Jubilee MPs rallied behind Dr Oburu Odinga, the elder brother of opposition leader Raila Odinga, to represent Kenya at the East African Legislative Assembly, despite him (Raila) being President Kenyatta’s worst political rival since time memorial. Dr Oburu aged 74 is a former MP for Bondo and was nominated to the National Assembly after losing the 2013 elections.
The situation at hand is that Raila Odinga believes he was robbed of his victory in the August 8 elections through manipulation of the vote tallying system, went to the Supreme Court and successfully secured nullification of President Kenyatta’s win, but went ahead to withdraw from the fresh elections held on October 26, citing lack of credibility and accountability in the process. Additionally, Mr Odinga has continued to challenge the legitimacy of President Kenyatta after the Supreme Court affirmed the latter’s second win and was subsequently sworn in.
After all said and done, Dr Oburu Odinga himself a bitter foe of the Jubilee administration and expectations were that he would be rejected in the Thursday elections in a House in which Jubilee has a near super majority. Ironically, in the end he gunnered 243 votes , coming only fourth to Kennedy Musyoka of Wiper (309), and Jubilee’s Simon Mbugua (286) and Florence Jematiah (252). According to Jubilee MPs Dr Oginga’s experience and education favoured him in their endorsement, who has a PhD in economics and he has also been a legislator since 1994 when he succeeded his father, Jaramogi, as MP for Bondo.
However according to the National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi said that NASA had struck a deal with Majority Leader Aden Duale for Jubilee to support both Mr Musyoka and Dr Odinga as their demonstration that the differences between President Kenyatta on one hand, and Messes Odinga and Musyoka, on the other hand were not personal but just political.
Interestingly, MPs also have a history of supporting one of their own even if they are in two political divides which might have been one of the reasons for Oburu’s selection being on of the seven of the nine nominees to the regional club sitting in Arusha, Tanzania who are former MPs who were declared elected after more than six hours of voting and tallying in both the National Assembly and the Senate.