Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has challenged Lang’ata MP Phelix Odiwuor, popularly known as Jalang’o, to seek re-election if he wants to work with the ruling United Democratic Alliance (UDA).
Speaking during an ODM recruitment drive in Nairobi on Sunday, the former Prime Minister revealed that he had reached out to the rebel MPs informing them to seek re-election before collaborating with the ruling party.
“We have agreed that all those elected as MPs in our parties have a term of five years. If you want to leave ODM and join UDA, then leave Parliament and return to the people to be re-elected under UDA,” He sternly stated.
“In Nairobi, we have Lang’ata MP and you know the rest. We have told them that we are returning to the ground and if you get re-elected on UDA, that is fine but we must go back to the election.”
Lang’ata MP Phelix Odiwuor alias Jalang’o, President William Ruto and DP Rigathi Gachagua at State House Nairobi on February 7, 2023.
Since last year, the party has been embroiled in a tussle with the lawmakers who it accused of jumping ship to UDA.
The other lawmakers include Kisumu Senator Tom Ojienda, Suba MP Caroli Omondi, Bondo MP Gideon Ochanda, and Gem MP Elisha Odhiambo.
All five MPs were expelled by ODM’s National Executive Committee after the party determined that their actions went against the official party position.
Soon after, a battle ensued between the parties as the lawmakers fought to keep their seats, a plea that was granted by the Political Parties Dispute Tribunal chairperson Desma Nungo.
“Pending the hearing and determination of the suits, the office of the Registrar of Political Parties is barred from effecting and enforcing the decision of ODM by removing the complainants as members of the party,” Nungo ruled at the time.
Later, the MPs who have since met President William Ruto, declared that they owed no one an apology.
They further argued that meeting the Head of State was not wrong claiming that other leaders within the party had also met the first in command but were not expelled.
The team met Ruto at State House in September last year.
Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka, former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Narc Kenya leader Martha Karua during a joint media address on September 15, 2023.