New information reveals why the important meeting of the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition leaders was suddenly cancelled. The cancellation was caused by increasing tensions within the group.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga was forced to call off Thursday’s meeting over concerns that it would further widen the cracks.
There are signals that tension is building among coalition partners over 2027 ambitions amid pressure to have some officials considered non-committal or lukewarm fired.
The meeting was to take stock of the coalition’s status and also evaluate the commitment of some officials said to be at odds with Azimio’s agenda.
The meeting, arranged by Azimio’s National Coalition Executive Committee chairman, Wycliffe Oparanya, was scheduled because certain coalition members seemed less involved. Some members had been ignoring the coalition’s activities since Azimio lost to President William Ruto in the 2022 presidential race. During the upcoming high-level session on Thursday, these members were expected to be removed, with constituent party leaders like Wiper’s Kalonzo Musyoka and Martha Karua of Narc Kenya in attendance.
Members were notified that the postponement was occasioned by Raila’s heightened activities at the coast. There are reports that this was done to forestall further divisions in both the Azimio and ODM parties.
There were plans to have Suna East MP Junet Mohamed kicked out as the Azimio Secretary-General, days after it was revealed that Raila’s ODM wanted him axed from the party leadership.
Junet is the Azimio Minority Whip in the National Assembly and serves as the ODM director of campaigns and parliamentary affairs secretary.
On Tuesday, Raila defended Junet in the wake of attacks directed at him, saying the Suna East MP is in ODM to stay.
This came hours after a section of ODM leaders, including former Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho, clashed with their colleagues, pushing for Junet to be fired.
The ODM Central Management Committee meeting, chaired by Raila on January 10, had threatened to fire Junet from the party’s leadership for his alleged “continued absence” from parliamentary group meetings.
Last week, another meeting was said to have been aborted after Karua allegedly declined the venue of the meeting, which was to happen at the Kalonzo Musyoka Command Centre.
Karua, who has clashed with Kalonzo over the formation of the Kamwene group—an alliance of Mt Kenya leaders within Azimio—rejected the proposed SKM venue.
Jubilee Secretary General Jeremiah Kioni confirmed there was to be a meeting but said it was postponed because Kalonzo and Karua were away.