African Press International (API)

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Balala’s move to pave way for Raila is mere tactic and must be ignored

Posted by African Press International on September 5, 2007

During the weekend election of ODM’s flag bearer in Kasarani, Kenya,where the splinter group elected Raila Odinga as their flag bearer, it is reported that Balala of Coast Province stood down for Raila. Yes, it is true he did! But why stand down for someone when you are able to get only 4 votes?

Balala and those who support him knew that he could not get votes and they tactically made it look like they are good hearted coastalians asking him to give way to Raila. A total ploy! They now want to use that to demand posts but they do not know that it will be Kibaki who will match to State House after the December elections. The man has no followers and should instead try Mayoral elections.

By API*APN editorial


By Ngumbao Kithi

Mvita MP, Mr Najib Balalas decision to back Mr Raila Odingas bid for presidency was reached two weeks before ODMs presidential nominations last Saturday.

Speaking in Mombasa on Monday, Organising secretary of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK), Sheikh Mohammed Khalifa, said more than 72 Muslim groups under the auspices of CIPK influenced the Mvita MPs bid. The groups, which are also affiliated to the umbrella National Muslim Leaders Forum, made the decision after poring over Railas vision.

“We first met at Hotel Sai Rock and advised Balala to drop his bid for the presidency because Raila stands a better chance of winning the General Election,” Khalifa said. He added the community later met Balala in Nairobi where he conceded to the proposal.

Khalifa said the Muslim community was happy with Railas pre-election pledge of fighting for the interests of Kenyan Muslims and ensuring equal distribution of resources.

He said it was regrettable that the Government was arbitraryly arresting Muslims on allegations that they were terrorists. CIPK Assistant Treasurer, Sheikh Hassan Suleiman, said Raila had signed a memorandum of understanding with National Muslim Leaders Forum and not with the council as alleged. “We in CIPK are just part of the many organisations that are members of the National Muslim Leaders Forum,” he said.

Suleiman said the community would campaign for Raila, adding that the ODM presidential candidates chances of winning the top seat had been enhanced.

Lifted and published by Korir, API*APN tel +47 932 99 739 or +47 6300 2525


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