Known amongst the throngs of ODM supporters as ‘the Walking Constitution,’ James Aggrey Bob Orengo, has been one of the most dependable allies of the former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga
Recently, however, aspersions have been cast over his loyalty to the Party, and is facing accusations of working at cross purposes with the party leadership on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Orengo’s tiff with a section of the Party leadership and supporters came after he questioned the authenticity of the BBI document released to the public as well as the legality and distribution of the proposed 70 new constituencies, high-ranking members of the ODM party are calling the seasoned lawyer out for what they call betrayal and dishonesty.
“Orengo co-chaired the committee that produced the final Bill. He cannot turn around now to say we didn’t agree on this or that. He cannot run away from his baby. He is essentially trying to disown a document he himself by the virtue of being a co-captain author. It is the height of political dishonesty,” Minority Whip at the National Assembly Junet Mohamed claimed
It has since emerged that after the Naivasha retreat with MPs, President Uhuru Kenyatta Kenyatta and the ODM leader formed a committee to fine-tune the Bill. They tasked Mr. Orengo and Majority Leader in the National Assembly Amos Kimunya to jointly chair it.
Junet told the Nation Newspaper that the committee was the final hand that dealt with the Bill before it went for printing.
“I am asking politicians opposing this, especially those from our camp, to retrace their steps, the journey the BBI has gone through. They may have forgotten where the country was before BBI.
“The first county assembly to pass the BBI Bill was Siaya that he (Mr. Orengo) represents in the Senate and oversights, why didn’t he ask them not to pass it if he feels it is a raw deal? Why was he quiet when other counties were passing it?”
The Siaya Senator is further facing accusations of leading a splinter group of lawmakers, with some going against the party’s position on various issues. His critics claim he could be forming an alternative power base to that of Raila
Orengo has however repudiated claims of rebelling against Raila.
“I want to categorically state without fear or favor that we are all under Raila Odinga. It should be known that there is no political heavyweight in this country compared to Mr. Odinga,” he said.
Orengo on Thursday hosted Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo, TJ Kajwang’ (Ruaraka), Sam Atandi (Alego Usonga), and Peter Kaluma (Homa Bay) in his office over the BBI report that was being debated in both houses.
The lawmakers, according to our source, were concerned that the original BBI report they put together at Windsor was not the same one tabled before the House.
Raila’s handlers not only accuse the senator of attempting to scuttle the very document he helped author but also projecting himself as the only leader looking after the interests of the Luo community.
“Orengo is my friend and senator, I visit him in his house and office, so what? Come 2022, the seat Orengo will be vying for nobody else will be vying for it, so what are people fighting for? Atandi posed and accused some unnamed party leaders of feeling more important than others.
“It is our usual enemies that want to portray that there is infighting in the party.
At the height of the wrangling is a myriad of issues ranging from succession politics in Luo Nyanza on who is best suited to take over the mantle of leadership when Raila retires to political preservation after the next General Election.
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