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Raila’s party throws Jakakimba under the bus over Zimbabwe chaos

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has distanced itself from its leader Raila Odinga’s former aide, Silas Jakakimba, saying it did not send him to Harare as the party’s representative during the recent Zimbabwe elections.

ODM Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen on Tuesday claimed Mr Jakakimba travelled to Harare on his own volition and was neither representing the party or the party leader, Raila Odinga.

Police in Zimbabwe have said they are looking to speak to Mr Jakakimba over the post-election chaos that rocked Harare late last week.

But Mr Ong’wen noted that, although Mr Jakakimba is known to Mr Odinga, having worked in the Office of the Prime Minister, he is not an employee of either the ODM Party or the Raila Odinga Secretariat.

The move by Dr Ong’wen may surprise Jakakimba who had issued a statement on Sunday claiming Mr Odinga sent him to Harare.

“Last week, Hon Odinga asked me to go down to Zimbabwe to specifically convey his goodwill message to the Movement for Democratic Change alliance at its last public rally at the Freedom Square,” Jakakimba said referring to the Zimbabwe opposition party and the venue in Harare.

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The self-declared ODM strategist challenged critics to check a YouTube video of him delivering the said message.

But to drive the point home, he argued he had been received at the airport by the widow of former MDC leader Morgan Tsivangirai, Elizabeth Macheka and a PA, Joseph Mungwari.

Jakakimba’s tour may have remained unknown to many were it not for the post-election chaos in Harare.

In fact, Zimbabwe police had claimed Mr Jakakimba, had travelled to Harare as Mr Odinga’s envoy during the elections and incited protesters to reject the poll leading to violence and deaths.

Zimbabwe police chief spokesperson, Ms Charity Charamba, had told the media:

“The Zimbabwe republic police is keen to interview Silas Jakakimba, a Kenyan national, in connection with the disturbances which occurred in Harare on 1 August, 2018.”