Ida Odinga:Those who dined and wined with us abandoned us after Raila's poll loss

Ida Odinga at a rally

Ms Ida Odinga. She says Raila’s friends have abandoned him after August polls loss

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Mrs Ida Odinga, the wife of Azimio leader Raila Odinga, has spoken out about schemes by some politicians from Nyanza region to fight her family.

She accused the politicians of being involved in campaigns to push for Mr Odinga to retire from politics after he failed in his fifth attempt to clinch the presidency in the August 9 elections.

Mrs Odinga did not name the politicians, but appeared to be referring to campaigns by former allies of the Azimio leader who have been traversing Nyanza region since the August elections, calling on the Luo community to forget about the Odinga family and embrace fresh leadership.

Some of the politicians who have done this are former Lake Basin Development Authority Chairman Odoyo Owidi, former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma, former Kisumu Senator Fred Outa and former Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo.

Others are former Rangwe MP Martin Ogindo and former Kasipul MP Silvance Osele.

The politicians have formed a caucus and are spearheading campaigns for the region to work closely with the Kenya Kwanza administration to ensure residents benefit from development projects from the government.

Mrs Odinga, who spoke during a thanksgiving prayer service organised by Homa Bay County Woman Representative Joyce Osogo in Radiro village, Homa Bay County, on Sunday, accused the politicians of orchestrating the downfall of the Odinga family.

“The same politicians would wake up and come to my home for breakfast, lunch and supper and spend the whole day at my office. They are now insulting members of my family, forgetting they used to frequent my home, pretending to be close to the family,” said Mrs Odinga.

She also accused the politicians of abandoning her family.

Mrs Odinga defended her husband, saying those trying to write him off politically were doing so for selfish interests.

She said some of the politicians had taken to social media to paint the Odinga family negatively in the hope of being rewarded by the Kenya Kwanza administration.

“Those making noise on Facebook with intentions of seeking state recognition are wasting their time,” said Mrs Odinga.

She said Mr Odinga should not be blamed for failing to clinch the presidency in August.

Critics of Mr Odinga in Nyanza region have accused the opposition chief of wasting his best chance of clinching the presidency after he lost to President William Ruto.

They blamed Mr Odinga for failing to put in place proper structures during the campaigns. The politicians include those who unsuccessfully contested for seats in the elections.

However, Mrs Odinga told the politicians not to celebrate over the election defeat of her husband.

Mr Owidi has emerged as one of the fiercest critics of Mr Odinga. The former MP has defected from ODM, citing bungled party nominations. He was a candidate for the Kasipul parliamentary seat but pulled out of the race after Mr Ong'ondo Were was handed a direct ticket by the ODM party to contest the seat.

Reacting to Mrs Odinga remarks, Mr Owidi said: “Politicians spent a lot of money in the party, only to be shortchanged at the final hour. The party cannot champion democracy when it is not practising it.”

Direct nomination certificates

He dared the Odinga family to speak the truth about the alleged cash paid by politicians during campaigns after they were promised they would be issued with direct nomination certificates by the ODM party.

Mrs Odinga asked residents of Nyanza region to reject politicians who were mudslinging the Azimio leader and his family.

“I want to be remembered for having built a Sh300 million library and resource centre at Ogande Girls," Ms Odinga said.

Ms Osogo said she was ready to pick up from where her predecessor Gladys Wanga, now the governor of Homa Bay, left.

She said she would do everything possible to impact positively on livelihoods in Homa Bay County by giving priority to improved services.