The Kenyan government has officially registered Nicholas Biwott as chairman of the official opposition party – KANU. It also makes Biwott the new leader of official opposition in the Kenyan parliament, a position Uhuru Kenyatta has held since 2002. Uhuru’s team was ousted because it joined with the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party.
Raila Odinga is ODM-Kenya candidate in next year’s presidential elections. He said ODM-Kenya will not accept what he called the illegal recognition of the Biwott faction as Kenya’s official opposition party.
“This is disappointing but not surprising because we have known all along of the conspiracy between former President Moi and President Kibaki that the government was going to facilitate immediate registration of the Biwott’s faction once they carried a coup in the ruling party,” he said.
Odinga said the Kenyan government decision to register the Biwott faction of KANU as the official opposition party would not stop an ODM-Kenya union.
“We are united. You know KANU Party; they did a formal national delegate conference yesterday in which they unanimously resolved that KANU would join ODM as a corporate party. So we are going to basically accept them as a corporate membership. We are not going to recognize the illegal registration of the Biwott faction because we know that no law has been followed. What we need is the numbers of the people, and the people are with Uhuru Kenyatta and his group. And that is what matters,” Odinga said.
He said former President Daniel Arap Moi’s involvement would not make a difference in terms of the popularity of ODM.
“I believe very strongly that we will be able to win the election without Moi’s backing,” he said.
Odinga said the government’s registration of the Biwott faction of KANU was done out of panic and the desire to win next year’s election. But he said ODM would win the election.
“They know that the ODM is much stronger going by last year’s referendum results. So they want to split the ODM, and they have made a deal with former President Moi to try to divide the ODM. Moi has been promised that he is going to be offered an amnesty against his past deeds, particularly the corruption deals in the Goldenberg scandal, and also that his sons will also be spared prosecution in return for his cooperating with the government and delivering the former ruling party in a coalition with Kibaki’s party,” he said
Odinga said both Kibaki and Moi are fighting for survival. He said Kibaki wants to win another term, while Moi wants to avoid prosecution for past corrupt deeds. He described the two as a coalition of evil.
Odinga said if the ODM becomes the next government of Kenya, it would promote truth and reconciliation by giving an opportunity for those who have committed discretion to own up to their past wrongdoings, make restitution where possible, and apologize so that Kenyans can reconcile.
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