'Why not me?' Winnie Odinga defends her nomination for EALA MP seat
Speaking during Citizen TV’s News Night Show on Tuesday, Winnie said that the recent move by the ODM party to shortlist her for the position is justified because of her credentials.
Winnie argued that she, just like any other ordinary Kenyan, was justified to be part of the nominees owing to the fact that she meets the required qualifications to contest for the position.
She thus told off critics downplaying her nomination due to her family background, further reiterating that the position called for anyone capable of representing Kenyans irrespective of where they come from, exuding confidence that she has all it takes.
“Why not me? All the conditions for EALA I have, I have passed and achieved all of them, so why not me? I had not applied for EALA nor was I thinking of taking that step…” she said.
“This is not an issue of political belief, it is an issue of representation of the country. I am getting really good feedback from both sides of the House, perhaps more enthusiastic than on the other side (Kenya Kwanza).”
On why she had sought the EALA seat, Winnie who is well-known across social media platforms for her controversial political statements pointed out that the decision followed consultations from friends and family, further noting that she had not initially applied for the seat.
“The influx from different people around the country and consultation from my family pushing me to go made me realize I will be doing a great service to the people who believe in me and myself or family if I did step up to the plates,” she stated.
In the same light, being the last-born daughter from an influential political family, she highlighted some of the setbacks she has to face.
“The name Odinga has gotten me very many things…it has gotten me into trouble, gotten abused, blamed for many things and persecuted. It has also been a blessing and it is a name that I emphatically am proud of and defend. The name Odinga does not define Winnie," she argued.
"It does both in equal measure; it does disadvantage me because certain people don’t want you to walk through the door...On the positive, it has enabled me to travel throughout the world."
At the same time, Winnie exuded confidence that she was hopeful of clinching the EALA MP seat understating that MPs from across the political divides were in support of her nomination.
She said she had also reached out to Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka’s son Kennedy Kalonzo who is currently serving in the EALA and has since briefed her regarding her task ahead.
“I have reached out to Kenya Kwanza MPs… For them, it was a campaign and campaigns over, and we have to move on to be more productive; they are giving me much time as my competitors to explain what I want to do to Kenya,” she remarked.
“Kennedy Kalonzo made me understand the importance of institutional memory in bodies such as the East African Assembly. He is very knowledgeable on the happenings in the House and made me believe that every time we switch regimes, they should keep one member for institutional memory.’
Her nomination by the Azimio coalition last week elicited mixed reactions with a section of Kenyans accusing the party of favouritism.
Other candidates nominated alongside Winnie include former Mombasa Governor aspirant Suleiman Shahbal, Mohammed Diriye, Timothy Bosire, Beatrice Askul and Justus Kizito.
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