In a bold statement, Wycliffe Oparanya, the deputy leader of Kenya’s opposition party ODM, called upon Western region voters to hold disloyal lawmakers accountable in the 2027 elections. This comes as a response to several legislators abandoning ODM leader Raila Odinga in favor of President William Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza administration.
The opposition party faces growing turmoil as Ruto’s allies continue to abandon it in favor of the ruling government. Oparanya singled out Butere MP Tindi Mwale, accusing him of betraying the electorate by switching allegiances after being elected on an ODM ticket.
Oparanya challenged Mwale to return and seek re-election if he believes he is a popular leader. Mwale is among the ODM MPs who disregarded Odinga’s calls for anti-government protests and has since kept a low profile.
During the 9 August 2022 elections, Mwale was a prominent figure defending the ODM party and Odinga, under the banner of ‘Jeshi la Baba.’ In that election, ODM secured 10 of the 13 parliamentary seats in Kakamega County.
Despite backlash from party leadership, several ODM MPs from Kakamega have pledged to cooperate with President Ruto’s government to promote development in their regions. These MPs maintain their loyalty to ODM and Odinga, yet emphasize the importance of working with the President to bring major projects to their constituencies.
They clarified that they have no intentions of joining the UDA, as they remain committed to ODM until 2027. MPs such as Titus Khamala and Bernard Shinali stressed that their priority is to serve their constituents and deliver development projects, rather than focusing on party politics and defections.
However, Oparanya denounced these leaders as traitors, accusing Ruto of purchasing members to weaken the opposition. He emphasized that under the new constitution, opposition MPs need not bend the knee to the government to secure development projects for their constituencies, as the constitution guarantees funding for such projects.