Inside Politics

Sifuna addresses reports of division in ODM over Raila’s bid for AU job

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024 13:23 | By
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna. PHOTO/@TheODMparty/X

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party secretary general Edwin Sifuna has dispelled reports that there are divisions within the party after its leader Raila Odinga declared interest in the African Union Commission (AUC) chairmanship job.

In a statement, Sifuna accused the media of driving a sponsored narrative to sow seeds of division within the Orange party.

According to Sifuna, the reports which he terms as fake news, are coordinated, well-choreographed, and consistent, pointing to a sponsored narrative.

"In the days following the announcement by our Party Leader, H.E. Rt Hon Raila Odinga, of his desire to contest the African Union Commission Chairmanship, the media in Kenya has been awash with false narratives and skewed pseudo-analysis about what they call succession politics within the ODM party. It hasn’t escaped notice that these fake news items appear coordinated, well-choreographed, and consistent, which suggests a well-woven plot to incite division within the Party is afoot," Sifuna stated.

"In these reports, media houses are falling over themselves to create the perception of factional fights in our party over non-existent vacancies. Since its inception, the ODM party has remained the most consequential political organization in multiparty Kenya."

ODM foundation

Sifuna says that the party relies on its strong leadership foundation, vibrant party structures, credible values, and a strong party membership base to decide on succession in critical positions.

"If a time ever comes for transitions within the party’s leadership, we will make it public," he added.

Sifuna says Raila's AU bid does not indicate that he has vacated local politics, and he still remains the party leader of ODM.

"May it go on record that H.E. Rt Hon Raila Odinga, in seeking the AU position, has not made any pronouncements regarding his local political future, and remains the Party Leader of ODM. We urge our members not to fall for the narratives currently being churned by the media," Sifuna stated.

"The party remains strong, focused on its mandate, and working for the masses in its role as the people’s watchman. The biggest issue afflicting Kenyans today is the high cost of living and not party political succession. We understand politics sells, especially anything revolving around the Rt Hon Odinga, but we urge that the media takes only the truth to the market."

Raila's AU bid

Raila announced his bid for AUC chairmanship, which has been backed by the Kenya Kwanza administration, on Thursday, February 15, 2024.

“The general Olusegun Obasanjo has said he is one of my closest friends in the continent and has intimated that should there be an interest I will be keen to serve the continent of Africa," Raila stated.

Raila also announced that he was ready to offer himself to be of service to the content whenever called upon.

“I am ready and offer myself to be of service to this African content when called upon. I believe that Africa is playing in a league that it should not play in and that it deserves better," Raila added.

The former prime minister also explained that he was the best candidate for the job because of his previous experience.

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