Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo has dismissed claims that he sent ODM leader Raila Odinga a text message daring that he’d resign from the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee of the National Assembly.
The lawmaker said the assertions were designed to deflect attention from the core issues he raised with the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020 – the BBI Bill.
Otiende said the SMS and tweet theory is meant to spin the narrative, saying there was more to his removal beyond the views on the bill.
The lawmaker said he had no issue with his party leader, saying there was no way he could snub Raila’s calls, being his client as well.
ODM stalwarts claimed the Rarieda MP snubbed a meeting with the party leader on Monday to iron out the issues he raised with the bill.
On his removal, ODM chairman John Mbadi said the JLAC vice-chairperson had failed to advance the party’s position on BBI at the committee.
“If he is not pushing the party agenda in JLAC, why should we continue having him? There is nothing mischievous in the changes. We are not punishing anyone,” he said.
Party insiders on Wednesday claimed the MP had sent messages to his party leader daring the ODM boss he’d resign from the post.
“This is an act of spin mastering to move the issue from what it is to where you want it to go. I have refused to be spun because that is trying to introduced subterfuge,” Otiende said during a morning show on Citizen TV.
The MP said all that is stated about his predicament is false, except for the fact that he tweeted about the scheme to remove him from JLAC.
“I speak to my party leader and I have no issue with him. Other than being my party leader, he is actually my client. Anyone trying to spin it that I have an issue with my party leader to remove the issue from where it was, I will not accept.”
He said it was baffling how the motion of removal, which was moved by Suba South MP John Mbadi – National Assembly Minority Leader, changed into a resignation.
“If it is a resignation, it will be a communication from the speaker. The party organs should meet and make a decision on what should be done. None of that happened. The party never considered that issue. The speaker never considered that issue.”
“I have told you it is difficult to have this discussion on TV. I speak with my party leader nearly all the time. We are allowing him to recover fully. No meeting has been called.”
“If I was to resign, I would know how to resign…I will not lend myself to this spin-doctoring. It is true that as early as Sunday, I had known of the games and that why I tweeted about it,” Otiende said.
He maintained that he is not bitter about the sudden change of circumstances saying he takes it as a privilege he was given to serve and did.
On whether the events worry him ahead of the 2022 elections, he said: “As long as Rarieda people allow me that privilege, I will continue to serve them.”
The lawmaker said things must change in the world of politics, adding that some positions come with benefits or not.
“The opportunity to serve in JLAC was responsibility without benefits. There is no benefit – travel, extra allowances, that come with the position of committee vice-chair,” he said.
“What you have is an additional responsibility to your party and country. If your party feels you are not executing that responsibility the way they want, they have the discretion to remove you. I have no problem with that. The party gave me the opportunity to serve and they have decided…not really the party but some people, I have no issues.”