Eight Cord lawmakers to quit for Raila and Kalonzo identified

railaCord lawmakers have identified eight MPs and senators who may be asked to step down for alliance leaders Raila Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka so that they can return to Parliament.

If the plan succeeds, by-elections will be held in the two affected constituencies where Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka are expected to win. The chosen electoral areas are considered safe seats for ODM and Wiper parties.

The six constituencies are Lang’ata, Kibra, Homa Bay Town, Kisumu Central, Mwingi Central and Mwingi North.

Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka are former prime minister and vice-president respectively in the coalition government that lapsed on Tuesday. They are expected to decide on the offer tomorrow at a Cord MPs’ retreat in Naivasha.

The two returned to the country on Wednesday from South Africa where they took a post-election vacation together with Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang’ula.

On Friday, Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo said the issue had been discussed and it was up to the two leaders to decide.

“This matter is being talked about within the coalition caucuses. My advice to the two gentlemen is that they should not touch the nominated MPs,” Mr Kilonzo said.

The cosmopolitan constituencies represented by MPs Joshua Olum (Lang’ata), Kenneth Okoth (Kibra), Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay Central) and Ken Obura (Kisumu Central) are seen as ideal for Mr Odinga’s comeback.

Mr Odinga previously represented Lang’ata that was split into Kibra and Lang’ata constituencies. He lives in Karen, Lang’ata, but is a registered voter in Kibra. He also has a home in Kisumu Central.

The Kibra MP said he was aware of the discussion but had not been told to step down. “I have not been approached to step down for Mr Odinga and I would rather not comment,” Mr Okoth said.

Mr Kaluma said he would oblige if he was asked to step down. “There are many people willing to step down for Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka to make their way back to Parliament. And if Peter Kaluma is the one to give way I will do it,” said the Homa Bay Central MP.

In Ukambani, Mr Munuve (Mwingi North) and Mr Joe Mutambu (Mwingi Central) of  Wiper party were targeted for the request.

Mr Munuve told the Saturday Nation yesterday he would reject the request.

“I haven’t been approached on this but I have also discouraged those who are approaching people,” he said. “I have categorically mentioned to them that I have a contract with the people and it is non-transferable. I empathise with the former VP but my seat is not available.”

He said Mr Musyoka could seek an elective seat anywhere in the republic.

“I promise to engage in very vigorous campaign for him from any constituency he will be running in once someone steps down for him.” Mr Musyoka represented Mwingi North for almost three decades.

Mr Mutambu welcomed the overtures. “I fully support calls to have these two leaders back in Parliament. These are our suggestions as leaders and it should be clear that Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka are not dying to be in Parliament,” he said.

On Thursday, Senators Johnstone Muthama (Machakos)  and James Orengo (Siaya) said they would give up their seats for the two leaders if need be.

“We have so many people willing to give up their seats. I don’t want to mention people but I want to state here that I can resign for Kalonzo,” Mr Muthama said.

The Cord leaders flew to South Africa after losing a petition challenging Mr Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory in the March 4 General Election.

Mr Kenyatta was sworn in on Tuesday as Kenya’s fourth President.




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