Raila Odinga: I am out of danger

RAILA ODINGA [PHOTO/COURTESY]

Opposition leader, Raila Odinga, has assured Kenyans that he is in good health following massive reports of a food poisoning incident that he suffered Tuesday evening.

Odinga checked into the Karen Hospital on March 7 after developing stomach pains.

Doctors at the health facility conducted a series of tests on Odinga and diagnosed him with food poisoning.

Odinga was discharged on Wednesday, March 8, 3pm.

“I am out of danger now after the food poisoning incident,” Odinga said briefly, while addressing the press at Serena Hotel in Nairobi on Thursday, March 9.

The ex-Prime Minister said he will leave for South Africa on Friday, March 10, after a change of schedule. He was supposed to fly out of the country on Thursday, March 9 to visit his ailing daughter, Rosemary Odinga.

Rosemary Odinga, the elder daughter of Raila Odinga, was on February 28 flown to South Africa for further check up after 11 days of hospitalisation at a Nairobi hospital.

Rosemary Odinga has a brain tumor, which is non-cancerous. She is recuperating well.

“Joint nomination is a minor issue”

In his Serena Hotel address, Odinga responded to a perceived challenge of nomination headache facing the NASA outfit ahead of April, 2017 deadline set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Sections of NASA supporters and political seat aspirants have been wondering, for a while now, whether the coalition will field single candidates for elective positions in the August 8 poll.

Raila Odinga said: “A joint nomination is a minor issue. If other parties in the NASA outfit do not want the coalition to field a single candidate for a political seat, then we will conduct the nominations the way they want.”

Odinga played down speculation that he is worried about politicians, originally affiliated to the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM), defecting from the party, saying that the party honors democracy.

“Anyone defecting from Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party to other parties is normal,” said Odinga.

The ODM party leader had in February, 2017 assured all aspirants that the party will hold free and fair nominations.

Speaking to the media in Kisii then, – after a closed-door-meeting with all ODM aspirants – Mr Odinga assured that no candidate will be discriminated against.

He said: “We are at a crucial stage in the election process and we are ready to ventilate on all issues. We want all party members to remain united even after the nominations,” he said.

Political parties have between March 9 and March 19 to submit membership lists.

According to the new schedule, political parties will hold their primaries on April 20, 2017 ahead of delivery of nomination papers to IEBC by political party and independent candidates between May 8, 2017 and May 20.

(Additional reporting by Kevin Towett)

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