Raila tells off MPS who op­posed Fi­nance Bill

ODM leader says ‘frus­trated’ by leg­is­la­tors who openly de­fied him

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - Front Page - BY SAMWEL OWINO smundu@ke.na­tionem­dia.com AND KAZUNGU SA­MUEL skkazungu@ke.na­tion­media.com

ODM leader Raila Odinga yes­ter­day ex­pressed anger at his party MPS who last week de­fied his stand to sup­port Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta’s mem­o­ran­dum on the Fi­nance Bill.

Mr Odinga is re­ported to have been up­set by the MPS’ fail­ure to trust him when he urged them to sup­port amend­ments pro­posed by the Pres­i­dent seek­ing to in­crease taxes and im­pose an eight per cent value added tax on petroleum prod­ucts.

He told an ODM Cen­tral Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee meet­ing yes­ter­day that he ral­lied his MPS to sup­port the changes af­ter con­sult­ing with pro­fes­sion­als and Pres­i­dent Keny­atta, ac­cord­ing to a source who at­tended the talks.

“The party leader told us that he has worked in gov­ern­ment and un­der­stands that a bud­get must be balanced,” added the source.

But even as Mr Odinga whipped his party mem­bers, Kil­ifi North MP Owen Baya wrote to him, call­ing for the re­moval of National Assem­bly Mi­nor­ity leader John Mbadi over his con­duct dur­ing the chaotic sit­ting on Thurs­day.

Mr Baya termed Mr Mbadi a fail­ure, adding: "He com­pletely failed to pro­vide lead­er­ship in the House dur­ing the de­bate and party mem­bers openly went against his choices as he watched help­lessly. Sir, this is dan­ger­ous and un­ac­cept­able in par­lia­men­tary lead­er­ship. The prob­lem is not fail­ure by mem­bers to toe a party line but fail­ure of the mi­nor­ity lead­er­ship to in­tel­lec­tu­ally and po­lit­i­cally con­vince and in­flu­ence the mem­bers to move in one di­rec­tion.”

Mr Baya is among those con­sid­ered as rebels in the Or­ange Demo­cratic Move­ment af­ter they de­clared their sup­port for Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto at the coast against the wishes of the party. In Nairobi, it emerged that the party would not pun­ish the rebel MPS but they would be in­vited to a meet­ing and urged to toe the party line.

“Some MPS who op­posed the Pres­i­dent prob­a­bly did so be­cause they did not un­der­stand the ra­tio­nale be­hind the changes. What we have de­cided is just to whip them back so that they can toe the party line,” added the source.

The cen­tral man­age­ment com­mit­tee is com­posed of the party leader, his two deputies, the chair­man, the sec­re­tary-gen­eral, the women’s league leader, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the National Assem­bly and the Se­nate, the di­rec­tor of po­lit­i­cal af­fairs and the di­rec­tor of elections.

Con­tacted for com­ment, Mr Mbadi said the meet­ing did not dis­cuss the Thurs­day sit­ting in Par­lia­ment.

“We dis­cussed in­ter­nal party mat­ters and specif­i­cally the party’s ac­counts that are sup­posed to be au­dited,” Mr Mbadi said, but he de­clined to give the de­tails.

He com­pletely failed to pro­vide lead­er­ship in the House dur­ing the de­bate and party mem­bers openly went against his choices as he watched help­lessly. Sir, this is dan­ger­ous and un­ac­cept­able in par­lia­men­tary lead­er­ship.” Owen Baya, Kil­ifi North MP

TONNY OMONDI | NA­TION

ODM leader Raila Odinga gives a speech out­side the Unaitas of­fices at Kibuye Mar­ket in Kisumu on Mon­day. Mr Odinga of­fi­ci­ated at the open­ing of the sacco’s 25th of­fice. Yes­ter­day, he cas­ti­gated the party’s MPS who voted against the Fi­nance Bill.

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