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Silas Jakakimba: Why I dumped Raila and joined Ruto

Former Raila Odinga aide Silas Jakakimba has accused some senior officials in ODM of being behind his resignation as a member of the opposition party.

Mr Jakakimba said his decision to join the ruling UDA party was influenced by what he called opportunities and privileges in Kenya Kwanza.

He officially joined the UDA on Monday and was received by the party’s secretary general, Cleophas Malala.

Mr Jakakimba was previously a member of the ODM and an aide to the former Prime Minister.

He said he had served Mr Odinga for 19 years.

However, the legal expert claimed that he never enjoyed his stay in the opposition.

Also read: How ex-Raila aide Silas Jakakimba helped Jalang’o win the Langata seat

According to him, younger politicians who are members of ODM are never given a chance to excel in their political careers.

“ODM does not give youths a chance to contest for elective seats. There is no room for growth for younger politicians,” Mr Jakakimba alleged.

He was speaking during an interview on Ramogi TV on Monday night, March 25.

The former aide to Mr Odinga recalled instances when he tried to contest for various elective seats in past elections but encountered stumbling blocks that slowed him down.

One such instance was the 2015 senatorial by-election in Homa Bay following the death of a former senator, the late Otieno Kajwang.

Mr Jakakimba said he had also expressed interest in contesting the Suba North parliamentary seat in 2017.

“Instead of getting support from the party, I was told to tone down and let other politicians favoured by the party take the lead,” he said.

According to the lawyer, this was not the right way to select party candidates.

He accused ODM of not having a proper structure for conducting party primaries.

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The opposition party’s primaries have in the past been marred by scenes of violence, with youths disrupting the process.

The party would later agree on its preferred candidate.

Mr Jakakimba said he tried to negotiate with the ODM leadership to rerun the nomination process for the 2015 Homa Bay by-election after the earlier one was disrupted.

But no one paid attention to his plea and Senator Moses Kajwang was given the party ticket.

“There has to be a change of leadership in ODM. There are certain leaders from Nyanza region whose advice to the party is not good,” Mr Jakakimba claimed.

In 2017, he asked the opposition to nominate him for the East African Legislative Assembly (EALAL).

He said he wanted to represent the interests of the youth in the regional legislature.

According to Mr Jakakimba, he was assured that he would get the seat.

“I was later surprised to learn that Oburu Oginga was favoured over me. I chose to be with Jakom (Mr Odinga) despite the many obstacles I faced,” he said.

The 41-year-old lawyer said he left the ODM last year and has since seen the opportunities in the UDA.

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He will be riding on Kenya Kwanza to contest the Suba South parliamentary seat against current MP Millie Odhiambo.

“Youth have a better chance of becoming leaders if they are in the ruling party than if they are in ODM. In fact, ODM should be disbanded because it does not listen to the advice of younger politicians,” said Mr Jakakimba.

He advised younger politicians in the opposition, including Embakasi East MP Babu Owino, to leave ODM and form their own political parties where they cannot be judged.

According to him, forming parties where everyone is given equal opportunities is the best way to ensure that younger politicians rise.

Mr Jakakimba said he was writing a book about his association with the former Prime Minister.