Former Tourism Minister Najib Balala has himself to blame for the dismissal after he repeatedly demonstrated that his political interests were outside his party, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said.
But in reaction, Mr Balala said he was sacked for having an independent mind and accused his party leader of being “a dictator whom Kenyans do not deserve as their next president”. (READ: Balala kicked out)
On Wednesday, Mr Odinga said the Mvita MP had refused to play as a member of an Orange Democratic Movement team.
Instead, he was busy “shooting the ball towards his own goal”, in effect undermining the party’s objectives and interests, Mr Odinga said.
“If your wife wants a divorce and demands it two times, three times, you give it to her. I have always said that as a party, we want to move forward as a team,” the PM said at Tononoka Grounds, which falls in the heart of Mr Balala’s constituency.
“In a game of football, you shoot towards the opponent’s goal not your own,’’ the PM said when he officially launched the Cash Programme, a partly donor-funded welfare initiative meant to help the poor in urban slums.
The PM’s explanation came even as Mr Balala accused him and President Kibaki of betraying Kenyans and only agreeing when it was convenient for them.
Mr Balala said the two had failed to agree on matters affecting Kenyans.
In what appeared to be reference to the leaders’ failure to agree on the election date, Mr Balala said that they were only “interested in their political survival”.
“It is interesting that when the two want to deal with selfish interests, they sit down and agree, but when it comes to matters of national interest, they come out fighting in public,” Mr Balala said.
He said he was one of the few people who spoke out on the lack of democracy within ODM. It was better to be sacked than be a sycophant of the PM, Mr Balala argued.
He said he would consult with various people before announcing the political party he would join for the next General Election.
At the Tononoka function, some politicians accused Mr Balala of supporting ODM rivals.
Assistant ministers Hassan Joho, Seif Kajembe, Manson Nyamweya and MPs Masoud Mwahima (Likoni) and Omar Zonga (Msambweni) said Mr Balala was sacked because he was at loggerheads with his party and not because he was a Muslim.
On Tuesday, a group of religious leaders said they had nullified the famous 2007 pre-election Memorandum of Understanding between Muslim leaders and Mr Odinga to protest at Mr Balala’s sacking.