CORD to meet over Raila’s absence during Wetangula’s presidential bid launch

CORD to meet over Raila’s absence during Wetangula’s presidential bid launch

Ford Kenya leaders have spoken of their three-hour fruitless wait for CORD leader Raila Odinga during the launch of Moses Wetangula’s presidential bid last Saturday. Three days since the launch, Odinga’s camp is yet to explain his absence from the event. The leaders are now calling for an urgent meeting to iron out the differences between the two sides.

Those conversant with the planning of Wetangula’s presidential bid launch say the program was to run from 10AM – 2PM, the rationale, to accommodate CORD leader Raila Odinga’s schedule before he flew to Tanzania by midday. The program was, however, delayed by three hours but still had to begin without the CORD leader’s presence despite his earlier assurance.

That Saturday morning, the CORD leader was at the Kisumu International Airport where he met his co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka. However, only Kalonzo proceeded to the Wetangula event and the change of heart remains a mystery within the Ford Kenya leadership.

“It was disappointing, we expected him (Raila), as much as we knew he will be leaving at noon, we set our program to begin early so that he could leave early as we continue,” said Eseli Simiyu, Ford Kenya Secretary General.

CORD insiders claim the Tanzanian trip was a state invite and the CORD leader could not have missed it for a political rally. The snubbing has heightened speculations of discord within the CORD fraternity especially in the battle for the control of the Western region bloc.

Three days since the launch that was marred by violence, Odinga’s camp is yet to explain his absence, a matter that points to the deteriorating relationship between the two sides.

Odinga jetted back into the country Monday afternoon.

Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya’s Chief of Staff Nabii Nabwera was charged over the fracas that disrupted Wetangula’s presidential bid launch. He was released on a cash bail of 20,000 shillings.

Insiders claim after a Tuesday meeting at Raila’s Capital Hill Office attended by, among others, the Kakamega Governor, the Wetangula event was transformed from a Ford Kenya function to a CORD event, but on Thursday evening in a subsequent meeting to firm up matters ahead of Saturday, Oparanya decided to lock out Wetangula from the historic Muliro Gardens.

Wetangula’s entourage reportedly bulldozed their way into the gardens for the Saturday event that turned chaotic.