Uhuru Kenyatta, chairman of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), announced that his party intends to field a candidate in the next general election. This statement is generating controversy as some are worried that the trusted ODM party may be falling apart. William Ruto, secretary general of the Kenya African National Union (KANU) and a leading member of the ODM, spoke with English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey about the chairman’s decision.
“Honorable Uhuru Kenyatta who is our chairman is entitled to his opinion as the chairman of the party. The decisions of the party are made by party organs all of us will be bound by the decisions that will be made by the organs. However individually everybody is free to air their views. ODM is a movement that came together as a result of pressure from the people of Kenya. Our party KANU, and the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), should work together in an effort to realize the greatest aspirations of the people of Kenya and that is a new constitution. We haven’t yet realized that particular aspiration. And there are many more things that I believe in my own opinion many people in Kenya still wants us as KANU and LPD to work together to achieve, one of them being a clear focus on the next general elections.”
Reacting to Kenyatta’s statement that the ODM is an amorphous body, which has outlived its usefulness, Ruto said, “I am of a completely different opinion because if we go by the reason why the ODM came together that is the realization of a new constitution. We have not realized a new constitution.” He also said, “If we go by the general feeling of the membership of our two parties I still believe very strongly that there is a strong feeling that we should work together.”
Ruto reacted to the possibility of ODM defeating President Kibaki and his government, “Absolutely not. I do not want to speculate yet that indeed that KANU has decided or our chairman decided to completely pull out. I think there is also an element of a bit of exaggeration on what he said. I think to the best of my recollection, Uhuru Kenyatta is saying we should find structured way of relating to ODM. We should agree on a strategy, we should agree on policy positions, we should agree on our shared agenda and use it as a basis for us relating and forming the ODM.”
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