ODM disowns 'strategist' Silas Jakakimba on Harare visit
1 weeks ago, 21:59
The Orange Democratic Movement has denied sending Mr Silas Jakakimba to Zimbabwe as the party’s representative during the country's General Election.
ODM executive director Oduor Ong’wen on Tuesday said though Mr Jakakimba is known to party leader Raila Odinga, having worked in the Office of the Prime Minister during the coalition government, he is neither an employee of ODM nor in the Raila secretariat.
Mr Jakakimba issued a statement on Sunday claiming he was sent to Harare by Mr Odinga.
“Last week, Hon Odinga asked me to go to Zimbabwe to convey his goodwill message to the Movement for Democratic Change,” Mr Jakakimba said, referring to the Zimbabwe opposition party.
The self-declared ODM strategist challenged critics to visit Youtube and view a clip of him delivering the message.
Mr Jakakimba said he was received at the airport by the widow of MDC founder Morgan Tsvangirai, Elizabeth Macheka.
Mr Jakakimba’s tour may not have been known by many until Zimbabwe police said they wanted to question him in relation to the post-election violence that killed six people.
Zimbabwe police chief spokesperson Charity Charamba said Mr Jakakimba was in Harare as Mr Odinga’s envoy, adding that he incited opposition supporters.
"The Zimbabwe republic police is keen to interview Silas Jakakimba, a Kenyan, in connection with the disturbance which occurred in Harare on August 1, 2018,” she said.
ODM initially fought off general claims that the party was involved in the violence.
It said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission was deflecting blame and that the party does not have the ability and means to create chaos in that country.
Party chairman John Mbadi said ODM wishes for peaceful, free and fair elections across the continent. But on Tuesday, the party disowned Mr Jakakimba.
Dr Ong’wen said reports of Mr Jakakimba acting as Mr Odinga’s envoy and the party’s involvement in the chaos were untrue.
“We want to state that neither ODM nor the office of the party leader sent any representative to Harare either to witness or on observer mission in the general election,” Dr Ong'wen said.
Mr Odinga and Mr Tsvangirai were close friends, attending each other’s political events from time to time.
MNANGAGWA DECLARED WINNER
Mr Jakakimba dismissed Dr Ong'wen's statement, insisting that only the Odinga secretariat can comment on his "assignment".
"Whereas I am a life member of ODM, I have never worked at Orange House. Neither am I an employee of ODM," he said, referring to the party's headquarters in Nairobi.
"It is not the province of Oduor Ong'wen to comment on issues he has no idea about."
When Mr Tsvangirai died early in the year, Mr Odinga gave a keynote speech at his funeral.
Zanu-PF candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa was declared winner in last Week’s elections, beating MDC’s Nelson Chamisa.
Party associates accused of fuelling post-election violence in Harare.
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