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ODM infighting: Mbadi and Wandayi tear each other apart during radio talk show


The political rivalry between ODM chairman John Mbadi and National Assembly Minority leader Opiyo Wandayi has intensified on Tuesday with the two leaders exchanging words on a radio talk show.

The two, who were being interviewed on Radio Ramogi, clashed on air over who serves the ODM party better. Mr Mbadi, who was the first to speak, accused Mr Wandayi of bad leadership.

He claimed the National Assembly Minority Leader cannot call the shots in the House because of poor leadership skills.

“Wandayi is the weak link in the opposition MPs in parliament. He has poor leadership skills but MPs fear telling him,” Mr Mbadi said.

Mbadi said he took a bold step to speak on behalf of others who cannot speak for themselves.

In response, Mr Wandayi accused the ODM chairman of being disloyal to the party. He questioned why Mr Mbadi has missed out in anti-government protests.

The Ugunja MP also accused Mr Mbadi of doing little in ODM, saying he has never held any meeting to popularize the party beyond Nyanza region.

“He has been the party chairman for nine years but has done little to make the party popular,” Mr Wandayi said.

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The two politicians have been at loggerheads for some time now as they engage in supremacy battles. Both were eying the minority leadership position before Mr Wandayi landed on the job. Mr Mbadi served in the same position in the last parliament.

During the radio talk show, Mr Mbadi said he is no longer interested in the position.

“Some people may think that I am bitter because I missed the Minority Leader’s seat. Well, I am not interested in it,” Mr Mbadi said.

Their differences intensified during the debate on Finance Bill 2023. Mr Mbadi has now challenged Mr Wandayi to continue fighting him.

“Bring it on,” he wrote on his Facebook page, as if he daring the Ugunja MP to a verbal fight.

Mr Mbadi said he does not have any bitterness with his colleague but just wants him to change his style of leadership.

“Let him show good leadership and lead by example,” the nominated MP said.

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Meanwhile, some Nyanza residents are concerned that the war between the two leaders will divide the Luo community.

Kisumu Residents Voice Association chairman Audi Ogada said political rivalry between the two leaders will give Kenya Kwanza an advantage to infiltrate the lake region. He said Mr Mbadi and Mr Wandayi are among leaders who people look up to.

“Their fight will be used as an entry point to the region. President William Ruto is the main beneficiary in the fights,” Mr Ogada said.

He called on the ODM leader Raila Odinga to calm down the two leaders.

Already President Ruto has appointed several former allies of Mr Odinga to key government positions in an effort to make Kenya Kwanza popular in the ODM leader’s backyard.

The leaders include former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo and Lake Victoria South Water Works Development Agency Chairman Odoyo Owidi.

Other leaders to be appointed in various positions in government include Fish Marketing Authority Chairman Martin Ogindo and Mr Nicholas Gumbo among others.

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