The United Kingdom revoked ODM leader Raila Odinga’s visa after his mock swearing-in on January 30th, 2018, Siaya Senator James Orengo has confirmed.
Orengo, who also had his visa withdrawn, however, denied claims by ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi that this was the reason why Odinga accepted to meet President Kenyatta for talks that culminated in the historic March 2018 handshake.
Senator Orengo was reacting to Mudavadi’s recently-published memoirs; Soaring Above the Storms of Passion, which give inside happenings in the Nasa coalition ahead of Odinga’s mock swearing-in. In the book, Mudavadi alleges that Odinga had been banned from traveling to a key Western nation, and was worried about the next course of action by the United States.
“I was with Raila when Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Donald Yamamoto called him, saying if he went on with the oath certain consequences, including a visa ban, would follow. And Raila told him that the US couldn’t impose a president on Kenya and that in any event, he had no interest in traveling to the US,” said Orengo in an interview with Daily Nation.
Orengo, who is also the Senate minority leader, said the threats by foreign diplomats did not work and that Kenyatta and Odinga entered into a unity pact to heal the nation.
“We didn’t mind the pressure from the diplomats. We had learned how to handle them since the days of Jaramogi (Oginga Odinga). The handshake only came after a lot of thinking and consultation,” Orengo insisted.