Mr Odinga, at the funeral of former senior chief Daudi Olak in Lifunga Kobiero village, Ugenya sub-county on March 2, delegated the campaigns, citing a busy schedule at the African Union. “I will not be coming to campaign for our candidate since I have a bigger role of taking care of infrastructure development in the entire continent,” Mr Odinga said then.
Mr Orengo was then tasked to lead the campaigns for the party’s candidate, Mr Karani.
Mr Orengo would be the engine behind the campaigns and most of the “strategy” meetings were held at his rural home in East Ugenya.
ODM director of elections Junet Mohamed, a close ally of Mr Odinga, apparently kept off the Ugenya campaigns allegedly over “bad blood with Mr Orengo”.
Mr Mohamed, who is now seen as Mr Odinga’s blue-eyed boy, was the politician who accompanied the ODM leader when the handshake deal was brokered at Harambee House.
Mr Orengo, who has been one of Mr Odinga’s strategists, was never invited to the event, and some party insiders feel it could be the cause of friction between him and Mr Mohamed.
Mr Mohamed did not respond to the Sunday Nation’s queries on why he did not campaign in Ugenya despite being the party’s director of elections and whether he had any issues with Mr Orengo.
Another issue that has caused friction in the party is Mr Orengo’s proposal for the impeachment of Mr Ruto and his claims the handshake was an indication of a political deal between Mr Odinga and President Kenyatta for the sake of the 2022 elections.
The proposal was not discussed by the party leadership and there is a feeling it had given Mr Ruto’s allies leverage to hit hard on Mr Odinga.
East African Legislative Assembly MP Oburu Oginga told the Sunday Nation that Mr Odinga had given Mr Orengo “the benefit of the doubt” over his recent statements on the proposal to impeach Ruto and claims that the former prime minister and President Kenyatta had a deal for the 2022 elections following the handshake.
Dr Oginga said some statements by Mr Orengo and other unnamed party members were giving their opponents “the leverage to hit back at Mr Odinga”.
For instance, he cited Mr Orengo’s statement two weeks ago that ODM was working behind the scenes with President Kenyatta to help Mr Odinga become the Head of State in 2022.
The statement, he said, was used by Mr Ruto’s allies to portray the “handshake as a political tool” for Mr Odinga in 2022.
“The handshake has enhanced unity and we all support it. It was not about the politics of 2022,” Dr Oginga said.
Mr Orengo had said: “ODM is going for political power, and when we are holding these meetings our eyes are set on 2022. The contestation for power is going to come from a formation with ODM in it and formation of Jubilee, where President Kenyatta is playing a role.”
ODM chairman John Mbadi was the first top politician to dismiss Mr Orengo’s claims, reportedly on the request of Mr Odinga, confirming undercurrents in the Orange party.
“I want to set the record straight and make it categorical that ODM has not formed any alliance with any party or individual. Any contrary opinion should therefore be treated as personal.”
Dr Oginga said Mr Mbadi’s rebuttal was welcome.
“I supported Mbadi on that because we must sieve what goes to the public to avoid sending mixed signals to Kenyans.
“It is not right to make some comments with a bigger political magnitude without proper consultations,” Dr Oginga said.
On Mr Orengo’s impeachment proposal against the DP, which he said was his initiative, Dr Oginga lamented that the proposal had been used by Mr Ruto’s allies to hit back at Mr Odinga over claims he was eyeing the Deputy President’s post.
“We all know that Mr Orengo is Mr Odinga’s spanner boy; and the main agenda of ODM is to push the DP out so that they can occupy the position through the backdoor,” Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro said.
Whereas, ODM secretary-general Edwin Sifuna argues that Mr Orengo was within his mandate as a party member to come up with such a proposal, Mr Wycliffe Oparanya — ODM co-deputy party leader — said the sentiments did not reflect the party’s position.
Mr Sifuna said Mr Orengo’s proposal was healthy for the party, adding that even though ODM had not taken a stand on it, party members were free to generate ideas of national importance.
But Mr Oparanya said the party had not discussed the DPs impeachment.
Prof Herman Manyora described the proposal as the “biggest blunder ever”, adding that it had even undermined the handshake between Mr Odinga and President Kenyatta.
“Impeachment motions are sometimes floated just for political relevance. In this case, Mr Orengo sounds as such and will achieve nothing,” Prof Manyora said.
He went on: “Mr Orengo’s motive could just be to whip up emotions and acquire national relevance.”