Raila meets Orengo, Oparanya even as reports of  divisions within   ODM linger on

Raila meets Orengo, Oparanya even as reports of divisions within ODM linger on

BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,10TH MAY,2021-ODM leader Raila Odinga on Monday held a meeting with Siaya Senator James Orengo after the latter contradicted his party boss over constituencies proposed by BBI.

Raila has been under siege with top-ranking members of his party openly contradicting him and others daring him to a political duel.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya joined Orengo and his troops, warning the sharing of 70 new constituencies “will divide the country”.

But on Monday, Raila held discussions with Oparanya, Orengo and Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu.

Raila thanked the three leaders for dropping by adding that he had hosted them “for brunch.”

On his Twitter handle, Orengo said he held a refreshing meeting with his party leaders.

“Very refreshing to catch up with my Party Leader Hon. @RailaOdinga, Governor @GovWOparanya & Mama @mamangilu,” he said.

The open defiance jolted Raila and President Uhuru Kenyatta to release a joint statement on May 5 pleading with Parliament not to ruin the BBI process.

And for the first time since their last political face-off in 2002, Orengo dared Raila to bring it on, saying he will never be intimidated to stop speaking his mind.

In an apparent reference to the ODM party leadership, the Siaya Senator said he has seen it all and will not yield to threats to abandon what is right.

“I can never be intimidated in my political life because I have seen powerful people come and go; I have seen presidents come and go,” Orengo said in the Senate.

“If my day comes I will accept it, but my conscience, the way I was brought up I can never sell it, I would never.”

Orengo’s ally Rarieda  MP Otiende Amollo was on Tuesday sacked from the influential Justice and Legal Affairs Committee, a political move that was seen as a warning shot to Orengo. The two are ideological soulmates.

Raila’s spokesman Dennis Onyango had referred to some unnamed leaders as “demagogues (who are) known only for discussing politics in flawless English and legal jargon on the floor and public rallies”.

His take was that Raila has changed strategy from combative politics and the Orengo wing was determined to drag the party back to battle.

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