Millie Odhiambo, Member of Parliament for Suba North, was unforgiving in her criticisms of those who vocally opposed the handshake between former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
In an interview on Spice Fm aired on Tuesday, 9 March 2020, the Member of Parliament began by stating that the handshake became what people wanted it to be. Those who saw it as a route to peace found it but those who wanted to find trouble also found it.
Asked whether the handshake was a con-game, Millie stated, “It depends on what you were looking for. If you are looking for peace you get peace. But some are always looking for conflict so even in the handshake they find it. It is up to you to decide if you are a victim or not.”
Referencing her own situation, Millie explained that she had also switched camps after initially being in staunch opposition to the handshake.
President Uhuru Kenyatta embraces ODM leader Raila Odinga as Muhoho Kenyatta looks on at the Kasarani Stadium, Nairobi on Sunday, March 8
“When the President and Raila decide to go for the handshake while we were still stuck fighting, we decided to go along with it. Now, even politically, I’m very much at peace,” said Millie, adding, “The constitution gives people freedom including the freedom to always be agitating. It’s up to you.”
When questioned on the value that the handshake had achieved for Kenyans, she expressed that the problem was that people held misguided expectations on the initiative and that could not be blamed on the handshake.
“People were expecting the handshake to perform miracles. Like me, I don’t have a child so if I was in opposition to the handshake in that sense I would expect the handshake to give me a baby. Let’s be realistic with our expectations.”
According to Millie, the BBI was meant to be more inclusive to eliminate the issues of exclusion that usually lead Kenyans towards conflict. The BBI was only supposed to give an enabling environment for people to solve their issues as per the member of parliament.
“It has given me an enabling environment to decide whether to go for in-vitro fertilization or not. I’m not going to expect the handshake to implant a baby in my womb,” asserted Millie, referencing her previous analogy.
FROM LEFT: President Uhuru Kenyatta, ODM leader Raila Odinga, ANC leader Musalia Mudavadi and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) President Nick Mwenda at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi on Sunday, March 8
The Suba North member of parliament stated that the opposition was still strong despite statements to the contrary. The only difference was that the means the opposition was using were a bit different but the aims were the same.
“I was looking through a document that the Suba North community wanted to be presented to the BBI but each statement began with ‘we demand’. I removed all ‘we demand’ and replaced them with ‘we urge’. We are just engaging differently. In the opposition, we were demanding and the government was ignoring, but now we are urging. These are just different ways to achieve the same thing,” Millie said.
The MP concluded by stating that it was wrong to demonise Raila Odinga for the decision he’d made to join ranks with Uhuru using the infamous handshake.
Watch the video here: