Senate Minority leader James Aggrey Orengo has confirmed that the United Kingdom cancelled Raila Odinga’s Visa after his swearing-in as the “People’s President” in 2018.
Responding to claims by Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi, Orengo retorted that the travel ban, which also affected him, was not the force behind the much-publicized March 9, 2018, “Handshake” between the former Prime Minister and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In his new autobiography, Soaring Above the Storms of Passion, the ANC boss claimed that pressure from western nations and financial woes had everything to do with the Handshake.
The senior counsel poked holes in the memoir saying Mudavadi is economical with the truth.
Terming the book as a litany of misinterpretations, Orengo said if the travel bans were meant to influence Raila’s hard stance on the Jubilee government they should have come before the January 30, 2018, swearing-in.
He insisted that the truce between Raila and Uhuru was for peaceful co-existence of Kenyans and had little to do with foreign influence.
“We didn’t mind the pressure from the diplomats. We had learnt how to handle them since the days of (Raila’s father and founding vice-president) Jaramogi (Oginga Odinga). The handshake only came after a lot of thinking and consultation,” Orengo told Daily Nation.
In the book authored with his ally and ANC Secretary-General Barack Muluka, the National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principal in the 2017 Presidential election, details that financial woes in Odinga’s party led to the Handshake.
He mentions that litigations against NASA leaders nearly brought Raila’s party to its knees financially.
“We learnt that the financial capacity to handle these cases was not there. Basically the situation was becoming unbearable, ” Mudavadi writes.
Orengo dismisses the financial woes claims saying, “while we can always do with more money we never ran out of cash. But if money was the motivation in our struggle over the years, we would have quit ages ago.”
On claims that ODM and Raila kept other parties in the NASA coalition in the dark days to the swearing-in and negotiations with President Kenyatta, Orengo says none was sidelined.
In his book, Mudavadi details that Canada-based barrister Miguna Miguna’s entry into NASA was mysterious.
“I must emphasise, NRM was not a creation of Nasa, nor was it a Nasa organ. It was just as mysterious to me as was the manner in which it was first introduced to Kenyans. So, too, was the sudden emergence of Miguna Miguna ‘the NRM General’,” Mudavadi writes.
Orengo dismisses these claims saying everything was well organized and Miguna was assigned the role of leading NRM as it had “some tools that could not fit in Nasa proper which was a parliamentary coalition.”