19 June 2019

Kenya: ODM - We Didn't Seek Kenyatta's Backing

ODM has denied claims that two of its leaders asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to endorse Mr Raila Odinga for the 2022 presidential contest during a funeral ceremony in Kisumu County.

The Orange party said the claim is a misrepresentation of facts and accused the media of refusing to give the public facts.

In a statement, the party said the media misinformed the public on what was said during the burial of the mother of Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyongo's on Friday last week.

"It is appalling to see the media report that Senate Minority Leader James Orengo and his National Assembly counterpart John Mbadi pleaded with the President to name Mr Odinga as his successor in the 2022 election," the party said in a statement signed by Director of Communication Philip Etale.

"This is a blatant lie aimed at misleading the public," Mr Etale said, arguing that the party feels that media houses that published the claims owed it, and the two legislators, an apology.

The party clarified that the two spoke about the fight against corruption and the unity of the nation.

Meanwhile, ODM has postponed its planned retreat at Lake Elementaita Lodge in Nakuru to allow its leader to attend the African Cup of Nations' (Afcon) official opening.

The retreat was to take place tomorrow to seek a common stand on the referendum.

ODM Secretary-General Mr Edwin Sifuna told Nation that the retreat of the party's top organ -- the National Executive Council -- will now take place from Thursday, June 27 to Saturday, June 29.

"We have pushed the retreat to next week because the party leader will be in Egypt for the Afcon opener this Friday," said Mr Sifuna.

Additional reporting by Rushdie Oudia

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