke, the former ODM director of strategy, said that there is a crisis in ODM. He noted that some people close to the ODM leader caused the crisis because they are keen on financial deals.
“The crisis we have facing Otiende and James Orengo is the climax of the attack on ODM’s generation of positive energy and the impetus to move forward,” he said.
Speaking on his removal, Otiende said he would take the “change of circumstances” calmly.
“The vicissitudes of politics. The schemers want me out of JLAC, and I will take it in grace,” he said.
Mbadi said they removed Otiende for failing to comply with party rules.