South Rift leaders threaten to quit ODM
Published on April 21, 2008, 12:00 am
By Standard Team
Five MPs and more than 100 councillors have threatened to withdraw support for ODM over Cabinet appointments.
The leaders from the South Rift accused Prime Minister, Mr Raila Odinga, of sidelining the Kipsigis.
“The community got a raw deal in the appointments,” the leaders said in a statement read by Chepalungu MP, Mr Isaac Ruto.
Speaking at Tea Research Foundation, Kericho, on Saturday, they called for a political party for the community.
Konoin MP, Dr Julius Kones, said the community would use the by-elections in Ainamoi and Trans Mara to stamp their authority.
Among the MPs at the meeting were Mr Franklin Bett (Buret), Mr Magerer Lang’at (Kipkelion) and Mr Zakayo Cheruiyot (Kuresoi).
Former MPs, Mr Paul Sang and Mr John Terer, also attended the meeting.
The leaders said they held Raila responsible for shortchanging the community.
In the region, only Bomet MP, Mr Kipkalya Kones, is a cabinet minister (Roads), while Mr Charles Keter (Belgut) and his Sotik counterpart, Mrs Lorna Laboso, were appointed assistant ministers in the ministry of Energy and office of the Vice-President respectively.
On Thursday, ten MPs from the Rift Valley raised concern over Cabinet appointments, saying they were shortchanged.
Meanwhile, Budalang’i MP, Mr Ababu Namwamba, has asked Raila to contact ODM MPs who missed the appointments and assure them that all was not lost.
“We have many other opportunities and all is not lost for the MPs who missed Cabinet appointments. That is what our PM should tell them now,” said Namwamba.
The MP, who is also the ODM Parliamentary Secretary, said legislators were concerned with the disquiet in the party over Cabinet appointments.
“Not everyone can be a minister. There are other roles we can play as MPs,” said Namwamba.
Several PNU MPs have also complained that they were shortchanged.
Namwamba said there was need for Raila to talk to the party MPs.
The Kuria also claim they were shortchanged following the demotion of their MP, Dr Wilfred Machage, from minister to an assistant.
A group of leaders from the district, led by Mr Chris Gibagiri, said they were contemplating withdrawing their support for President Kibaki for allegedly embarrassing them.
Speaking in Nairobi, Gibagiri who lost to Machage in the last elections said Machage should not have been a sacrificial lamp.
“Why did they rob the Kuria after Machage had served for only five months” asked Gibagiri.