‘I instructed ODM leadership to give rebels who met Ruto benefit of doubt’ – Raila

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 1 Mar, 2023 10:35 | 2 mins read
'I instructed ODM leadership to give rebels who met Ruto benefit of doubt' - Raila
Raila Odinga (left). Lang'ata MP Jalang'o and president William Ruto. PHOTOS/Instagram ( @railaodinga5th, @jalangoo)

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has changed his tune on rebel members who have been warming up to the government.

Speaking on Tuesday night February 28, 2023, during an interview on KTN, Raila said the rebel ODM Members of Parliament (MPs) wrote to him explaining their decision to meet president William Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua at State House.

"They were there when Ruto went to Nyanza and they said that Ruto had promised certain projects which they are following and that's why they went to State House. I have received written communication from them saying they did not defect from ODM, they just went because they are following the projects," Raila said.

"Phelix Odiwuor (Jalang'o) is not from Nyanza he is from Lang'ata. He was there," Ken Mijungu interjected.

Raila said that Lang'ata MP Jalang'o told him that he had to go to the State House because Ruto is his friend but had not defected from ODM.

"He was there. He says the president is his friend and he's gone there but he has not said he has left ODM," Raila responded to Ken Mijungu.

The ODM leader further said he instructed the party's top organs to give the rebel MPs the benefit of doubt on their explanations regarding the State House visits.

"I am really the one who said give them the benefit of doubt, deal with them if the party wants to carry out disciplinary action against them. But I have said give them the benefit of doubt coz going to State House is not a crime as long as you make it known to the party," Raila said.

"Going the way they did causes problems. If they want to move is not going to be the first time, remember we used to have defections those days but in those days those people were doing what is required by the law. If you are moving away from the party that sponsored you to parliament you have to resign and go and contest the election in a new party. We welcome them to go and re-contest," he added.

Dissident ODM MPs

Opposition lawmakers from Nyanza who met Ruto and his deputy Rigathi Gachagua at State House on February 7, 2023, include; Gideon Ochanda (Bondo), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Caroli Omondi (Suba South), Shakeel Shabir (Kisumu East, Independent) Felix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o (Lang’ata), Paul Abuor (Rongo), John Owino (Awendo) and Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda.

Raila had in the past Azimio rallies termed the rebel ODM MPs as traitors and demanded that they should leave the party.

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